Knysna, Western Cape
Did you know?
There's a large Rastafarian community outside Knysna at a place called Judah Square.
At the end of South Africa's Garden Route, in the Western Cape province, you'll come upon the forested town of Knysna which grew around an extensive lagoon of the same name.
It’s easy to get into the Knysna spirit as you drive in on the N2 highway from Cape Town. The town is well developed, but it feels as if you’re travelling in woodcutter country.
Knysna's most famed attraction is the Knysna Heads, the treacherous entry into the Knysna lagoon where many an ancient sailing vessel met its doom.
Today the Featherbed Nature Reserve pays homage to the richness of fauna and flora that Knysna has to offer on the southern head, while the northern head forms part of the sprawling residential development that is Knysna.
The nearby Knysna Elephant Park is home to relocated jumbo families, while Monkeyland primate sanctuary a little further down the N2 does the same for tree-loving species. Both destinations are popular choices for children.
Dolphins are often spotted offshore, while southern right whales pay seasonal visits to the shores of the Paradise Coast. A dolphin-spotting boat trip might include a stop off at the Robberg Peninsula near Plettenberg Bay to visit a noisy seal colony.
Knysna is replete with accommodation to suit all pockets. You can stay on a houseboat on the lagoon, a forest lodge near the beach, a log cabin in the forest, a Cape Cod-style mansion, a bustling hotel on the main road or one of numerous guest houses.
Venture a little out of the town and head north to reach the Garden Route National Park which takes in the beautiful scenery of the Wilderness region, a suspension bridge and the gastronomy of the Route.
South of Knysna is the Buffalo Bay beach, popular with surfers and sun-lovers and further south lies Sedgefield, billed as the perfect family destination.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Phone: +27 (0)44 382 5510
How to get here
Knysna can be easily accessed by road as it lies on the N2 between Cape Town (500 km) and Port Elizabeth (280 km). Knysna's biggest neighbouring towns are George (60 km) and Plettenberg Bay (35 km). George Airport is 65 km away and offers daily flight options.
Best time to visit
The summer months between October and April are the most popular. Be sure to book preferred accommodation in advance if you wish to visit during these months.
Around the area
Head for the nearby town of Storms River, where treetop canopy tours through the Tsitsikamma Forest get Tarzan whoop going. There are a number of trails available in the district, the most famous of all being the Otter Trail.
Length of stay
A week in Knysna will allow you to get a good feel for the area and experience the various must-do activities.
Where to stay
There is a four-star Protea Hotel at the Knysna Quays, as well as many bed and breakfast venues in and around the town.
If you are on a budget, Knysna Backpackers is an excellent vaulue-for-money establishment.
What to eat
Knysna is famed for its oysters, so be sure to discover why.
The Knysna Oyster Festival takes place in July, generally for 10 days or so.
Oysters and wooden artefacts.