Experiencing The Knysna Forests: The Knysna forests are exquisite for their dense greenery and their sheer abundance of stunning plant- and animal species. For generations, these forests have been the home of an array of wildlife, but also to communities of people that have lived off the forest, completely secluded from the outside world.
Today, visitors from all over the world come to the forests of Knysna to immerse themselves in its natural beauty and to witness a haven in which it feels like time stood still. Whether they choose to enjoy a picnic, cycle the trails or simply walk them at a comfortable pace, these visitors are assured of an experience that leaves lasting memories.
The hiking trails through the forests are particularly fun, especially for couples or groups. Waterfalls and towering trees that are hundreds of years old leave everyone, whether young or old, in awe of the splendour of these woods.
Hiking trails, by their very nature, require a certain amount of fitness. They may necessitate climbing some rocks or negotiating tricky parts of the trail. But, there are also easier walking trails through the forests that are suitable for just about any age group. Guides are available, and will add insights into the walk or hike of the forests, particularly regarding the history as well as the fauna and flora.
Cycling enthusiasts are reminded to bring their bicycles along and experience the forests from the comfort of the saddle. The terrain is different from the bushveld, giving cyclists an opportunity to learn new techniques and test their skills and limits.
Guided tours of the forests are a fabulous way to appreciate the natural abundance on offer along the Garden Route. Such hikes range from just over an hour to as long as six hours. Your choice will depend on your fitness and endurance levels, as well as on what you want to see and do.
Elephant walks, for example, will take hikers on a historic tour of the parts of the forest that were once occupied with hundreds of African Elephants. Today, a fraction of these remain. There are also guided walks along mining circuits and coastal routes or through nature reserves like Goukamma, Robberg and Nature’s Valley.
To make the most out of your hiking experience in the Knysna forests, ensure that you are properly prepared, and always have your safety foremost in mind. Carry plenty of water on you, as well as a communication device that will enable you to communicate with the outside world while you are in the forest in case of an emergency (a mobile phone is ideal).
Whether your hike is long or short, pack some energy-boosting snacks, and always wear comfortable shoes and socks to avoid being sore or uncomfortable while enjoying the splendour of the Knysna forests.