Did you know?
South Africa's indigenous tree ferns can live to be hundreds of years old.
The Tsitsikamma Woodcutters Journey takes you through the Tsitsikamma Forest National Park – among South Africa’s most beautiful national parks.
Although you can walk or cycle around the park without supervision, the Tsitsikamma Woodcutters Journey offers you the opportunity to take a guided forest tour in a specially designed vehicle, with fully qualified naturalists pointing out and explaining the natural wonders of the Tsitsikamma forest as you trundle through it.
As you start your Tsitsikamma Woodcutters Journey look north to where the Storms River peak rises some 1 016m above sea level. To the south is the Indian Ocean.
The Tsitsikamma consists of afro-montane forest. Rainwater-fed streams tumble down through tall trees trees and thick undergrowth. No wonder that the name Tsitsikamma means 'place of many waters'.
Apart from the fine old indigenous trees, such as Outeniqua yellowwood and stinkwood, there are 20 different fern species, including the prized forest ferns, many tons of which are regularly exported to Europe.
Your guide will let you feel the aptly named leather fern, and point out the crazy leaf fern, the seven-week fern and the lovely storm lily. It’s cool in the forest, but because you’re in the southern hemisphere, notice how the sun slants from the north through the forest canopy.
Check out the Bushmen’s bedding – the soft growth of the helichrysum. You’ll love the eucalyptus-like smell, and, as the Bushmen knew so well, insects despise it. A fresh infusion of the leaves is also believed to relieve asthma, high blood pressure and stress.
However, you’ll be far from stressed on this tranquil forest journey. Look out for some of the many creatures that call this forest home, such as the Cape clawless otter and 100s of birds including the elusive Narina trogon.