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The Circles in the Forest Hiking Trail is situated in Knysna in the Western Cape, South Africa.

The Hiking Trail can be found at the Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site where it starts and ends. There are two trails ranging from easy to moderate fitness levels. The full hiking trail of 9 km will take approximately 4 hours to complete, but could take longer if your choose to spend some extra time at the waterfall or natural swimming pool in the forest.

The hike follows the remains of the old mining path along the forest creek and offers a genuine forest experience suitable for people of all ages. This is truly the heart of the Knysna indigenous forest where you will pass by giant Yellowwood trees and 3 meter high tree ferns. Wooden bridges of babbling streams lead you through the forest in search of the Red-billed Wood-hoopoe and perhaps a glimpse of the Knysna Loerie.

The trail was formally known as the Woodcutters Trail. It was renamed in 2008 after one of the famous novels by the acclaimed South African author, Dalene Matthee.

Things to do and see

  • 3 km Hiking Trail
  • 9 km Hiking Trail
  • Dalene Matthee Memorial
  • Dalene Matthee Big Tree
  • Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site
  • Ablutions


Open daily during daylight hours

Admission fee is between R9 and R22 per person. Pricing are subject to change, please confirm pricing with the Picnic Site directly.


Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C with high rainfall in October.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June.


Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport. The N2 highway will take you into the Knysna, approximately a one hour drive. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports. 

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