Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, Garden Route
West of Swellendam and north east of Heidelberg lies a large area of wilderness known as Boosmansbos (angry man's forest) apparently named after a hermit who lived around here early in the 19th century and who scared away anyone who came even close to the beehives he kept here.
Boosmansbos Wilderness Area lies in the beautiful Langeberg Mountains, over 14 000 hectares that is, in turn, part of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. It is regarded as a hiker's domain, a great space in which to scale peaks to reach views that are virtually unsurpassable, if clambering up and down the peaks here is your thing. Certainly Grootberg is the highest peak in Boosmansbos at 1 637 metres, and because the wilderness area has escaped the notice of most people, the 70 or so kilometres of footpaths and roads are virtually uninhabited and allow one an uninterrupted commune with nature at its best.
The best sites though are off the beaten track and 'bundu-bashing' (beating your own path through the terrain) is a pre-requisite if you're after more interesting views, forests and kloofs. Hikers who venture forth for overnight hikes can choose from either simple overnight huts or simply sleeping under the stars.
But it is the indigenous kloof forests and the Cape fynbos that steal the limelight at Boosmansbos. The forest is what remains of an old indigenous kloof forest within Cape montane fynbos set on the slopes of Grootberg. Stinkwoods, yellowwoods, Cape holly, red alder and beech lie side-by-side with white alder and candlewood trees, and, if you're a tree-spotter, there is a section of mountain cypress - one of few indigenous softwoods in the country - growing on a neighbouring ridge.
Did you know?
Boosmansbos Wilderness Area lies in the beautiful Langeberg Mountains, over 14 000 hectares that is, in turn, part of the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve.