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Fauna & Flora

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The indigenous Milkwood trees on the hill are protected, some of them over 600 years old and the big fire of 1869 which raged from Swellendam/Riversdale to Uitenhage, left its mark on the boles of some of these trees.  450km of the richest coastal area had been reduced to smouldering ruin - yet it is an ill wind which blows no good:  awakened too late to the danger to save the main forest, the Government nevertheless sought to preserve the remnants of South Africa's timber and Forestry Control was introduced.  So the protection of South African timber arose directly as a result of the Great Fire.

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Bushbuck, Grysbok, even the shy blue Duiker, roam freely on the hill overlooking the Park, whilst the not-so-shy tortoise and vervet monkeys are in abundance;  one may even be lucky to spot an otter, badger or bushpig. Guests are kindly requested not to feed the animals.

The lake is roughly 4.5km by 1.5km and many thousands of years ago was still connected to the sea, the vegetated (sand) hills either side being roughly 11- to 12000 years old.  The lake beachfront, with its sandy beach, lawn and umbrellas, is particularly safe for young children, the water usually much warmer than the sea.

The sea with a choice of golden-sanded unspoilt and natural beaches and ideal fishing spots is easily accessible by car. A 3km gravel road takes one down to a stretch of over 10km of beach and Marine Reserve, and a comfortable boardwalk leads directly from the carpark onto the beach. This is Knysna Oyster Country and also part of Southern Africa's Whale Route.

Lake Pleasant has become known as having the finest Black Bass fishing in the Republic (fishing permit necessary) and each year shows an increase in the popularity of Bass fishing, now becoming a sport enjoyed by the whole family.

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Boats are available for hire;  private mooring jetties are available at no extra charge - the lake is ideal for all forms of sailing, canoes and rowing boats.  Petrol motors are NOT allowed, battery-operated electric motors ARE.

Did you know that Knysna is the Hottentot word for "there is wood";  that Outeniqua means "honey carrier", probably a reference to the wild honey found in abundance on the wooded slopes of the mountains and that stinkwood trees grow to an average age of 1000 years and over;  stinkwood gets its name from the pungent smell of the rotted core of an old tree, only when it is freshly felled.

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