Tag Archives: forest

Ferns and Forest in the Garden of Eden, Knysna (2019-01-05) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 29 JUL 2019

Halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay sits an ideal spot to introduce your kids to the gorgeous forests of the Garden Route National Park, a literal stop and stretch your legs point right along the N2 itself.

Part of the Harkerville Forest, the Garden of Eden is a long running site that has been welcoming visitors to its short shady paths since 1926. A superb example of the Wet High Forest biosphere, the Garden of Eden contains a number of moist ferns and tree species, including tall stinkwood, kalander, and wit-els.

The site only has about 1 km or so of wooden boardwalks to follow through the forest (arranged in two 500 m loops), making it particularly suitable for young kids, the elderly and of course the disabled. There are plenty of benches and tables scattered about, so you could also theoretically enjoy a nice picnic whilst watching all the moss and lichen grow.

During the day the site is manned (and so there is a small SANParks entrance fee to pay), and on the whole the Garden of Eden is a very well maintained and signposted taste of the Garden Route’s gorgeous nature.

So naturally we had to stop and take some pictures.

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Fishing and Picnics at Majik Forest in Bellville (2017-12-22) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 30 AUG 2018

The Durbanville/Bellville area is home to a couple of nice greenbelt areas, not necessarily as lush green as those found in Constantia and the like, but certainly nice wide open spaces with lots of grass and loads of good picnic spots. One of the better known ones is Majik Forest, a strip on the edge of Welgemoed that encompasses two dams (Fynbos Dam and Amandel Dam) and of course the titular small forest.

Naturally this then means that you are bound to encounter quite a few families spending some quality time down on the grass together, either enjoying a picnic, trying their hand at a bit of fishing or going for long walks. (The forest on the other hand is the perfect spot for teenagers looking for a bit of privacy – or at least that is how it was back when I was growing up!)

Mountain bikers have laid some serious claim to Majik Forest, with the Tygerberg MTB Club setting up shop and laying out various trails over the area. The park is also adjacent to Vink’s Arboretum, another great public space that is home to over 500 different indigenous trees!

So, a great option to keep in mind if you find yourself in the Northern Suburbs and want to get the kids off the couch and away from the tablet/TV!

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Side Note: Although security used to be somewhat of an issue in the area, following the fencing off of the entire public space, things have gotten much better, thus seeing an influx of families returning to relax in the park.

Related Link: Majik Forest | Bellville

99 Steps and a Forest Walk on Helderberg Farm in Raithby (2017-06-17) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 21 AUG 2018

Raithby is essentially a completely ignored/forgotten small farming community that lies more or less between Somerset West and Stellenbosch. While not a lot of public-facing places call this little piece of the Helderberg home, it is home to The Helderberg Farm, an old farm with a long history – some of the buildings still standing are marked as having been built in 1692!

These days the farm (literally on the secluded outskirts of Somerset West) primarily produces wine grapes, but is also responsible for a number of other small crops, including the ever popular strawberry. The grounds are open to the public, and they have an old, Cape Dutch style tea garden which is great for a cup of coffee and small treat.

Of course, that isn’t really a big enough reason to visit – instead, the Helderberg Farm hosts a number of other activities on its grounds, from mountain bike trails to 4×4 trail riding. There are running trails, hiking routes, picnic and braai facilities, a farmyard with goats, bunnies and geese for the kids, and a sprinkling of play areas for the little ones. For those seeking a bit more action, there is also clay pigeon shooting, paintball games, and gravel karts.

Oh, and strawberry picking during season as well.

The forest area can be hired out as a venue (the wide open spaces means that the Helderberg Farm is perfect for kids’ parties), and also makes for a great walking experience with the little ones (who might not feel comfortable doing one of the full hikes).

Not that you would think that mind you, listening to how my girls complain every time I try and get them to walk with me. Surprisingly enough though, the last visit saw them being game enough to attempt the steep 99 Steps path up the hill with me – and even more surprising is the fact that we all three actually made it to the top.

