South Africa’s Forests

Holy Forest Venda

South Africa’s forests take many forms, although they make up one of the smallest ecosystems in the country. Within classic evergreen forests, usually hugging the southern and eastern coastlines, there is massive diversity. But you’ll also find mangrove forests, quiver tree forests, and most famous of all, the Modjadji Cycad Forest.

Many forests of South Africa are confined to the coastal provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape, although hundreds of smaller forests are tucked into the many valleys and gorges of its mighty mountain ranges.

A large proportion of South Africa’s forests are renowned for their incredible biodiversity and beauty, with special emphasis on unique flora and abundant birdlife.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Dlinza Forest boasts an aerial boardwalk, where you have canopy-level access to its gloriously rich birdlife, or you could visit Ndumo Game Reserve to appreciate up close its unique and rare fever forest. Then there’s the equally amazing Mkhuze Fig Forest, set in a World Heritage Site. If cycads interest you, these prehistoric plants proliferate in the Ongoye Forest, in company with the green barbet, a bird found nowhere else in the world.

Other forests found in this province include: Hawaan, Hlatikhulu, Karkloof, Ngome, Weza, each with its own endemic plant and animal species that set it apart from its surrounds.

Along the famed Garden Route in the Western Cape province you’ll discover the ‘place of clear water’, the Tsitsikamma Forest – truly spectacular and the last rare coastal rainforest in South Africa. The Grootvadersbosch near Swellendam is another one of the forests in South Africa that has enormous cultural and natural value. Its habitat includes rare fynbos vegetation and walking trails that wind around massive trees.

However, the most mysterious of the country’s forests has to be Limpopo province’s Modjadji Cycad Forest. The oldest cycads in the world grow here and are inextricably linked to the magical culture of Modjadji (the rain queen) and her people, the BaLobedu. The Thate-Vondo or Holy Forest in Venda, a well known forest in the region are also a sacred site for the Tshidzivhe local people. Venda Holy Forest

The deep gorges and ravines that characterise the rugged Eastern Cape are home to forests such as the indigenous Afro-montane Hogsback, Kologha, Longmore, Plaatbos, Storms River and the fynbos biome of Witelsbos.

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Participate in some of these Adventure Activities in the forests named above:
Canopy or Zipline Tours
Hiking or Walking
Mountain Biking
Guided or Self drive 4×4 trips

I do truly hope you enjoy South Africa and experience the forests with the leave no trace principle!

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