The best thing about the month of love in the Southern Hemisphere is the fact that it falls in one of the warmest months of the year. And if you are lucky enough to have booked your flights to George on the Garden Route, one of the most beautiful areas of the country, you won’t have to pay exorbitantly hiked prices in over-crowded restaurants because the pick of the very best picnic sites are right on your doorstep.
So, grab a basket and a blanket and head to the forest for a romantic day for two.
Where to go:
If you’re looking for beauty and privacy then Krisjan-se-Nek, also known as Circles in a Forest, is one of the lesser known areas but a no less perfect place for romance.
The Knysna Forest, was a big inspiration for the stories of South African novelist DaleneMatthee and if you’re a couple that hikes or bikes together, the picnic area has a DaleneMatthee ‘Big Tree’ that marks the start of a 3km or 5km walk. It trails along the banks of the Forest Creek along an old mining path. There are swimming holes along the way and lovely little streams too, making it a perfect romantic activity, enjoying nature and each other’s company.
The beauty of nature is priceless making the cost of R17 per person for entry (free for Wildcard holders) a mere pittance, leaving you plenty of budget for a romantic feast. You can pick up a permit at the boom.
Jubilee Creek is slightly more popular, but that’s because there is little to match its exquisite beauty.
You’ll find this picnic spot deep in the valley and surrounded by forest trees, next to a pretty stream. Sound romantic enough? There are lots of picnic sites dotted around next to the stream in amongst the forest trees. Take a short detour just before the bridge on the left-hand side of the road, and you will find an extension to this site with a gorgeous picnic area in the Lush Knysna Indigenous Forest.
You can also follow the mining trails from Jubilee Creek which take you to a cool, natural swimming area with lots of incredible areas to explore along the way, including old tunnels and long-abandoned mine-shafts. The Jubilee Creek Walk which is around 2km, will take you to the waterfall.
So, with so much to do here, along with your partner, take a picnic and an adventurous spirit! It costs less than R20 per person. Pay at the boom a few kilometres before the entrance.
The Woodville Big Tree
If you’re a fan of historical romance or the worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien, then head off to picnic at The Woodville Big Tree.
The ‘Big Tree’ is an Outeniqua Yellowwood Tree (Podocarpusfalcatus) in the region of about 850 years old. This magnificent, magical tree has a 12-metre circumference and majestic height of 33 metres.
There is an incredible short circular hike you can do that takes about 45 minutes that starts at the tree and extends through the magical forest for about 2kms before finishing back at the old Yellowwood Tree again. The trail is clearly marked and takes you over and along several streams and past picnic site. The walkways are also child and wheelchair friendly.
This is great spot if you want to do something romantic, but your budget is tight, as entrance to the area is free.
If these sound like an ideal romantic date for you and your partner but you’re nowhere near the George area, you can always book cheap flights to George for a romantic getaway to explore The Wilderness.
With the entrance fees minimal and the picnic budget under control, you will be saved from having to choose which one to go to, because you can just visit all three.