This vantage point on top of a mountain offers a panoramic view of Knysna and outlying areas and has been described on Trip Advisor as “one of the best views in South Africa.”
The Garden Route is full of wow-moments and memories, but for those who are willing to go off the beaten track, there is a gem waiting just an hour’s drive from Knysna.
Yes, the famous Knysna Heads is definitely on the to-do list, but visitors should also experience the Spitzkop viewing site, which is in the Ysternek Nature Reserve of forest and fynbos, elephants and birds.
Amazing vista on top of the world
Part of SANParks, at 918 metres (3,011 ft), Spitzkop is the highest accessible peak in the Garden Route district. An amazing vista in an awesome setting, this view point is a wonderful place to see the Knysna Heads, the Robberg Peninsula and on a clear day you can see as far as Mossel Bay.
A weather dictating experience
The view is bound to be different every time you visit. If it is a fine sunny day, no matter what season, you can see forever. Don’t put off going on a winter’s day – as with all high peaks, it can be cold up there, especially if the wind blows, so dress warm. The effort will be rewarded – the clouds settling like white table cloths on the hills will give you the stuff memories are made of.
Make it a day trip and explore the Diepwalle forest station and surrounding areas
The best way of doing Spitzkop is to plan on a whole day out and visit the SANParks Diepwalle Forest Station on your way up.
About 4km outside of Knysna towards Port Elizabeth take the R339 Uniondale turnoff to the left and follow it for 15km to reach the Diepwalle Forest Station.
Here you can visit the massive 800-year-old King Edward V11 Outeniqua Yellowwood tree some 40 metres tall. Then you have options to choose from on The SANParks Rooted in Time map.
The Forest Legends Museum is a must to immerse yourself in the history of woodcutters, life of the gold diggers and elephants of the forest – and there are various hiking trails that start from Diepwalle.
A tricky drive
From Diepwalle plan on at least an hour to Spitzkop. It is clearly signposted from the SANParks station, or can be accessed on the R339 without going into Diepwalle.
It is about a kilometre slow drive up a very narrow windy gravel road. The drive can be done in a normal sedan, but a vehicle with higher clearance would be better. There are times when it seems like you could slip off the small road hugging the mountain and special caution is needed after rainy weather.
Nothing really worthwhile ever comes without some effort and so it would be true to say here that the drive to the top of Spitzkop is a challenge and possibly not for the faint of heart. The view however will be well worth the trip!