Diepwalle Elephant Trails


When one thinks of hiking in the Garden Route area, the first trail that springs to mind is the Otter Trail. Give it some more thought and the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua Trails start to feature. However, from time to time you might find yourself in the Garden Route purely for holiday, or just passing through for a day or two and not enough time for a multi-day hike, but still itching to go for a walk. It’s then that you head to the Diepwalle Forestry Station and go lose yourself in the Knysna forest on one of the Elephant Trails.


Three trails, of varying difficulty, wind their way through pristine Knysna forest, starting and ending at the Diepwalle Forestry Station:

  • Black Route: 9km; circular (Easy: 3-4 hours)
  • White Route: 8km; circular (Moderate: 3-4 hours)
  • Red Route: 7km; circular (Moderate – Difficult: 3-4 hours)


The trail is a mix of forestry road, woodcutter trails and boardwalk, winding its way past giant old yellowwoods, stinkwood trees, gurgling streams and beautiful tree ferns.



Along the forest floor, the fungi are a delight to behold. From the brightest orange to something that looks like Oreos growing out the side of a tree.


If you keep your eyes open, you might spot a Knysna Loerie or a Knysna dwarf chameleon.


Walk slowly, listen carefully and let the magic of the Knysna forest carry you into its dream…

For more information, contact the Diepwalle Forestry Station on 044 382 9762/3.

About Arno van der Heever 54 Articles
Co-founder of Hiking South Africa, Arno loves the outdoors and finds joy in sharing it with others. He is a qualified mountain guide, a keen rock climber and has a "thing" for technical footwear and backpacks.


  1. Thanks for an awesome article! Did the recent Knysna fires affect the Diepwalle area at all? We want to go camp there again soon!

    • As far as we know, Diepwalle and the Knysna forest in general was unaffected by the fire, but maybe contact the forestry station to double check before you go.

  2. Fires did not come near Diepwalle, thank heavens for that. We camped at Diepwalle this past weekend, what an awesome place and scenic hiking trails, did white and black trails. Very neat ablutions and clean park. Camping on a wooden deck is just something you need to experience, rained hard on Thursday evening but the rest of the time we had good clear skies and millions of stars at night.

  3. We would like to do a hike in the Diepwalle Forest. Can we just arrive on the day, or must we book in advance?
    We would also like to picnic at Valley of Ferns: same question…is booking in advance required?

    • For the day hikes, you should just be able to arrive without booking. You can contact the Diepwalle Forestry Station on 044 382 9762/3 for more information.

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