The Elephant Walk

Diepwalle Forest Station, near Knysna, Western Cape


The Knysna Forests are probably the finest example of Southern African indigenous forests. The area is famous as the last outpost of the Knysna Elephant. In recent times Dalene Mathee helped to highlight the area through her popular books Fiela se kind /Fiela's Child and Kringe se Bos/Circles in the Forest. As you walk through the forest, it is not  difficult to imagine the woodcutter plying his way through the forest in search of suitable lumber.

Trail Map (Click on map for larger image)

         
  Diepwalle Forest Station, the starting point for the trail, is situated 23km north of Knysna and is reached along the Uniondale road. Maps andpermits to walk the trail must be obtained from the office at Diepwalle. The whole trail is about 20km long and should take about 6-7 hours to walk. To help those who can't walk the whole trail, the route has been split down into three sections, colour coded for easy identification. The shorter routes are 9km(3-4hrs), 7km (2-3hrs) and 6,5km (2-3hrs)  
The Office The Tea Room
The Starting Point Trail Marking
 
         
 
 

Diepwalle is a stopover point on the Outeniqua Trail and a small part of the Elephant walk co-insides with that of the 6 day trail. The trail passes through magnificent forests with beautiful streams to rest by.

 
         
 

Enormous examples of the Outeniqua Yellowwood (Podocarpus falcatus) are to be found along the route. There are also magnificent examples of the Forest Tree Fern (Alsophila capensis).

 
 

Conclusion

The whole route requires a certain degree of fitness, but as the route circles the forest station, there are many exit points that can be taken along the route. The trail is well worth doing even if you have already done part of it by doing the Outeniqua Trail.

This is one of the many day trails in the Tsitsikamma area. Take your time and enjoy the amazing experience of walking in pristine Knysna forest.

 If you plan on spending a few days in the area, why not enquire about staying at The Tree-Top Forest Chalet which is tucked away in the forest between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. The rates are very reasonable and the chalet very comfortable.

Enquiries and Bookings for the Tree-Top Forest Lodge

SANparks

PO Box 3542 Knysna, 6570

Tel.+27(0) 44-302-5606

Fax +27(0) 44-302-5627

e-mail cathyv@sanparks.org


Footprint Hiking Club

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