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Thursday, March 31, 2016

SANPARKS Diepwalle Forest Knysna

We decided to explore and experience the Diepwalle Forest section of SANPARKS in the Knysna area on a rainy day.  Driving from Knysna, we took the first turn left as we exit the town towards Plettenberg Bay, right into their local township.  The second turn left proved to be the correct road, and shortly we were immersed into the most beautiful forest, and this scenery did not change for the rest of our 50 km circular drive back into Knysna.

Part of this stunning route, was a stop at the majestic King Edward Tree.  It was raining for most of the day, so we did not expect to see much.  As luck would have it, we had a break in the rainy weather and managed to see this 800 year old beauty in all its splendor.



The King Edward Tree is about 800 years old.

It's one of only a few giant trees left in the Knysna Forest, and it's one of the biggest: it's more than 40 m tall.
the circumference of its trunk is more than 7 meters.
Its precious bark protects the delicate highway of vessels that take water to the leaves, and bring nutrients to the roots.

Which brings us to the next important topic:  A tribute to the original Woodcutters of Knysna.  These 300 poor families lived in harsh conditions, with little to no education, and all they knew were how to harvest giant trees for very little income.

The Carnegie Commission did a study in 1932 to find that if they did not put a stop to these woodcutters activities, they would have completely destroyed every giant tree.  Seven years later they pensioned 258 families off to stop them from further cutting and destroying majestic giants, and started a forestation project to control the timber industry in the area.  SANPARKS have taken on the ownership to assist in the preservation of these memories and a full history of the Woodcutters can be found in the Woodcutters Museum at the Diepwalle Forest Section near Knysna.




How to get there

Directions to the Knysna indigenous forest complex:

Includes the Diepwalle Forest area, camping decks, Tea Garden and Forest Legends Museum.
  • Follow the N2 for 6km east of Knysna.
  • Take the Uniondale (R339) turn-off to the left and drive another 16km to Diepwalle.
  • The R339 is a provincial gravel road to Diepwalle.
Activities for the area:
Hiking, Mountain biking, Camping, Self Catering

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