Recently my daughter and I embarked on a journey to Knysna where we stayed for a month. We got the opportunity to visit some really beautiful, scenic places and it's understandable that the greater area is called The Garden Route - it is generally lush green, filled with living edges, forests, mountain ranges and valleys, eclipsed by the ocean on one side that is fed by estuaries, lakes and rivers coming from inland.
This area is also loved and frequented by many swallows and I'm not surprised. They get oyster season, whale watching season, seasonal fish for those that like seafood, views to drool over, homely places that sink into your soul and memories you can scrapbook for years.
We took advantage of some of the lesser known secrets while there including this short circular walk (+-1km) where you can meet some of the remarkable trees of the Knysna and Tsitsikamma Forest regions. It is managed by South African National Parks and charges a small entrance fee for the upkeep of the area. There is an information kiosk where you get your entrance permit and you can ask the ranger any questions you may have.
The Garden of Eden has a well maintained boardwalk all the way along with numerous picnic spots where you can stop for a bite to eat or just take in the green scene around you. It is pristine here and was a hit with Lory (who is 4) as it wasn't too long to make her really tired but it was long enough that she had a good sleep once we got home!
You'd need to allocate a good hour or two to this depending on how many stops you take along the way.
There are also a few educational signs where you can learn about the ecosystem and some of the creatures in it.
Some of the trees are also marked with metal name markers so that you can learn to identify the species. I know that many of these trees are old, like really quite old - Yellowwood trees grow extremely slowly so some of these are decades old.
As we had arrived at the very start of spring it was also nice to see the new season's growth starting to show as well as signs of insects doing what they do.
We stopped numerous times at the picnic benches and there is a small vendor area with some curios. Even though there were a number of family groups there on the day, it didn't feel crowded which afforded us the serenity to walk at a comfortable pace, looking around us as we went.
To just walk through this sliver of forest was a welcome headspace break and I recommend it if you only have a small amount of time to yourself and don't feel like embarking on a long hike. It's basically flat the entire way with very little slope challenge so it's wheelchair and elderly friendly and caters to everyone. The boardwalks are wide enough to take a pram if you have a tiny tot, they'll probably sleep through most of it though.
If you are travelling on the N2 in the Knysna/Plett area and you are keen for a short bout of escapism, it really should be a stop over and leg stretch, picnic or luncheon spot. You'll also be supporting SANParks to continue their conservation efforts in the region.
The Garden Route is a great example of what the Western Cape has to offer to both international and local visitors at low cost, a scenic addition to your coastal itinerary in South Africa.
This is an original content post from my own experience and has been submitted to Pinmapple (!pinmapple -34.034452 lat 23.198378 long d3scr).