The Diepwalle Elephant Walk is a manageable trail that takes you into the forest proper and gives you an opportunity to enjoy the smaller things like colorful fungus and millipedes which are easy to miss.
Getting there: take the N2 out of Knysna in the direction of Plettenberg Bay. Take a left onto the Uniondale turnoff and head north into the forest.
Difficulty: easy to follow trail
The trail follows a clockwise loop through dense undergrowth and is well signposted with red elephants on a yellow background. The one place we were slightly baffled was at the point where you exit the forest and find yourself at the road you arrived upon — here you must head to the right, along the road for a very short distance before finding the next signpost and heading into the forest on the opposite side of the road.
We came across a mess of feathers on the trail which looked to be a the remains of a Loerie.
It’s worth factoring in at least an hour to browse The Forest Museum which offers tons of details with loads of photos of the history of the Knysna Forest. By this time you will be famished so head over to the community tea room for some (very basic) refreshments.
We also got a chance to stop by at the camping decks.
Outeniqua yellowwood, Podocarpus falcatus
Diepwalle Camping decks
A roosterkoek from Oude Post Bistro is the ultimate padkos and we stop there every time we travel up to the Garden Route!
Getting there: On the N2 at Buffeljagsrivier
Foursquare: Oude Post Bistro
Oude Post Bistro is adjoining a fuel station and a small shop. It has plenty of off-street parking and an outdoor area with a kids play area. It even has a small petting zoo!
I am told that originally two enterprising ladies started making roosterkoek on half-drum braais in the parking lot. Now there is a lovely bistro serving delicious food and drinks.
Roosterkoek, Oude Post
Roosterkoek, Oude Post
First we brought you cherry picking at Klondyke, now you can enjoy picking your own olives at Mount Ceder.
If you have ever driven to the Cederberg via Ceres and Op-die-Berg you will no doubt have passed through Mount Ceder and its olive groves which line the district road. Guests of Mount Ceder can arrange with Reception to pick 2kg’s of olives.
Rows of the two varietals are planted in the same grove, and at first we were not sure if we would find any Frantoio. However, the difference is quite marked, with the Frantoio having a more rounded berry. The Frantoio were also far juicier, and the juice was a startling red as was the flesh; much like a cherry. The juices are intense and whilst acidic and green you can definitely recognise the characteristic olive oil flavour and scent.
Our olives are currently soaking in brine at home.
Olive picking at Mount Ceder
Frantoio olives, Mount Ceder
Frantoio olive, Mount Ceder
George Rex Esquire once owned pretty much all of Knysna, which must have been pretty grand, even if there was no Mitchell’s Brewery to speak of in the mid-1800′s.
Getting there: as you leave Knysna on the N2 heading in the Plettenberg Bay direction, just after George Rex Drive, take the second right into Plover Road, and then immediately turn left onto a dirt road.
GPS Coordinates: 34°02’33.0″, S 23°04’43.0″E
I love Knysna and enjoy the fact that it has a super-colorful past which includes frontier-style fables of rough wood-cutter folk, even rougher sea-dogs and diggers with the glint of gold in their eyes! Admittedly, much of my interest is both fuelled and coloured by the characters in Dalene Matthee’s books, most of whom are fictional.
George Rex was rumoured to have been the illegitimate son of George III (Prince of Wales at the time) and a Quaker girl, Hannah Lightfoot. The theory is that he was sent to the Cape Colony to avoid a royal embarrassment.
Whilst the grave is no great sight to behold, it is close to the N2 and can be visited quickly and easily, so if you enjoy the history of the area it is worth popping by.
The grave of George Rex, Esquire
At the grave of George Rex, Esquire
To learn more about this fascinating story, read “Timber and Tides: The Story of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay” by Winifred Tapson.
The Goukamma Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area offers 6 hikes: Blombos, Galjoen, Porcupine, Cape Clawless Otter, Bushpig and Buffalo Bay Trails.
Getting there: take the Buffels Bay turnoff from the N2 just before Knysna from the Cape Town side.
Almost all of the trails start off with the novelty of crossing the river via a hand-pulled pont. Please do not miss the lifejackets near the landing but on the other side of the road!
Easy to follow sandy trail heads inland with the river on your right.
Sandy track in the shade of the dune forest
We spotted a Knysna Loerie hopping along the branches in the canopy — always a treat!
Watch the tides if you are going on beach
We realised near the end that we had taken a jeep track that was actually closed; unfortunately the signage at the point where we reached the beach was a bit lacking.
Crossing the Goukamma on the pont
Knysna Loerie, Tauraco corythaix, Goukamma Nature Reserve
Goukamma River pont
The inaugural Matroosberg Trail Challenge was a huge success last year. This year the event returns with the promise of more pain!
When: 25 October 2014
Where: Matroosberg Private Nature Reserve
- 14km Run
- FUN and Fast run around the base of the Matroosberg Mountain.
- 24km Challenge
- Possible route change for this Challenge
- 37km SkyMarathon®
- Arguably one of the toughest mountain runs out there today.
- Included in the SA SKyRunner® Series
- 50km Ultra Marathon (New) – Ultra SkyMarathon® classification pending
- Many route options available but we will include the one with just the right amount hurt for you
- This run is not called Matroosberg Revenge for nothing!
- Minimum 3700m accumulative elevation gain.
- Easy-peasy : Up, Over, Down and return.
- Limited field
Matroosberg Trail Challenge 2014
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