There are a lot of attractions and things to do in the Tsitsikamma region of the Garden Route that stretches more or less from Mossel Bay in the west to more or less Humansdorp in the east. Some of them is well known and others not. The most visited one is probably the swing bridge in the Tsitsikamma National Park, but today we are not stopping there.
Instead, I am taking you to a big tree in the forest aptly named “Big Tree”. I left the home base a bit earlier to give myself time to stop in the heart of the Tsitsikamma. The big trees of our native forests are not as big as the massive Red Woods that you find in the United States, but they stand tall to reach the rays of sunlight.
The Outeniqua Yellowwood tree is South Africa’s national tree which makes this particular big tree even more special. Its age is estimated at 1 000 years. Getting to the Big Tree is easy. Driving in an easterly direction you will see the sign on your left-hand side just before the Total garage at Stormsrivier. There is a big safe parking lot where you can leave your car and take a walk. After paying your entrance fee (R21) it is an easy 10-minute walk into the forest along a boardwalk to the tree.
Walking along you will feel, see and smell the forest. Some trees along the route are identified and marked for easy identification. Also be on the lookout for some mushrooms that will bloom in the foliage. Remember that you are in a national park and no picking and removing of any plant material is allowed. At the end of the walkway this queen will show herself. Thankfully she was spared the woodcutter’s axes during the turn of the century.
This tree stands 36,6 m tall and has a trunk circumference of 9 m and will take about 12 people to form a circle around her base. From the tree there are two additional trails covering 2,6 km and 4,2 km for those who would like to get in touch with the forest a little bit more.
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