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7 Ancient Forests In And Around Cape Town

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Once upon a time, before the fynbos evolved, much of the south-western Cape, and indeed Southern Africa, was palm forest.

Rainfall patterns and climate changed, and more robust trees replaced the palms forming magnificent forest. Today forests are southern Africa’s smallest biome.

The ancient, once-huge forests are still in evidence in only 0.5% of Africa. You will find what remains in sheltered, remote pockets in mountain ravines or on river banks; the trees’ ancestry millions of years old – a legacy from the time when man was not yet on Earth.

Click “Continue Reading” to see….7 Ancient Forests In And Around Cape Town

In and around Cape Town you will find 7 remaining ancient forests. But you need to know where to find them…


Where: just south of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, north of Constantia Nek in Cape Town; there is a car park at the intersection between Rhodes Drive and Hohenhort Drive in Constantia

Cecilia Forest, officially called Cecilia Park, stretches across the lower eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Once the site of huge commercial plantations, the peninsula granite fynbos, sandstone fynbos, patches of silvertree forest, and indigenous afro-temperate forest that survives in small patches along the river valley, are today protected.

Whilst much of Cecilia forest remains uniform pine and gum, smaller patches of yellowwoods, ironwoods, assegai trees, olinias, African waterboom, rooi-els, boekenhout and spoonwood trees are in evidence on many of the walking trails open to the public. The intention is to integrate Cecilia Forest into Table Mountain National Park, which is adjoins.


Where: in the Langeberg, just beyond the town of Suurbraak, close to Swellendam, three hours’ from Cape Town. The nature reserve is well signposted

This extraordinary remaining piece of indigenous forest in the Langeberg is also the most important stretch of afromontane forest left in the south-western Cape because it includes all 35 typical forest tree species, and is home to the rare forest emperor butterfly and a subspecies of the rare ghost frog.

Lying within a World Heritage Site, the forest is also home to camphor, Australian blackwood, bluegum, ash and oaks as well as a series of giant Californian redwood trees – in the forest since 1907. The forest borders Boosmansbos Wilderness Area that includes further forest, renosterveld and silcrete fynbos.

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