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The district of Rheenendal lies on the edge of the Knysna forest, a piece of blissful countryside and home to artists, nature lovers and skilled crafters. The area consists of pastured land and fynbos, separated from the coastal towns in the Western Cape Province by vast forests.
Rheenendal has become extremely popular following the establishment of the Rheenendal Ramble, a route that runs from the national highway to the old gold mining areas of Millwood. The ramble encompasses forest walks, beautiful craft centres, mountain bike trails and foodies can enjoy farm fresh goods and local preserves at quaint farm stalls.
Rivers run through Rheenendal, sit on the banks and watch as brightly coloured kingfishers dart into the water to spear a fish or the majestic fish eagle swoops down to collect larger prey.
Only 22km from Knysna, Rheenendal is perfectly balanced between peaceful rural living and modern conveniences at your doorstep.
Top 6 reasons to visit Rheenendal
1. Explore the forests on foot to marvel at the giant yellowwood trees and richness of birdlife.
2. History buffs will be entertained by the Millwood mining town established in 1888 after gold was discovered here. Take along a torch to visit the Bendingo shaft and browse the shed alongside containing old mining equipment.
3. There are a number of established mountain bike trails scattered throughout the area. The annual Rheenendal Memorial Mountain Bike Challenge attracts bikers from all over the country.
4. Rheenendal is on the trail running calendar, the exciting 9-27km Houtkapper Trail Run takes place here every July.
5. The Drupkelders Rock Pools trail is a must for hikers. Book early, as only 12 permits are issued per day for this hiking trail. For a more strenuous hike, the route to the stunningly beautiful Jubilee Creek is recommended.
6. The exquisite beaches, fresh water lakes and serene lagoons surrounding Knysna and Sedgefield are a short drive from Rheenendal. Enjoy a spot of fishing, swimming or surfing.
The nearest airport is George Airport, 75kms from Rheenendal. Several car rental agencies are based in Knysna and at George airport or you could order a rental online. There are a number of metered taxi companies in Knysna. Shuttle services transport visitors between George Airport and Rheenendal.
Did you know?
The South African Parks Board employs people from impoverished communities to remove alien trees in the Rheenendal area and the wood is then used to produce furniture such as school desks and chairs. The programme has resulted in increased job creation, savings on water resources and reduced fire risk.
The spectacular Phantom Pass is a gravel road that runs south of Rheenendal to the national highway. It was built in 1867 and follows the Knysna River en route to the coastline. The road is well worth travelling for its exceptional views of the river and Knysna lagoon. The pass is named after the phantom moth.
For those who are a little adventurous and enjoy the company of other travellers, you can decide to stay at a Backpackers. Often having to share a room with others as well as costs, it is incredibly inexpensive. Often the best choice for those who may be just passing through or will be occupied for the majority of their day. It comes with the most basic amenities and is often formed as part of a bar or similar establishment. Not recommended for those who want privacy, this is best suited for those who wouldn’t mind meeting various other interesting travellers.