Due to the implications of the KNYSNA FIRE the FREE RANGE EVENTS will not go ahead during the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival 2017. 

We will send direct communication to all athletes that have subscribed to the event! 

“Your own Trail, Your own Time”

You might wonder what the FREE RANGE EVENTS are all about!

If you consult the thesaurus about “Free Range” it will suggest “Kept in natural conditions”  “with freedom of movement”  “roam freely outdoors” – and that is exactly what it is!

Choose up to 3 of the most beautiful trails in the Knysna area, hosted by SAN Parks and Cape Nature – enduring indigenous forest single track, lush fynbos & dense coastal forest. You will experience the magic of this forest haven!

These trails are all of a short distance between 6 and 8km and are open to the Free Range Competition on 6 consecutive days. Participants have the freedom to roam these 3 trails on any day and time of their convenience while being timed and ranked against all other free roaming outdoor enthusiasts over this 6 days period. A ranking and prize giving will be published and awarded at the end of the week. 

You only have to decide which runs you want to do once you get to Knysna in July! You may use your entry for any of the 3 promoted runs on any of the six available dates. So, watch the weather, consider your hangover & be spontaneous! These Free Range Runs can be undertaken in your own time, anytime between 9am & 4pm, during specific days of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. See below a description, map, photos & route profile of each run.

Your runs will be timed and ranked electronically. Results will be updated daily and available online. Announcement of overall winners of all three runs will take place on Saturday 15 July.

Entry fee: R120 per run per day (include R45 SANParks & Cape Nature Conservation Fee)

Enter all 3 and get a discount of R 60.00

Registration: Just before you start your run at each location.

Online entries close Friday 7 July 8am, but you can still enter on the day at the start of the race – CASH ONLY, R120 per run.


Please click here to view a map showing locations of the various trails. Directions will be given further below under the descriptions of each run.

1. THE ELEPHANT Free Range Run

Distance?: 7km Circular Route

Duration?: Average time 60 minutes.

Where?: SANParks Diepwalle Forestry Station, S33 56.909 E23 09.434

When?: Sunday 9 July & Wednesday 12 July, Start time anytime between 9am & 4pm

An indigenous forest trail – a scenic delight with clear streams, yellowwoods, huge stinkwood trees, vast variety of fungi, magical fynbos, vervet monkeys playing in the tree tops and if you are lucky you might even spot the elusive Knysna Loerie or Oupoot, the mysterious Knysna Elephant! Make sure to treat yourself after the run with a delicious Curry Mince Vetkoek at the Diepwalle Tea Garden.

Directions?: From Knysna take the N2 towards Plettenberg Bay. About 4km from Knysna take the R339 Uniondale turnoff to the left and follow this road for 15.5km, take the Diepwalle turnoff to the right. Continue for 1km and stop at Diepwalle Forestry Station.

Route Profile

Click to view

2. THE TERBLANS Free Range Run

Distance?: 6.5km Circular Route

Duration?: Average time 45 minutes

Where?: SANParks Grootdraai Picnic Site, Gouna S33 56.716 E23 03.244

When?: Monday 10 July & Thursday 13 July, Start time anytime between 9am & 4pm

The majestic trail weaves gently through the indigenous Gouna forest and crosses some small forest tea-coloured streams. While there is a fairly steep ascent near the start of the trail, most of it is a relatively easy amble. Keep an eye out for ‘old man’s beard’ which is a wispy, pale green lichen that dangles delicately from the high boughs of many of the larger tree specimens such as the ancient Outeniqua yellowwoods, some of the tallest trees in the forest. The picnic site has beautiful picnic tables under the trees and there are toilets as well. On departing you can drive back the way you came, or you can continue with Kom-se-pad, it joins the R339 between Uniondale and Knysna.

Directions?: Head out of Knysna towards George, along the lagoon take the Old Cape Road turnoff to Gouna / Simola, follow this road past Simola. As the road becomes gravel take the Gouna turnoff to the left. Follow this road past the Gouna Forest Station to the Grootdraai Picnic site along Kom-se-pad. This picnic site can also be reached by taking the Kom-se-Pad turnof from the R339 near Diepwalle.

Route Profile:

3. THE BUSHPIG Free Range Run

Distance?: 6.5km Circular Route

Duration?: Average time 45 minutes

Where?: Cape Nature Goukamma Nature Reserve, S34 04.120 E22 56.871

When?: Tuesday 11 July & Friday 14 July, Start time anytime between 9am & 4pm

Before you even get a chance to embark on the Bushpig Trail, you need to first navigate the width of the cola-coloured Goukamma River. This involves winching yourself over in a little boat and makes for an adventurous start to this really awesome trail – picture postcard pretty in every way! Not too long after the start of the trail, after a fairly easy ascent, runners are afforded magnificent views of the Goukamma River Valley below, the indigo Indian Ocean to the south and the distant Outeniqua Mountains to the north. The trail traverses one of South Africa’s highest and most extensive dune fields, where a large variety of both fynbos and forest species prosper. Our national tree, the Milkwood, is rooted in abundance, along with many other coastal forest species such as candlewood and yellowwoods. Listen for the distinctive cry of the African fish eagle or the excited chatter of the black oystercatchers on the beach. Keep an eye out for grysbok, bushbuck, bush pig, monkeys, caracal and otters. After your run, enjoy a picnic at one of many of the tables dotted along the river bank, and if you are very brave, take a refreshing swim in the river!

Directions?: Goukamma NR Entrance – Take the Buffalo bay turn-off on the N2. Just follow the road for a few kilometres until you reach the gate of Cape Nature on your right by the river.

Route Profile: