Skip to Content

Forest Excursions

Wilderness Section

Woodville Big Tree

The Outeniqua yellowwood tree in Woodville is a huge, tall tree that is about 31 meters. It is believed to be over 800 years old.

Goudveld

Goudveld, an old mining town in the lush afromontane forests is turning into an attraction for visitors to the Garden Route. This popular hide-away is 22 kilometres from Knysna, in Bibby’s Hoek to be exact. It is part of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) afromontane forests, the largest continuous indigenous forest in South Africa.

View a map of the Goudveld forest hub.

Scootours

Enjoy an exhilarating downhill on the Monster Mountain Scooter, descent through indigenous forest, sweepy bends and single track (offered in Goudveld).

Visit Scootours for more information.

Circles in the Forest

Daleen Matthee based most of her books on the forest dwellers (human and animal) in the Knysna Forest. Start a 3 or 9 km walk from the famous Daleen Matthee Big Tree at Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site. It follows small tracks and an old mining path along the bank of Forest Creek. The trail is in its entirety in high forest. Various forest types can be seen and the wet high forest is particularly scenic. Enjoy swimming in the water holes that make the walk perfect for a summer’s day.


Knysna Section

The Garden of Eden

Situated right on the N2 between Knysna and Plett and serves as a great place to stretch your legs and freshen up in the cool, green forest. This is one of the most lush and beautiful parts of the Knysna forest and definitely a must-see when visiting the Garden Route. The major attraction is the forest itself; absolutely beautiful yellowwood trees, thick green foliage and fresh, trickling streams. A short walk follows over 1km of wooden boardwalks and bridges and is entirely wheelchair friendly. There are a number of wooden benches and tables along the trail, great for a picnic.

A superb example of Wet Highforest, an unusual forest-type with many examples of tall Stinkwood (Ocotea bullata), Kalander (Podocarpus jalcaus), Wit-els (Playlophus trifoliatus) and other tree species of the moister forest types.

This site was first opened in 1926.

Rooted in Time Self-Drive 4×4 Route

This self-drive route takes the visitor on a half-day meander through Diepwalle and Gouna forests. From old forester’s houses to more modern forest museums, visit the biggest trees in the forest and stand in awe at the highest mountain tops.

View more information

Kranshoek Viewpoint and Picnic Site

One of the most beautiful spots on the southern Cape coast. Kranshoek offers the visitor dramatic cliff-top views of the coast at the edge of this majestic forest. From the Kranshoek viewpoint, numerous lovely rocky bays along the coastline can be seen. Enjoy the picnic area which has braai facilities plus a little stream where the kids can get their feet wet while searching for frogs and other interesting creatures. Enjoy the peaceful sound of the waterfall just a stone’s throw away and take a short refreshing walk in the forest close by.

Kranshoek Trail

The Kranshoek Trail is now open.

Kranshoek Viewpoint

Currently still closed and not accessible to visitors as yet until management and scientists have finalised urgent deliverables pertaining to the area.

Harkerville Trail

  • The coastal portion of the trail is still closed.
  • An alternative scenic route was opened along the coastal ridge.

Diepwalle Big Tree

The Big Tree, also known as the King Edward VII tree, is a famous landmark and visitor attraction near the Diepwalle Forest Station. This giant Outeniqua yellowwood (Podocarpus falcatus) tree is more than 800 years old and is one of the few giant trees left after the unsustainable method of tree harvesting was stopped in 1939.

Forest Legends Museum

If you venture into the mysterious Knysna Forest you will find, at its heart, the Diepwalle Section of the Garden Route National Park which is home to the Forest Legends Museum. The Museum tells forgotten stories of the hardworking Woodcutters, the mighty Knysna Elephant and of a forest with secrets which are still well kept.

This museum holds some of the forests best kept secrets where the lives of woodcutters, gold-diggers, settlers and foresters will intrigue you. Get up close with one of the most southerly elephants of the African continent, albeit just a skeleton. The museum houses a variety of displays and exhibitions which tell the long and winding story of the legendary Knysna Forest, its forest folk and the elusive Knysna Elephant.

Jubilee Creek

A lovely picnic spot on the banks of a creek in the Lush Knysna indigenous Forest. A day walk through the Old Mining Trails to an ice cold swimming hole. Enjoy the Secrets of the Forest, mineshafts, tunnels and other hidden wonders.


Tsitsikamma Section

Tsitsikamma Forest’s Big Tree

Located in the short way west of the Paul Sauer Bridge along the N2 is The big Tree in the Tsitsikamma Forest, it stretches its distinctive Yellowwood leaves skywards, towering over the other trees in the canopy. This oldest tree is estimated to be between 600 & 800 years old and 36.6 meters high. Explore the forest enjoying a 10 minute walk through the indigenous forest boardwalk.