It was a sunny day and my ancient Isuzu bumped the daylights out of my two little grand children as we crept along the narrow path towards Lange Bosch. Before us lay a vista of valleys and the mountains behind them. We followed the narrow track through fynbos and restios which quickly gave way to indigenous bush as we dropped down into the valley. In some places so steep I found myself wanting to stand erect on the pedals. Great stuff! Here and there lay black wattle logs: evidence of attempts to eradicate exotics. The track leveled and we stopped at the entrance to the forest proper.
Lange Bosch is owned by Johan and Coralie van Heerden. Over the last few years they have done a sterling job in cleaning, preserving and protecting the large indigenous forest on their land. Alien growth has just about been eradicated and the original trees are establishing a foothold and a comeback. We entered the forest escorted by Johan who drew our attention to various trees (some of them huge) and their names. Yellow woods, ironwoods and others I can’t remember grow in abundance. One thing I do remember though is the peace and solitude, the odd bird (Loerie) and the sound of water. Johan led us to the main picnic spot which I thought was superb. There are facilities and wood for barbecues as well as fresh water. Not far away, hid discreetly by the trees is a screened and elevated toilet. It sports a flush toilet and hand basin atop a septic tank. The place was spotless.
The riverbank was not far away. On reaching it, I stood looking over a fairly large pool. The dark water looked cold and deep. Other pools exist higher up and I noticed two blue tubes propped up against a tree. One thing needed, commented Johan, was a few good heavy showers which would bring the river down and in turn clear the pools and river course of all the dead wood and debris.
We took a short stroll along the main path through the forest. Everything, including trees, is clearly marked. Different coloured lichen and fungi abound as well as a wide variety of ferns. Monkeys are frequent, but we didn’t see any. It really is worth a day’s outing. In fact, remarked Johan, some people even spend a night or two in a tent at the picnic site. Too dark for me!
After a morning well spent, we took a walk down to Johan’s house. What a superb job Johan and Coralie have done. After months of hard work and sweat: the end result: a house and a view you will not find anywhere else.
The trip back was certainly a lot easier. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but time and other commitments didn’t allow. This is one place I strongly recommend, whether it’s for a visit, a walk or a picnic. You can contact Johan or Coralie concerning fees at 044 620 5399 after hours. You won’t be sorry!