If toes could smile, mine would have been grinning broadly while twirling in the glassy water of Jubilee Creek. A short drive through what the Knysna locals call the ‘Rheendal ramble’, led us to The Forest Edge nature reserve where we stumbled upon a little gem of a place, Jubilee Creek.
What started off as misty morning blossomed into a beautiful sunny day and what better than to spend it at a forest creek.
After obtaining a permit from the Information Hut at the entrance to Forest Edge nature reserve , we bumped along the sandy gravel road that wound down to the creek. When we eventually emerged from around the last corner of leafy vegetation, we were greeted by a hub of cars, buses, tour groups and families dispersed all over the valley. It felt like we had stumbled across a secret forest community all bodyguarding their best kept secret. Groups of families and friends dotted the sides of the creek, picnic blankets and and colourful towels were scattered upon the grass and kids splashed in the gently flowing water of creek which was no more than ankle deep.The smell of sizzling boerewors and the excited chatter of the crowds as they exchanged the weekly happenings filled the air.
We found the start of the trail to the right of the picnic spots. We held thumbs that the trail had lots of tree cover due to the fact that we forgot to bring along sunblock *tsk tsk*. Luck was on our side as only two sections of the trail exposed us to the sun for a short while. I sound like a vampire, but Jeremy’s superpower is to change his skin a rosy shade of red within a few minutes of sun exposure.😂
Strategically placed stepping-stones guided us into the forest and the cool shade of the plants was so refreshing on such a hot day. As the trail started there was a beautiful fallen log that bridged across the creek. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to go play on it.
The path weaves inbetween the trees and plants and in places we had to cross the creek by hopping across half submerged stones, but other than that it was one of the easier trails we’ve done. Only one twisted ankle this time round;). We passed many couples, kids and families as we sauntered along. If you looked carefully while walking you could spot one of the many mine shafts hidden amongst the shrubs and ferns. Strictly no entry is allowed…so we admired them from afar.
I suggest visiting Jubilee creek out of season or on a quiet weekend as the trail to the waterfall did get reasonably busy. It is an easy walk so it attracts any and everybody. At one point we passed a whole tour group of about twenty people and a tourguide. It wasn’t unenjoyable, but if you want to hear nature calling and not foreign chatter, shouting parents and giggling kids then avoid school holidays. After about 30 minutes we reached the waterfall.
The waterfall is a small feature surrounded by a pond of knee deep water. Many kids take a dip when arriving, but it was a bit too busy for the big kids to go frolicking around. We didn’t think the tourists would appreciate us stealing their moment with the waterfall. So we sat contently upon a rock and dipped our toes into the satin like water. The most intriguing part of the waterfall were the reflections. When all was still, beautiful blues and greens shone up at us as though we were looking at a crystal clear TV screen.
We didn’t linger long as there wasn’t a lot of space to sit. We had our quick moment and then our grumbling tummies lead us back along the path. It was lunch time and we needed to refuel before our drive home. The afternoon sun pierced through the tree-gaps above, illuminating the colours of the trees. Bright lime green filled the forest and the drops of sun danced as the trees swayed gently. What a perfect way to spend our afternoon…