That said, I suspect that they were just as amazed that I actually got up there myself! :D

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Side Note: Unfortunately, the biggest problem for the Helderberg Farm is the fact that it feels to be constantly in disrepair, which in turn discourages visitors, which in turn means less money making opportunities for the farm, which then ultimately contributes to the dilapidation that the farm seems to slowly be accruing as the years go by.

It’s a pity really because I love the lush green tranquility of the place, and really want for it to be doing a lot better.

Related Link: Helderberg Farm | Raithby

Lunch at the Lake House Restaurant in Somerset Lakes, Somerset West (2017-04-08) Food and Drink | Photo Gallery 30 APR 2017

The other day Chantelle came up with a rather strange suggestion – “Why don’t we go out for lunch at Somerset Lakes?”. Now I know that Somerset Lakes is one of the new fancy Somerset West residential estates that they are building here rather close to us (in fact, it is right next to the brand new, rather posh Reddam School that recently opened its doors), but residential estates aren’t normally open to the public now are they?

Well as it turns out, Somerset Lakes has in fact allowed its clubhouse facility to be converted into a restaurant (aptly called The Lake House), operated by the same team that own the excellent Southey’s Family Bistro (also in Somerset West).

The restaurant itself is situated in this beautiful contemporary designed building that overlooks Somerset Lakes’ titular lake (which is of course nearly empty now thanks to the drought that continues to plague the Western Cape), with its open plan spaces spilling outside in the form of lovely open deck, complete with small swimming pools for both big and small.

Pizzas are currently the hot item on The Lake House’s menu, and it is pretty easy to see why after having tried a few of them for ourselves!

(Unfortunately the restaurant is still waiting to receive their liquor licence, meaning that for now you need to remember to bring your own drink if the non-alcholic stuff doesn’t quite do it for you any more).

The girls were of course completely lost to the pool (which is literally right next to the tables on the deck), meaning that Chantelle and I had even more time to just sit, relax, and enjoy the view.

(Or, if your kids don’t enjoy the pool, they can always go play on the artificial beach in front of the clubhouse as well!)

After lunch, we decided to take a delightful stroll along the lengthy boardwalk that takes you around the central lake. Naturally, the area is usually a lot more pretty (and will be once the rains start coming in again), but nevertheless, it was great way to stretch the legs whilst watching the abundance of bird life that still call this area home.

Along the way we came across a jungle gym for the kids to spend some of their energy at, and a little later, an outdoor gym (complete with concrete weights).

Obviously, without not a single other soul in sight, we had a ball giving everything a quick go ourselves! ;)

Back at the clubhouse, Jessica and I decided to take a quick stroll over to the nearby grove of Pine trees, where we were rather excited to find a full on obstacle course lurking in the small forest. (A pretty handy find considering the fact that Chantelle would be tackling the Muddy Princess obstacle race rather soon!)

Note: I found out later via some Googling once back at home that these are all a leftover from the recent The Grind obstacle race which was held back in February this year.

Also, as you might have suspected, I took loads of pictures with my phone on the day, some of which didn’t come out half bad if I say so myself:

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It is kind of strange that a private residential estate has allowed for the establishment of a public restaurant on their grounds, but I for one am rather glad that they did, because the location is rather stunning and thus well worth the visit if you ever find yourself anywhere near the area!

Related Link: The Lake House Restaurant | Somerset Lakes

World of Warcraft Cosplay: Night Elf Druid {Tier 6} (Kamui) Cosplay 06 JAN 2013

German cosplayer Kamui pulls off this fantastic, highly detailed cosplay featuring a World of Warcraft tier 6 Night Elf Druid, in this atmospheric forest photo shoot.

The Druid is a shapeshifting hybrid class, and is also one of the most versatile classes in the game. As with other hybrids, Druids need to specialize to be most effective in any role. Due to their need to shapeshift to fulfill roles, they can only perform one role at a time; they must switch between the different shapes to adapt to changing situations.

