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TThe Knysna Oyster Festival is a 10-day event aimed at foodies, sports lovers and families that proves one of the highlights of winter along the Garden Route. Oyster eating, oyster shucking, oyster farm tours, oyster recipe challenges and gourmet oyster-themed dinners happen throughout this Western Cape festival, along with wine and champagne tastings.
The oyster festival attracts 70 000 visitors or more annually; food lovers who slurp and swallow their way through over 200 000 oysters at more than 20 dedicated oyster venues. Here the delectable molluscs can be eaten au naturel or cooked in a variety of ways.
Besides oysters, the festival hosts 2 top-notch competitive sporting events: the Knysna Cycle Tour and the Knysna Forest Marathon. Both are booked up months in advance.
Serious athletes aside, the Knysna Oyster Festival has a packed and varied programme of adventure, sports and culture for the whole family. It includes everything from paddling, golf, bowls, soccer, angling and mountain biking to music concerts, theatre shows, craft workshops, cooking demonstrations and even bridge contests.
There is a special focus on activities for children at the Young Oyster Festival. Tots to teens can attend youth theatre and puppet shows, creative art workshops and cooking courses.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Visit Knysna (Tourist information for Knysna and the Knysna Oyster Festival)
Tel: +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 (500km) and Port Elizabeth (280km). Knysna’s biggest neighbouring towns are George (60km) and Plettenberg Bay (35km). George Airport is a mere 65km away and provides a variety of daily flight options to and from major cities.
Best time to visit
The Oyster Festival takes place in June or July; see the listed website for specific dates each year.
Around the area
Bloukrans Bridge has the world’s highest bungee jump at 216m, now with added zipline thrills, and it’s very near Knysna.
Length of stay
The festival lasts for 10 days, but a day trip to surrounding areas will also be worth it.
Where to stay
Knysna has a great number of accommodation options – from budget to luxury.