ACTIVITIES

he Tsitsikamma is a true ‘fairy forest’ and the name is an ancient Khoi word meaning ‘place of many waters’
due to the abundance of waterfalls to be found in the greater Tsitsikamma area.

Forest Hall Estate offers several educational and leisure opportunities for both children and adults.

Many farm animals roam the estate such as sheep, lambs, chicken, and Nguni cattle providing endless entertainment for children and is also educational.

Adults and children alike can learn about the re-aforestation and alien clearing program in our laboratory, which has been run by Landmark Foundation scientist Albert Ackhurst for some years. An indigenous nursery on the estate is a wonderful opportunity for guests to get involved in or just appreciate the local flora and the efforts currently underway in the Garden Route to clear alien vegetation and re-establish the unique Afromontane ecosystem that is found nowhere else in the world apart from the matole/Hogsback region in Kwazulu-Natal, where it was the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous book The Lord of The Rings.

Walks into the pristine Tsitsikamma forest right on the property to learn about this ancient and unique African ecosystem – the home of the prized Yellow-wood. The Tsitsikamma is a true ‘fairy forest’ and the name is an ancient Khoi word meaning ‘place of many waters’ due to the abundance of waterfalls to be found in the greater Tsitsikamma area.

Barbecue (or ‘braai’)! There are several perfect spots – each equipped with a deck, table, and barbecue, near the beach, in the shade of the trees, where the children can play safely, bathe and wait for the grill to be ready. Sleep-over at the grotto. A night in the very large natural grotto overlooking the sea is a unique experience, and a great outdoors experience to share with your family.

Forest Hall is situated in the heart of the Crags’ – part of the greater Plettenberg Bay (or Bitou) area, 20 mins drive west to the main town of Plett, and 40 mins drive to Storms River and Bloukrans – the site of the highest commercial bungee jump in the world. A wide range of activities and attractions beckon – from the ‘wild side’: Bungy, bridge walks and canopy swings, black-water tubing, surfing, diving (there are several options available in the area), and sky-diving – to the ‘mild side’: animal sanctuaries such as Tenikwa, Monkeyland, and Birds of Eden, game viewing at the Plett Game Reserve, boat-based whale -watching, hiking, miles and miles of beaches, restaurants & shopping.

HIKING

Within the property boundaries of Forest Hall itself, exceptional hiking trails take you through the spectacular indigenous forest down to the private beaches at the foot of the cliffs. From the house, you can hike east through the forest to Salt River and from there either through more forest or along the rocky shoreline for a short distance to the popular Nature’s Valley beach and lagoon, or west along the coastline to Keurbooms. For the brave at heart, there is the Forest Hall Coastal Cave walk, which involves swimming through a cave – only possible at low tide. Please note that these hikes are challenging!

Since most routes involve steep gradients, dense forests, and rugged coastal sections, all hikes are supervised by the manager of the property. However, gentler, more family-oriented walks are also on other parts of the Estate. Guided walks can be arranged.

SWIMMING

Forest Hall has private beaches, with rock pools that are ideal for children to swim in and play safely. The beaches can be reached via several paths down through the forest – these are very steep and challenging, and let’s not forget about the climb back up. For those with small children or who are feeling less like a true adventure through the ancient lichen-covered and moss-hung trees, the beaches can be reached on a 4×4 drive from the front garden area of the Manor house. The difficult paths through the forest and the inaccessibility of the beaches from anywhere but Forest Hall Estate itself means privacy…and unspoiled coastline.

The 25-meter infinity pool near the Manor House is heated with solar panels and is kept sparkling with an environmentally friendly salt-water cleaning system that does not require the use of chlorine.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Forest Hall Estate lends itself to mountain-biking – with 220 ha of open ground and forest, there is no shortage of trails and paths. Trails range from easy to highly challenging.

BIRD WATCHING

Forest Hall offers amazing opportunities for bird-watching! The Tsitsikamma forest, which ends right in the front garden, is home to the spectacular Knysna Loerie and the rare endemic Narina Trogon, among many others. These beautiful birds can be seen flying through the trees around you as you enjoy the afternoon on the deck or relaxing in the swing chair.

WHALE WATCHING

The cliffs and beaches of Forest Hall Estate offer incredible whale-watching opportunities. Southern Right whales (so named because they were once the ‘right’ whales to hunt) move through the area of the Estate’s coastline during the winter months, from late April to early October. They come to the Bay to breed and calve and can be seen singly or in groups of several individuals close to shore. Walk down the cliff with a pair of binoculars and you may get to enjoy the experience of watching a whale calve. Bryde’s whales are present throughout the year, and Humpbacks move through in considerable numbers during the summer months – close inshore. Humpbacks are of course famous for their ‘breaching’ behavior – throwing their enormous bulk out of the water in apparent exuberance. It is an incredible sight to see, and Forest Hall offers one of the finest vantage points along the Garden Route coast. Sightings of these majestic creatures are virtually a daily occurrence.

LINE FISHING

Forest Hall’s beach is known as a great spot for line fishing. With the right tide and weather you can settle in for the day to catch your dinner in a spectacular and private setting – nothing and no-one around you but soaring cliffs, lush coastal forest, and the open ocean. Your only companions might be dolphins or Humpbacks, and Southern Right whales at certain times of the year.

Phone: 073 345 9600/ 082 378 8934
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