Night elven druidic traditions extend back further than most races have existed. The demigod Cenarius taught the druidic arts to the kaldorei early in their history, and the most devout of night elf druids honor and pass on his original teachings. A few were there when Cenarius provided his tutelage and learned directly from the demigod. The iconic night elf druid is a spiritual creature with powers that tap into worlds beyond most mortal knowledge. Green energy plays around his feet, and he moves unhindered through secret forest paths. Night elf druids have always guarded their people against the Burning Legion, and over the ages they developed methods to strike past the demons’ defenses.

Night elf druids claim that they can still hear the voice of Cenarius, warning them when danger is imminent and giving them gentle urgings as to the best way to avoid attacks. Perhaps this voice is nature itself, protecting those who protect it. The night elf druid can drop into a deep slumber. While hibernating, he does not need to eat or drink, and he barely needs to breathe — others must be careful to determine that he still lives. When the druid enters hibernation, any poisons working within him are suspended, and he does not bleed. His breathing is so shallow that he does not suffer effects from inhaled toxins or other dangers, and he can survive for a year on the amount of air he would normally need in a day. He heals at twice the normal rate. When the night elf druid enters hibernation, he sets the conditions to awaken. He can choose a specific amount of time (“twenty-four hours”) or some other event, such as, “When the sun strikes my eyes” or “When I hear the call of the horn of Cenarius.”

World of Warcraft Cosplay: Night Elf Druid {Tier 8} (Kamui) Cosplay 09 DEC 2012

German cosplayer Kamui pulls off this fantastic, highly detailed cosplay featuring a World of Warcraft tier 8 Night Elf Druid, in this atmospheric forest photo shoot.

The Druid is a shapeshifting hybrid class, and is also one of the most versatile classes in the game. As with other hybrids, Druids need to specialize to be most effective in any role. Due to their need to shapeshift to fulfill roles, they can only perform one role at a time; they must switch between the different shapes to adapt to changing situations.

Night elven druidic traditions extend back further than most races have existed. The demigod Cenarius taught the druidic arts to the kaldorei early in their history, and the most devout of night elf druids honor and pass on his original teachings. A few were there when Cenarius provided his tutelage and learned directly from the demigod. The iconic night elf druid is a spiritual creature with powers that tap into worlds beyond most mortal knowledge. Green energy plays around his feet, and he moves unhindered through secret forest paths. Night elf druids have always guarded their people against the Burning Legion, and over the ages they developed methods to strike past the demons’ defenses.

Night elf druids claim that they can still hear the voice of Cenarius, warning them when danger is imminent and giving them gentle urgings as to the best way to avoid attacks. Perhaps this voice is nature itself, protecting those who protect it. The night elf druid can drop into a deep slumber. While hibernating, he does not need to eat or drink, and he barely needs to breathe — others must be careful to determine that he still lives. When the druid enters hibernation, any poisons working within him are suspended, and he does not bleed. His breathing is so shallow that he does not suffer effects from inhaled toxins or other dangers, and he can survive for a year on the amount of air he would normally need in a day. He heals at twice the normal rate. When the night elf druid enters hibernation, he sets the conditions to awaken. He can choose a specific amount of time (“twenty-four hours”) or some other event, such as, “When the sun strikes my eyes” or “When I hear the call of the horn of Cenarius.”

Joke: Sex in the Dark Jokes & other Funny Stuff 18 FEB 2011

Having successfully escaped the crowd, a young couple finds themselves alone in a middle of a dark forest. Needless to say, the two start having sex.

After about 15 minutes of this, the man finally gets up and says, “Geez, I wish I had a torch with me!”

To which the lady quickly replied: “So do I! You’ve been eating grass for the past ten minutes!”

Photo Gallery: Honeymoon Road Trip – Thyme & Again Padstal (Knysna) (2009-11-21) My Life | Photo Gallery 21 NOV 2009

Whilst on the Garden Route Knysna leg of our honeymoon road trip, we made an effort to stop at the Thyme & Again padstal (farm stall) to enjoy some of their freshly made food on recommendation of the Montgomery Clan, before making a stop and enjoying a tranquil amble through one of the many fern-heavy forests accessible to tourists in the area.

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