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SPITSKOP ON PRINCE ALFRED’S PASS

Take a day trip to Spitskop and enjoy the scenery deep in the Knysna Forest.  If you follow the Prince Alfred Pass that links Avontuur to Knysna you will pass the turn-off to Spitskop.   Take your own refreshments as there are no facilities along the road.  It is a slow drive as the gravel road may not be in a good condition and in any way, you should not be in hurry because the road is at times very potholed and maybe, just maybe, you will spot an elusive Knysna elephants.

Along the route you will find a couple of picnic spots with the beautiful names like Valley of Ferns, Ysterhoutrug and Diepwalle.  In the shade of some indigenous trees at Ysterhoutrug picnic spot you can light a fire for a braai as there are designated areas.  This is also a good stop for the children to stretch their legs as there are basic toilet facilities and water tanks to wash their hands.

When you arrive at the top you can, on a clear day, enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.  If you know the area you can identify the Knysna Heads as well as some other features like Robberg towards the Plettenberg Bay area. Take note that on a rainy day Spitskop will be covered in clouds and mist and you will not be able to enjoy the view.

But you will ask why  is this spot important?  In the woodcutters’ era Spitskop used to be a fire station manned by an Italian, Guiseppe Sciocatti, who kept a beady eye on fires in the area.  Guiseppe was one of the descendants of Italian immigrants that was lured to the forest to farm with mulberries in a silk trade venture, but things did not work out well for the Italian families.  Yet another interesting story for another post.

If you put the following (S 33° 54.723 E 023° 08.229) coordinates into your GPS you will experience this amazing view.  Remember the golden rule is to see all and only leave your footprints for the next visitor to enjoy.

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