Cape Town - Easter is that one special holiday that always creeps up on us by surprise and blesses us with a few free days of vacation and well-deserved escapes (+ days to nurse possible chocolate comas).
One enjoyable way to celebrate Easter is to set up a picnic in the forests and plan a winning easter-egg hunt with the children.
Forests are great for getting away from the masses of noise, bringing in a green theme or fresh air option to your holiday and it also forces everyone to kick off their shoes and relax in the shade of tall, ancient trees.
You can get creative with your Easter egg-hunt. One pro tip is to make sure you keep a list of where the eggs have been hidden.
If you are travelling to a part of SA where there happens to be unique wildlife - why not write the names of the different animals on each egg and challenge each child to find a chocolate egg with each animal's name written on it.
This can create some local awareness in a fun way.
You can try this technique with a variety of travel locations and elements, like rivers, cities, towns, road names or even plants.
Check out these gorgeous forests...
1. Grootvaderbosch, Swellendam
This CapeNature forest is one of the most important indigenous Afromontane forests in the south-western Cape. It also contains 35 typical forest tree species, such as the ironwood, stinkwood and red alder.
Visitors can enjoy the scenic views, waterfalls and visits from pretty butterflies and rare wildlife.
There are baboons and birds in the area - CapeNature explains that you are most likely to bump into one of them. They've also recently revamped their overnight cabins to be even more of an eco-friendly stay - so check it out.
Bring your jumpers, magnifying glasses and festive imagination to take advantage of this special treat.
READ: Grootvaderbosch: Following the hermit
2. Kologha Forest, Stutterheim
Filled with tall stinkwoods and yellow woods - the Kologha is home to many small animals, freshwater fish, bush pigs, bats and monkeys.
There are six famous hiking trails in the forest as well as plenty of trees to picnic under.
The rustic and lush atmosphere is bound to make it feel like being part of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.
3. Krantzkloof Nature Reserve - KwaZulu-Natal
The forest lies on the coastal land between Pinetown and Hillcrest in the reserve.
It is well known as the home of two river gorges - the Molweni and Nkutu. If you would like to enjoy a picnic near to the sea and enjoy spotting zebra, monkies and mongoose - the Krantzkloof if the ideal spot.
4. Lisbon falls - Mpumalanga
A trek to the Lisbon Falls in not for the faint-hearted, but once you hear the rumbling of the falls, you will realise the beauty of this special area.
There are believed to be more waterfalls in this area of Mpumalanga than any other area in Southern Africa. So pack your picnic basket and set up under a shady tree while hunting for little eggs between colourful sunbirds.
5. Woodbush Forest Reserve - Magoebaskloof
This forest is lush, overgrown and has a jungle-like atmosphere that will make any travellers believe that fairies do indeed exist.
Picnic near one of the many waterfalls and hide chocolate treasures around rocks at the Degibeni Falls.
6. Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve- North West
A forest of sorts - the reserve lies just outside of Klerksdorp and is filled with acacia trees and stunning owls, spotted eagles and nightjars.
It has an abundance of acacia trees and little hills perfect for enjoying a sunset picnic in the wild, to avoid the heat.
Why not picnic just before sunset and hide your eggs while the sun is still out.
This way - you save the eggs from being melted by the sun and can have an easter egg hunt at dusk. Just make sure you collect all the eggs before leaving.
7. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden - Gauteng
While these may not exactly be a natural 'forest' per say - the Witpoortjie Falls area has been used as a recreational area since the late 1800's explains Sanbi.
It has a gorgeous lawn area right at the foot of the falls.
The gardens are also filled with trees and themed plant gardens that everyone in the family will enjoy exploring. Check it out!
8. Sterkfontein Dam Reserve - Sterkfontein
The Sterkfontein Dam Reserve is nestled against the mountain slopes, green kloofs and crystal lakes. If you would like to spot wildlife - keep your eyes peeled for oribi, grey rhebuck and even the little woodpecker. There is a variety of strong trees that form dense tree tops and cool areas to picnic under.
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