About Elephant Walk
The starting point for this stunning trail is Diepwalle Forest Station, situated 23 km north of Knysna along the Uniondale road.
If you don't have time to walk the entire trail, the route can be done in three sections. Each is colour coded for easy identification, with the shortest route of 6.5 km, Elephant Walk III, marked with red elephant motifs and black on yellow arrows.
Prepare to be seduced by big trees, fungi, tree ferns, lichens, pretty tumbling streams and forest birds! Diepwalle is an awesome rainforest and is the refuge of a tiny remnant of the famous and highly secretive Knysna elephants. It was thought that only a solitary elderly cow remained but recent research has found that there may be seven or more.
The circular red route is fairly easy and follows a short section of the Outeniqua Hiking Trail and passes two gigantic Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that are over 600 years. Elephant Walk I (black) is 9 km and Elephant Walk II (white) is 8 km.
Along with 30 m high yellowwoods, other trees to spot are stinkwood, ironwood, white pear, and Cape holly. Birds to look out for are the Narina trogon, red-billed wood hoopoe, olive woodpecker, black-headed oriole and the Knysna turaco (loerie). Vervet monkeys can often be seen clambering in the tree tops.
Permits are obtained at the Diepwalle Forest Station office. Grab a map and tree identification list (various trees are numbered). There is a lovely tea room here – the scones go down well after tripping through the woods.
Accommodation near Elephant Walk
Elephant Walk Map
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling