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Introduction

The Knysna Forest is world famous for its magical beauty, dark and mystical recesses and giant Outeniqua Yellowwoods, some of which are almost a thousand years old.

It has achieved a mythical and permanent place in South African literature through the works of writer Dalene Matthee who has found inspiration for numerous novels in the heart of the forest.

5 things to seek:

  • Knysna Seahorse - This peculiar fish occurs only in the Knysna, Keurbooms and Swartvlei estuaries and nowhere else in the world. Because of its limited distribution the Knysna Seahorse is listed as endangered on the IUCN's Red List - the first seahorse in the world to be listed as endangered. Hint: Visit the SANParks Thesen Island Office in Knysna to view the Knysna Seahorse up close!
  • Big Tree - Also known as the King Edward VII tree, this famous landmark and visitor attraction near Diepwalle Forest Station is another Outeniqua yellowwood worth seeing up close. The tree is 800+ years old.
  • The Forest Legends Museum - If you venture into the mysterious Knysna Forest you will find, at its heart, the Forest Legends Museum which houses stories about Woodcutters, Timber merchants, Botanists, Settlers and the elusive Knysna Elephant. The museum reveals some of the forest's best kept secrets and showcases the famous elephant skeleton.
  • Knysna Dwarf Chameleon - A species of dwarf chameleon that is endemic to South Africa this forest dweller is the master of camouflage. They climb high into the forest canopy during the day to bask and then sleep in the centre of tree ferns at night, coiling their prehensile tails to look like fern fronds.
  • Elephant walks - These three trails are a scenic delight with clear streams and mysterious green beauty. They follow old woodcutter trails in some parts, taking the hiker past some stately old Outeniqua yellowwood trees. Choose between the moderate White Elephant Trail with its enticing rock pools, the easy Black Elephant Trail or the moderate to difficult Red Elephant Trail.

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Did You Know?

Did You Know?

  • The Wilderness section of the GRNP has a Ramsar site (wetland of global significance). It has the potential to conserve whole ecosystems from catchments to sea.

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