‘Rooted in Time’ Knysna Forest Self-Drive Tour

Rooted in Time logoThe Garden Route National Park team worked closely with the Knysna Historical Society and other stakeholders to establish a historical route in one of South Africa’s largest individual forests. It’s called ‘Rooted in Time’.

Visitors to the Garden Route can drive to 10 well-marked, historically significant locations in the Knysna forest. The route comes with a map of the 10 areas dubbed “Rooted in Time”. There are signs detailing historical accounts at each stop.

These maps can be collected from the SANPark’s office on the beautiful edge of Thesen Islands (2km from the city centre). Or download it here.

‘Rooted in Time’ is a fun and affordable way to experience Knysna’s natural splendour. You can choose from the following or spend the day enjoying them all:

(1) Ysterhoutrug Picnic Site & Templeman Station

(2) Forest Legends Museum, (3) Old Suzie Steam Engine & (4) Old Forester’s House (now tea room)

(5) The Big Tree (with 450m forest walk)

(6) Velbroeks Draai (picnic spot/1km easy forest hike)

((7) Spitskop Viewpoint

(8) The Valley of the Ferns a.k.a. Die Dal Van Varings

(9) Kom-se-Pad & (10) San Ambroso Chapel Museum

Rooted in Time Route Directions

Drive duration: 5 hours.

  • From Knysna take the N2 towards Plettenberg Bay.
  • About 4km from Knysna take the R339 Uniondale turnoff to the left and follow this road for 15km to reach the first stop on the Rooted in Time Drive.
  • A Route Marker should indicate the first stop: Templeman Station.
  • From Templeman Station, travel along the R339 for another 2km and turn right at the sign which indicates
    Diepwalle Forest Station.
  • At the top of the hill, find the Forest Legends Museum, Suzie Steam Engine and the Old Forester’s House.
  • Travel back down the hill and cross the R339 to the entrance of the King Edward VII Big Tree. Pay a minimal entrance fee at this point and enjoy a short walk around this majestic tree.
  • Continue along the R339 towards your 6th stop, Veldbroeksdraai.
  • From Veldbroeksdraai, continue on the R339 and take a left turn to Spitskop View Point.
  • Travel back down to the R339 and stop of at Dal van Varings for a refreshing venture into the Valley of the Ferns miniature walk.
  • Back track on the R339 (back to Knysna) and look out for a right turn to Kom-se-Pad.
  • The final leg: Take Kom-se-Pad and enjoy a long drive through the fresh green forest. At the 9th stop, park the car and read about the Forest Elephants and famous author Dalene Matthee.
  • Continue on the Kom-se-Pad road to Gouna and lookout for the Route Marker indicating the San Ambroso Chapel Museum. This is your last stop.
  • To return to Knysna, continue along the Kom-se-Pad road which will lead you down the mountain. At the T-junction turn right onto Old Cape Road and follow the winding road all the way down to the N2 (about 15km from Gouna to N2).

For media contact: Nandi Mgwadlamba – 044 302 5633 / nandi.mgwadlamba@sanparks.org.

Rooted in Time map