Lakes Area National Park, Garden Route
Formerly this national park consisted of the Wilderness National Park and Knysna National Lake Area. Because of their proximity and similarities they are currently managed as a single unit. The Knysna National Lake Area is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse and a large diversity of marine life. Sandbanks and salt marshes teem with life and in turn provide food to an indefinite number of organisms. The Lake Area enjoys a temperate climate and visitors can revel in the warm summer sun.
The Wilderness National Park: In the heart of South Africa's famous Garden Route, a charming world of lakes, rivers, fens, estuaries and beaches gently unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains, all elements that characterise the Wilderness National Park.
Nature trails wind through densely wooded forest and along tranquil rivers, affording you the opportunity to encounter the brilliantly coloured Knysna Loerie, or one of the five kingfisher species that occur here. During the spring, a carpet of flowers, further enhancing the verdant beauty of this wetland national park surrounds the lakes.
Elephant were all but hunted to extinction in the Knysna area and only one remains. She is a grumpy old matriarch who turned down the friendship of some playmates brought in to keep her company. She now roams the forests alone while the other elephants have been re-located to a wildlife reserve.
There are a growing number of private reserves along the Garden Route who have stocked up with game such as elephants, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo - all of which were indigenous to the area once upon a time. Many of the woodland birds are surprisingly colourful birds including redbilled woodhoopoe, Knysna woodpecker, paradise flycatcher, Knysna Loerie and lesser double-collared sunbird. While at the lakes, wetlands and lagoon you may see fish eagles, cormorants, kingfishers, blacksmith plovers and geese.
Did you know?
The Knysna National Lake Area is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse.