About Knysna

Knysna is the "Jewel of the Garden Route" and one of South Africa's favourite holiday destinations and is the ideal base from which to explore the Garden Route. It offers many outdoor activities and adventure.

Beaches, lakes, rivers, forest and mountains, something to suit everyone. From adventurous activities to unspoilt sandy beaches, walks through the forest, cycling, horse riding, quad biking or scenic drives.
Knysna Elephant Park, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Elephant Sanctuary and Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Try some water sports such as canoeing, tubing, waterskiing, diving, fishing or whale watching.

Spend a day on one of our incredible golf courses with view over the lagoon and the mountains whilst you face the challenge.

In Knysna's vicinity you will find many more attractions and breathtaking landscapes.

The Tsitsikamma Nationalpark is only a one hour drive from Knysna.
Visit the Stormsriver Mouth with its famous suspension bridge or take a walk along the rugged coastline and through the dense forest on the legendary Otter Trail, which takes 5 days. For the day visitor there are shorter walks and hikes.

Enjoy a day-trip into Ostrich Country to Oudtshoorn, which lies between the magnificent Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains.
Take a tour on one of the ostrich show farms or face the adventure in the Cango Caves.

Near Port Elisabeth about 300 km from Knysna, is the Addo Elephant Nationalpark, a malaria free game reserve, which is home to more than 400 elephants.
The park is situated in the Sunday River Valley that is also an important citrus producing area.


Knysna is the ideal base from which to explore the Garden Route. It is nestled on the shores of an estuary between indigenous forests, the Outeniqua Mountains and the coastline. Beaches, Lakes, mountains and rivers offer visitors an unforgettable holiday – for everyone from the very adventurous to those who prefer to relax in the sun, stroll through cool forests or take scenic day drives.

The area is a Garden of Eden. Home to Knysna elephants, the Knysna seahorse, Knysna dwarf chameleon, the Brenton Blue Butterfly, the Pansy shell, the brilliantly coloured Knysna Loerie, a variety of waterfowls and forest birds, cultivated and wild oysters, dolphins, whales and so much more.

Activities in Knysna

Enjoy the view from the Eastern Head View point or Brenton on Sea. A visit to the Featherbed Nature Reserve – the Western Head – combines a boat trip, tractor ride and a short hike with magnificent views.

Enjoy the Knysna lagoon: swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, diving, snorkelling etc. A number of ferry and boat trips are available daily.

The Knysna Waterfront, a waterfront development, boasts restaurants, shops and much more. Shop, eat or simply sit on the quay-side and watch the boats rocking on the tide.

The Knysna forest can be enjoyed on foot, horseback, by bicycle or by car. There are lots of walks and hikes and many scenic picnic sides. The walks / hikes range from easy to difficult. At the “Garden of Eden” between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay you will find a wheel chair friendly walking route in the indigenous forest.

The forest can be entered at any time during the day but you are advised to leave before sunset. Some entry points will require you to sign a permit and other charge an entry fee.

Discover history in Knysna. The Holy Trinity Church in Belvidere, build 1851, is a charming example of 12th century Norman-style architecture. Visit the Millwood Gold Mine deep in the forest, where you can view the mine shaft and other derelict mining equipment. At Millwood House Museum, old photographs of Millwood and scenes from Knysna’s pioneering days offer a nostalgic journey down memory lane. The original St. George’s Church, completed in 1855, features exposed hammer trusses, a timbered ceiling and lovely, brad yellow wood floorboards. The recently renovated San Ambrosio Church at Gouna is open daily. Reflect in church or read up on the history of the Italian silk spinners, for whom the church was built. The Old Gaol Complex is now home to the Knysna Art Gallery and maritime and Angling Museums. 

Catch a glimpse of African Wildlife at the Knysna Elephant Park, where you can hug, feed or ride tamed African Elephants. The Elephant Sanctuary near Plettenberg Bay also features these loveable animals.

At Monkeyland skilled guides will take you on a tour through the forest populated by all kinds of apes and monkeys. Go bird watching next door at the Birds of Eden Sanctuary or cat patting at the Tenikwa Wildlife centre. For reptile fans Lancewood Snake Park shows a big variety of snakes, from harmless to extremely poiseness, as well as iguanas, crocodiles etc.

In whale season from May to November boat-based whale watching tours will bring you close to Bryde’s, Southern Right or Humpback Whales. Dolphins are abundant throughout the year.

Outdoors

The beaches in the area invite for sunbathing and swimming but one must be aware of the strong currents and tides.

Leisure Isle Beach at Bollards Bay is an ideal family beach with safe swimming in shallow waters in the lagoon.

The Knysna Heads are good for snorkelling but is very dangerous to swim out into the channel between The Heads because of the tidal current.

Coney Glen is a popular fishing and picnicking spot on the Eastern Head.

Noetzie is a stunning secluded beach, but you have to negotiate roughly 100 stairs to get to the surf and back. Swimming is very unsafe.

Buffalo Bay is the best spot for swimming and excellent surfing. It is also ideal for walking all the way to Brenton-on-Sea. Showers, toilets, a restaurant and shop are situated near the parking area.

Brenton-on-Sea is suitable for walking and sunbathing. The beach is also popular with paragliders. A big rock formation, Castle Rock, is a favourite fishing spot. Swimming is dangerous because of the current. There are several coves to the east of Castle Rock that invite exploration, but watch the tide!

Goukamma is situated between Buffalo Bay and Sedgefield. It is a Nature Reserve that offers wonderful beaches, epic sand dunes, flowing river mouths and unspoiled coastal forests.

Knysna’s natural beauty and its cosmopolitan community inspire a unique creativity in artists – both local and international – making it the art and craft capital of the region.

The local markets will spoil you with fresh farm products and easy food. The Friday Market in Welbedacht area is a food market that offers supper from 4 till 8 pm (closed in winter). The Sedgefield Wild Oats Farmers Market and the Harvest Time Saturday Farmers Market in Harkerville trade fresh farm product. Food stalls for breakfast are also available.

And if all else fails grab a beer. Knysna has its own brewery – Mitchell’s Brewery. Tours are available daily except Sundays and you will find the atmosphere relaxing and the beer out of this world.

Day Trips

Plettenberg is approximately 35 km east of Knysna. It is famous for its beaches, the Keurboom River and The Robberg Nature Reserve. This peninsula has three walking trails and is a good point for viewing whales, dolphins and seals.

About 80 km east of Knysna the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park offers contrasting beauty of river, forest, sea and fynbos. Explore the area by foot on one of the many scenic walks and hikes.

Roughly 45 km west of Knysna you will find beaches, lakes, rivers and forest at Wilderness. Canoeing trips are the best way to discover the natural beauty.

George is the sixth oldest town in South Africa, with a sophisticated infrastructure, including banks, conference facilities, businesses, major shopping chains, transport and sporting facilities. It has many historical landmarks, including the Choo Tjoe Train Museum.

Mossel Bay has always been a favourite holiday destination, a harbour town with long, sandy beaches.

Oudtshoorn, a more or less 1.5 hours drive from Knysna, is home to more than 400 ostrich farms and well-known for the Cango Caves. Guided tours are available on show farms and the caves may be explored on a “standard” or “adventure” tour, which leads you deep into the subterranean wonderland.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 07:56

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