At first glance it might look like a home for fairies, but spend time in Grootvadersbosch and you’ll soon fall under a deeper enchantment. Mesmerised by the woodlands’ serenity, Wild reader Dani Saporetti was inspired to write a poem about the forest’s comforting presence.

Located in the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains, Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve will cast a spell on anyone who wanders amongst its venerable trees. The reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 2004, is home to 250 hectares of indigenous forest – think ancient yellowwood, stinkwood and ironwood trees.

All pictures by Dani Saporetti

Dani Saporetti fell in love with the solitude of these captivating woodlands when she and her boyfriend enjoyed a dreamy forest getaway at one of the Grootvadersbosch cabins. With their cosy kuierkamer (covered braai and dinner area) and lounge with a built-in fireplace, the cabins are made for relaxing with loved ones.

Each of the 11 cabins consists of two bedrooms, a bathroom with shower, a kuierkamer, a lounge and a fully equipped kitchen.

“We woke up to bushbuck outside our cabin and enjoying the fireplace was definitely one of the many highlights for me,” Dani enthusiastically tells Wild.

The reserve is home to almost 200 bird species and two bird hides are specially raised to give you a treetop view. Packing binoculars, a bird book, snacks, some sundowners and a list of birds they hoped to spot, the couple wasted no time in heading off to find a bird hide.

The view from the bird hide

“We watched the most magnificent sunset from one of the bird hides and took about two hours to walk a 4km route as we got distracted by all the sights, sounds and magnitude of the forest,” Dani recalls.

Also read: Overnight hiking in Boosmansbos Wilderness Area

On the Sunday, as she sat next to the waterfall, Dani was so inspired that she decided to write a poem about the forest on the spot.

“My poem, ‘Conversation with trees’, is a record of the running commentary looping through my mind whilst walking in Grootvadersbosch. The forest speaks for itself.”

Conversations with Trees

Talk to me old one about the lessons you’ve learnt,
the things you’ve heard

Talk to me about growing upwards towards the light
Talk to me wise one about 100 years of stillness,
Growing from your roots
To the greatest of heights

Speak to me Great Grandfather about your reasons and seasons
In silence, knowing what you know
Growing how you grow
Speak to me Great Grandmother about bending and not breaking
In times of woe
In silence, glowing how you glow

I’m listening ancient one
for you’re the observer of so much time
Guide me through meandering thoughts
They’re yours, channelling through mine

Talk to me oh tallest one
I feel such strength in your shadow
Your clarity I breathe in
Your vibration I will follow

Written by Dani Saporetti

Have you ever been inspired by nature to write a poem or a song, sketch a scene or paint a picture? Tell us in the comments below.