The Knysna Forest 4x4 Trail, in the Garden Route National Park, goes deep into one of South Africa's most beautiful indigenous forests. You'll see forest streams, ancient yellowwood and stinkwood trees, and colourful birds such as the Knysna turaco and the Narina trogon.

Did you know?

The rare Knysna dwarf chameleon can be seen on the 4X4 trail.

Drive your own 4x4 or take the Hop On option with a guide and follow the gorgeous Knysna Forest 4x4 Trail. This 4x4 trail takes you deep into Knysna's ancient indigenous forest.

The trail is in the Garden Route National Park. Proclaimed in 2009, it's one of South Africa’s newest national parks. The park straddles the Eastern and Western Cape provinces and is home to an amazing variety of habitat – coasts, lakes, wetlands, mountain fynbos and forest.

It's usually only hikers or mountain bikers that get to see this part of the Garden Route's forest, but when you drive the Knysna Forest 4x4 Trail you'll also share some of its wonders. Ancient yellowwood and stinkwood trees rear up out of the undergrowth, ferns cluster the forest floor and birdcalls echo through the thick foliage.

Your 4x4 trail takes you close to an area where a crashed helicopter lay undetected for seven years, and then along an old narrow gauge railway line that was used for transporting wood when timber was felled here during previous centuries.

If you take the Hop On option, your guide will tell you about the history of the woodcutters of the area, and how development and exploitation of the timber previously threatened the ancient forest. If you're really lucky, you might even spot the elusive and rare Knysna elephant.

You'll stop for a simple but tasty lunch at the Deep Walls Forest Community Restaurant before heading back through the forest.

If you're driving yourself, don't worry that the trail will be too hard. It's challenging, certainly, but not technically difficult.

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