KNYSNA TOP 5 HIKING ROUTES

JUBILEE CREEK FOREST TRAIL

The picnic site is situated on the banks of Millwood Creek, a cool forest stream lazily flowing through the area. This is an ideal day outing for the family, young and old. Take swim wear for the kids and a blanket to catch a nap on the grass. There is a beautiful pool at the end of the hike to swim in.

Distance: 3.6km, out-and-back.

Difficulty: Easy

Permits/Costs:
R17 per person for adults.
R9 per person for children under the age of 13.
Permits obtainable from the Goudveld entrance gate at Bibby’s Hoek.

Contact number: 
Goudveld Forestry Station – 044 389 0129
Thesen Island Office – 044 302 5600

Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, 8km out take the Rheenendal turnoff to the right. Follow this road for 12.6km and take the Bibby’s Hoek / Millwood Gold Fields turnoff to the right (becomes gravel just after the turn). You will reach a four way crossing with a boom, sign in and pay here. Sometime out of season this boom is open and unmanned. Follow the Jubilee Creek directions to the Jubilee Creek picnic site, 10km.

Coordinates: S33 53.310 E22 58.005

ELEPHANT WALK (3 TRAILS)

The White Elephant Trail has the most enticing rock pool where you can stop for a picnic and even have a dip in summer. But please be sensitive to the environment. The Black Elephant Trail pass through both the Ysterhoutrug and King Edward VII picnic sites and the Red Elephant Trail crosses a little stream exactly halfway ideal for a lunch stop.  If you feel really energetic you can link the routes into one long route of 18.2km which takes approximately 6-7 hours to walk. This includes rests, a slow pace and lots of time to look around.  Apart from just walking, give attention to the huge yellowwoods, the stinkwood trees that topple over and just keep on growing, the vast variety of fungi, the fynbos, vervet monkeys playing in the tree tops and if you are lucky you might even spot the elusive Knysna Loerie.

Distances: 
Elephant 1 (Black) 9 km, easy, circular route, start at forestry station.
Elephant 2 (White) 8 km from forest station or 6.5km from Diepwalle picnic site, easy, circular route.
Elephant 3 (Red) 7km, moderate, circular route, start at forestry station.

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult.

Route markers: These trails follow the Outeniqua Hiking Trail (white| yellow shoe print) in places, Elephant Walks are marked with colored elephants on yellow plastic signs or on trees.

Permits: Permits are obtainable from the Diepwalle Forestry Station. When the offices are closed issue yourself a self issue permit from the wooden box under the tree in front of the offices. Free for Wild Card members.

Contact numbers: Diepwalle Forestry Station – 044 382 9762/3

Directions: From Knysna take the N2 towards Plettenberg Bay. About 4 km from Knysna take the R339 Uniondale turnoff to the left and follow this road for 15.5km, take the Diepwalle turnoff to the right. Continue for 1 km and stop at Diepwalle Forestry Station.

Coordinates: S33 56.909 E23 09.434

TERBLANS WALK

The Terblans Walk is an easy and beautiful walk through the  indigenous Knysna forest. It starts and ends at the Grootdraai picnic site, ideal for a picnic before or after the hike. From the Grootdraai picnic site the trail heads in to the forest sharing the path with the Outeniqua overnight trail so be sure to keep right at the fork shortly after the start, follow the bush pig signs. The path meanders through the forest and crosses some small forest streams. A little further there is another junction with the Outeniqua trail, keep to the right here as well. The trail comes to a gravel service road, turn right, the trail continues on the other side just a short distance down the road. Shortly after the road crossing the is a cement dam in the stream were you can take a refreshing swim. The trail later crosses a service road for the second time. Along this section the trail skirts the forest along a blue gum tree plantation and later a pine plantation. The trail walks out onto a service road for the 3rd time, turn right here again, this is Kom-se-pad. 

Distance: 6.5km, circular route.

Difficulty: Moderate.

Route markers: The route follows the Outeniqua Hiking Trail in places, Terblans route markers are yellow plastic signs with a bushpig on. There are quite a couple of forest slip-paths in this area, don’t mistake them for the trail.

Permits/Costs: Self issue permit at the start.

Contact Numbers: Diepwalle Forestry Station – 044 382 9762/3

Directions: Head out of Knysna towards George, along the lagoon take the Old Cape Road turnoff to Gouna / Simola, follow this road past Simola. As the road becomes gravel take the Gouna turnoff to the left. Follow this road past the Gouna Forest Station to the Grootdraai Picnic site along Kom-se-pad. This picnic site can also be reached by taking the Kom-se-Pad turn off from the R339 near Diepwalle.

Coordinates: S33 56.716 E23 03.244

BUFFALO | BRENTON BEACH WALK

This is a beautiful walk along the beach between Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay and offers beautiful photographic opportunities at sunset.  The walk can be commenced from either Brenton-on-Sea or Buffalo Bay, but to do the entire walk it is advised that you go at low tide, otherwise it might be difficult to pass between the fynbos and sea in some places.

Distance: 5.5km (one way).

Difficulty: Easy beach walk.

Caution: If you take the kids along for a swim, I would advise that they swim in the marked areas at Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay because there is a backwash in some areas along the beach.

Directions to Brenton-on-Sea: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, just as you cross the White Bridge turn right (Brenton-on-Sea, Belvidere). 
Follow this road to the parking area at Benton-on-Sea.

Coordinates: S34 04.402 E23 01.205

Directions to Buffalo Bay: From Knysna take the N2 towards George, about 11km out take the Buffalo Bay turn-off to the left. 
Follow this road for 10km and park at the Superette at Buffalo Bay.

Coordinates: S34 05.165 E22 58.423

BUSHBUCK TRAIL (FEATHERBED NATURE RESERVE)

Featherbed Nature Reserve is a unique 150 ha private Nature Reserve, encompassing the whole of the Western Head of Knysna and one of South Africa’s unique Natural Heritage Sites. Featherbed is a pristine piece of paradise that is accessible by ferry only (the 4×4 vehicle belongs to the Reserve). The Bushbuck Trail is a 2.2-kilometer guided walk, passing through Milkwood forests onto the steep sandstone cliffs, into ancient Khoi Khoi sea caves and along a scenic coastal path fringed with aromatic fynbos (shrub of the Western Cape of South Africa). It was a very enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to all.

Trail type: Dirt and boardwalk
Parking: 
Not Listed
Trail allowances or restrictions: 
Not listed

Coordinates: S 34° 05.022 E 023° 03.304

34H E 689610 N 6226657

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