There are few things as rewarding as being in the heart of the Knysna indigenous forest. There are many different forest destinations from which to choose, but undoubtedly the most popular of all our local forest forays is Jubilee Creek in the Goudveld Forest.
Situated in a sun-bathed forest clearing, Jubilee Creek boasts numerous designated picnic spots on the grassy banks of a gently flowing, cola-coloured forest stream. It serves as the perfect setting to while away a lazy summer’s day.
Take a short hike
Feeling a little adventurous? There is a short but delightful hiking trail at Jubilee Creek that takes you through a maze of indigenous forest, with several age-old tree species extending beyond the forest canopy.
At first the trail follows the edge of the forest stream, and criss-crosses it several times before eventually veering deeper into the forest. This short hike forms part of the famous 5-day Outeniqua Hiking trail and you will literally be walking in the very footsteps of the miners that flocked here in the 1880’s in search of gold. It was a short-lived gold rush , but remnants of this mining activity can be seen along this centuries-old forest path.
A fascinating, interconnected abundance of life
You can easily spend several hours in the comforting cloak of the forest as there is so much to see along the way. The beauty of the forest lies in all the little details: different species of velvety green moss draped over the bark of trees and rocks, all remarkable in their complexity; the multi-coloured forest fungi that grows on the fallen trunks of decaying timber; the various shades of leaf litter; the wispy, pale green lichen which hangs like chandeliers from the limbs of the trees and the bold Bracken ferns which edge the pathways. Keep your eyes peeled for our magnificent Knysna loerie (Tauraco corythaix), our region’s most iconic bird species. They are often difficult to see, but you cannot miss their distinctive call. Another common bird species is the Knysna woodpecker (Campethera notata) which forages at all levels of the tree canopy, pecking and probing in search of tasty little morsels.
A waterfall and a well deserved swim
At the end of the trail you are rewarded by a waterfall which spills gently into a deep, dark forest pool, perfect for a dip if you can brave the icy water. After the hike, which is about 3,5km in total, you can find a spot along the stream in the forest clearing and enjoy a leisurely picnic.
Permits obtainable from the Goudveld entrance gate at Bibby’s Hoek. Find more information on pricing, permits, etc here …
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. Follow the signs to the Jubilee Creek picnic site, about 10km from the entrance.