Choose your country and language:

Africa

  • Global
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • DRC
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Americas

  • USA
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

Asia Pacific

  • China
  • India
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Australia

Europe

  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • United Kingdom
Back
Western Cape
Adventure
Attractions
Museums
Culture
Food
Routes
Trails
Luxury
Wine
Events
Family
Kids
Camping
Lifestyle
Small town charm

KKnysna is located along South Africa’s beautiful and famed Garden Route in the Western Cape province. This small town boasts an incredible   annual oyster festival, friendly people, magical forests and the most magnificent views from Leisure Isle to the Knysna Heads. A visit to Knysna is a sublime blend of adventure and relaxation.

The forested town of Knysna, which grew around an extensive lagoon of the same name, is a verdant paradise of lush, indigenous forests, azure tranquil lakes and golden sun drenched beaches. It is nestled on the banks of a lagoon that is a protected marine reserve,  home to amongst others, extraordinary sea horses and over 200 species of fish.

DDriving in on the N2 highway from Cape Town, you’re met with a well-developed town that feels as if you’re travelling in woodcutter county. The main street of Knysna, lined with small boutiques and shops, is actually a part of the N2 highway, which passes directly through the centre of the town en route to the Eastern Cape and beyond.

Knysna's most famed attraction is the Knysna Heads and no visit would be complete  without a trip to the Heads –  a striking geological feature made up of a pair of huge, brightly coloured cliffs lying at the mouth of the lagoon, flanking a channel of potentially treacherous waters that flow into the  lagoon. The eastern Head houses a lookout with spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna whilst the western Head is a privately owned nature reserve called Featherbed Nature Reserve. Visitors can get to the reserve via ferry.

Did You Know?
TThere's a large Rastafarian community outside Knysna at a place called Judah Square.

TThe area around Knysna is a veritable Garden of Eden. This is the home of the only forest elephant in South Africa; the rare Pansy Shell; the brilliantly coloured and elusive Knysna Loerie; a plethora of waterfowl and forest birds; dolphins and visiting whales. The nearby Knysna Elephant Park is home to relocated jumbo families and is a popular choice for families.

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 brimming with all kinds of accommodation to suit all budgets. 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, and a bustling hotel on the main road or in one of numerous guesthouses.

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.

Knysna, Western Cape

Food
When to visit
How to get here

TThe harbour area and the Knysna Waterfront are also home to most of Knysna’s nightlife, with several bars, restaurants and clubs where patrons can enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset over the Heads. Golf enthusiasts will find the area a joy, with several world-class courses on offer both in Knysna itself, and in neighbouring towns. Fancourt in George is within easy reach, and Simola, Pezula and the Knysna golf course are all located in the town itself.

Beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers provide endless opportunities for leisure and outdoor adventure. Within the town, craft shops, flea markets and cosy cafés beckon with small-town charm and hospitality.

Who to contact
How to get here
Best time to visit
Around the area
Length of stay
Where to stay
What to eat
What's happening
Best buys

Related articles

Western Cape: fun in the sun, from the mountains to the sea

Western Cape: fun in the sun, from the mountains to the sea

Western Cape is South Africa’s premier province for fun in the sun: Cape Town is surrounded by world-class wine routes, stunning scenery and unique West Coast and Garden Route flora and fauna.

The Hunter-Gatherer Trail along the Garden Route: hike through the landscape of an ancient human heritage

The Hunter-Gatherer Trail along the Garden Route: hike through the landscape of an ancient human heritage

Hike the Hunter-Gatherer Trail in Western Cape along the Garden Route to experience the landscape as humans did for tens of thousands of years, and you’ll know you’re in the Cradle of Human Culture.

The Freedom Trail: coast to coast on a mountain bike

The Freedom Trail: coast to coast on a mountain bike

The Freedom Trail is an exhilarating mountain-bike route from East Coast to West Coast in South Africa that runs through some of the most spectacular natural beauty the country has to offer.

Sea kayaking in Western Cape: ocean views like no other

Sea kayaking in Western Cape: ocean views like no other

Sea kayaking off the coast of Western Cape province is superb exercise, a great way to see some stunning coastline and a chance to soothe your soul in South Africa’s diverse marine environment.

Port Elizabeth to Nature’s Valley: soaring forests and much more on the way to Tsitsikamma from Eastern to Western Cape

Port Elizabeth to Nature’s Valley: soaring forests and much more on the way to Tsitsikamma from Eastern to Western Cape

The N2 route from Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape to Nature’s Valley in Western Cape offers seaside history, excellent seafood, surfing and adventure, and magnificent views in the Tsitsikamma Forest.

An award-winning incentive destination – Western Cape incentives

An award-winning incentive destination – Western Cape incentives

The Western Cape offers a rich floral kingdom, pristine beaches, a globally renowned wine industry, award-winning restaurants and a unique history and heritage.

Western Cape highlights

Western Cape highlights

Western Cape highlights include Table Mountain, Robben Island, the West Coast and Whale Coast, the Cape winelands, the Karoo and the verdant Garden Route.

A demanding race along the coast – The Two Oceans Marathon

A demanding race along the coast – The Two Oceans Marathon

The Two Oceans Marathon route runs between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans down on the Cape Peninsula and offers ultramarathon and half-marathon options.

South Africa on social media

Copyright © 2020 South African Tourism
|Terms and conditions|Disclaimer|Privacy policy