Milestone forest is maintained by the Balgowan Conservancy, the oldest conservancy in the country.
“Milestone is a part of the Afro- Montane Forest, a living monument to our tumultuous climactic past. Afro-Montane, or mist belt, Forest has its ancestral home in the Highlands of East Africa. From there it colonized southwards during the wetter episodes of the Pleistocene. At the height of wet periods, this forest would have been continuous all the way to the Cape.
Milestone is relatively young by geological standards, its whole story falling within the last 4 million years. It contains a number of southern African endemics, species not found in current East African forests, although having their origins there. Examples are Burchillia Bubalina, Calcinopsis ilicifolia, …….. Rhus dentate, ……….. . Podocarpus henkelii (Yellowwood) is exceptionally interesting because it has a narrow range centred on SWest KZN and it is the dominant tree in Milestone.” Dr David Johnson
Milestone Forest Walks: Open during daylight hours, some trees are named and the 4 routes are easy to follow. Route “A”, to the left, takes about 30 minutes and takes you to some very old and magnificent Yellowwood trees. Route “B” second right, takes about 1 hour, and goes up a steep incline to the top of the hill with views across to the Berg. Return the same way on both routes.
The Bush Pig walk and the Porcupine Walk are about 30 to 40 minutes each.
Walk quietly and you will be rewarded by many sightings of birds. Some 165 species have been seen including the Cape Parrot, Nerina Trojan, Louries, flycatchers and robins. There is plenty of wildlife such as a bushbuck, porcupine or bush pig, which you will smell before you see, and don’t go near. You will see wonderful funghi too.
Exploring the forest on your own is easy. However, should you like more information and a very interesting guide, and there are 4 or more of you, please call Marylin Revez on 0824273365.
You will need wellies if it is wet. We suggest you use the conservancy’s bird list to tick off what you see as you walk.
There is no charge for entrance nor guide, but it would be helpful if you could make a donation to the conservancy to help with their work.
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