FOREST WALK


 

There is a short walk down to the forest, keep straight past the sign for 5E and you will descend into the forest. Take care it can be muddy and slippery after rains.  Once amongst the trees follow the yellow arrows and cross the stream into deep forest. Please be aware the forest is extensive, keep to the path and do not get lost.

More ambitious hikers should explore the many well organized trails at Diepvalle, Harkerville Forestry and Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve (info from Cape Nature or Knysna or Plett Tourism office).

The Eden forest walk descends through a diverse belt of fynbos which thrive in the acidic, well-drained soil.

FLORA

The Eden forest walk descends through a diverse belt of fynbos – Ericas, Restios, Lucadendrons, and many more species, which thrive in the acidic, well-drained soil.

 

This incredibly diverse biome boasts 8600 species worldwide, of which 2/3rds are found in the Cape Province. Fynbos seeds rely on fire and ants to germinate, can withstand severe drought, and thrive in the wind. Fynbos is very flammable due to the high oil content in the leaves, so please be very cautious not to start fires.

 

In the valley below, a pristine indigenous forest thrives, in the damp nutrient-rich soils. This pocket is part of the 65000 hectares of indigenous relic forest that fortunately escaped destruction in the great fire of Feb. 1869. This fire swept from Swellendam to Uitenhage destroying thousands of hectares of vegetation.

 

A variety of trees, mosses, and ferns create this enchanting ecosystem that perpetuates the timeless cycle that is an indigenous forest.The abundant saplings, and seven-week ferns testify to the integrity of this forest system.

 

Yellowwoods, Ironwoods, Stinkwoods, and Hard pear trees to mention but a few of the species, make up this pristine forest. Alien trees including Blackwoods, Wattle, Gum and Pine trees, border the indigenous forest, and we will be managing these as part of the alien-clearing project.

Blackwoods deserve a special mention as they are fast becoming “indigenous”, and provide  valuable timber, thus affording protection to the indigenous  forest. You may see a few big tree stumps in the forest- these are harvested Blackwoods.

FAUNA – WILDLIFE 

 

Bushbuck,
Duiker,
Greysbok,
Bushpig,
African elephant,
Cape grey mongoose,
Cape clawless otter,
Porcupine,
Vervet  monkeys
Chakma baboons

BIRDS

 

Fish Eagle
Grey Cuckoo Shrike
Olive woodpecker
Forest buzzard
Jackal buzzard
Thrush
Forest canary
Cape robin
Wagtail
Bar throated Apalis

Spotted Eagle Owl
Neddicky
Karoo Prinia
Sunbirds (orange breasted, half coloured, black, fernveld)
Sugarbird
Drongos
Mousebirds
Grassbirds
Bokmakierie
Flycatchers  (paradise, Bluemantle, fiscal)
Knysna Loerie

The Eden forest walk descends through a diverse belt of fynbos which thrive in the acidic, well-drained soil.

ELEPHANTS

 

Six African elephant are known to still roam the greater Knysna forests, and of relevant interest is the fact that years ago, the elephants used to graze in the clearing below the forest.  Camera traps placed in the forest  have captured images of at least four different elephants in the Diewvalle area.