There is a short walk down to the forest, keep straight past the sign for Erica Chalet and you will descend into the forest. Take care it can be muddy and slippery after rains. Once amongst the trees follow the path 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 – 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.
FAUNA – WILDLIFE
Cape grey mongoose,
Cape clawless otter,
Grey Cuckoo Shrike
Bar throated Apalis
Spotted Eagle Owl
Sunbirds (orange breasted, half coloured, black, fernveld)
Flycatchers (paradise, Bluemantle, fiscal)