Friday, October 17, 2014

A thousand years in the making -The Tsitsikamma Big Tree

One of the best know attractions in the Tsitsikamma is The Big Tree, one of the giants of the forest and thought to be up to 1000 years old.  The Garden Route from the Tsitsikamma through Knysna to Wilderness is famous for its indigenous forests and precious trees, amongst them the Yellowwood.  The Outeniqua Yellowwood tree is also South Africa's national tree which makes this particular Outeniqua Yellowwood even more special.
 
Getting to the Big Tree is very easy.  First of all there is a big parking area right next to the N2 highway where you can leave your car.  From here its an easy 10 minute walk into the forest on a boardwalk.  In total the walk is about 500 meters each way and a great way to get away from the rush of the main road and get closer to nature.  Walking along you get to see what the forest looks like inside and plaques name some of the trees you pass along the way.  Suddenly the queen of the forest looms up in front of and over you.  A magnificent tree that was spared the woodcutters' axes during the late 19th and early 20th century.

This tree stands 36,6 m tall and has a trunk circumference of 9m.  An information board next to the tree gives all the relevant stats.  The Big Tree may not be as tall as American Redwood trees or as wide as a Baobab, but she is magestic.  I really enjoy seeing people crawl around on the path to find the best angle to try and show her size.  I kinda had to do that to take this picture above.  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.  So next time you fly along the N2 through the Tsitsikamma, why not pull over and go and pay homage?

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely love this walk and relish in the energy of this matriarch. I ended up taking a panorama try to capture the entire tree. Your angle is better.

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