Knysna Forest

Across Africa, there are just a few isolated pockets of Afromontane forest, which is all that survives of the vast expanses of ancient forest that formerly blanketed the continent.

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About The Knysna Forest

One such woodland may be found on the Garden Route. The Knysna Forest, which is so thick in some areas that it is almost impenetrable, is a wonderful blend of indigenous and exotic plants. In the forest, you’ll find tree ferns and creepers, flowers, and the mysterious Knysna loerie, whose cry is heard more frequently than it is seen.

The dense forest of ironwood, Outeniqua yellowwood,  stinkwood, genuine yellowwood,  white pear, Cape holly, milkwood,  wild fig, Cape beech, assegai, bastard saffron, and kamassi trees spans 568 square kilometers between the Krom River and Mossel Bay, extending over the southern part of the Outeniqua Mountains.

The Amatole woodlands, located farther inland, form the southernmost Afromontane forest in Africa. As a result of conservation efforts, this densely forested area is teeming with wildlife, including a chameleon indigenous to the Knysna region. However, its past is far from benign.

Back in the days when forests were thought to be so vast that nothing could ever exhaust them, timber harvesting destroyed the ecosystem by cutting down trees. Before being reduced to 1 900 square kilometers by logging, expansion, and a massive fire, the forest covered an area of probably 2 500 square kilometers.

More than a few of the continent’s big animal populations have been decimated. As one of the forest’s best-known residents, the Knysna elephants are often debated as to where they are or even whether they exist at all.

By 1990, just four elephants survived from the approximately 500 that roamed the forest in 1860. A reintroduction effort to increase their population has been a failure. Because of human development, their former migratory route is no longer viable.

Garden Route Stays offers self catering accommodation near the Knysna Forest.  Book now!

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