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Knysna Garden Route South Africa

Knysna is a beautiful coastal town, located in the in the heart of the picturesque South African Garden Route. It is situated between George and Plettenberg Bay on the national N2 highway (linking Cape Town with Port Elizabeth); 72 kilometres east of George and 25 kilometres west of Plettenberg Bay.

Its moderate Mediterranean climate - with hot summers and mild winters - makes it an ideal tourist destination for all seasons.  Surrounded by indigenous forests, tranquil lakes, mountains and expansive surrounding beaches, Knysna offers the traveller a diverse and exciting selection of leisure and outdoor activities.


The town is built on the banks of the spectacular Knysna Lagoon, surrounded by a marine reserve – the Featherbed Nature Reserve – which is home to more than 200 fish species. This includes the endangered Knysna sea horse (the world’s only estuarine seahorse), as well as the beautiful but rare Pansy shell urchins. The Knysna lagoon is protected from the sea by two sandstone ‘heads’, situated at the entrance of the lagoon. The magnificent Knysna Heads are accessible by boat, or from hiking paths in the Featherbed Nature Reserve.

The indigenous Knysna forest comprises the largest remaining indigenous forest in South Africa, and can be experience by means of canopy gliding, forest hikes and mountain bike trails. Nineteen vegetation types endemic to Knysna are found in the region, and include the last of the endangered Knysna Sand and Knysna Conglomerate Fynbos. Knysna Elephant Park – which started as an elephant orphanage – offers an unforgettable opportunity to interact with these majestic animals. The Knysna Heads and surrounding pristine beaches at Buffalo Bay, Noetzie, Bollard Bay, Brenton on Sea, and Goukamma are great destinations for sunbathing, snorkelling, fishing, hiking, nocturnal beach walks and diving.

In addition to water sport, Knysna is an idyllic golfing destination with world class golf courses such as the Knysna Golf Course, Pezula Golf Course and Simola Golf Course to choose from. Other popular sporting activities include the classic car event, the Knysna Simola Hill Climb and the ‘Big5 Challenge hosted by the Pick and Pay during the Oyster Festival. These festival events include the Argus Rotary Cycle Tour (mountain bike race), Salomon Featherbed Trail Run and the Knysna Dragons Lagoon Swim.

Knysna is a preferred adventure sport destination. Adventure activities include canoeing, deep sea fishing, kayaking, a ‘speed powerboat flip’ experience, fly fishing, horse riding and whale watching. It is also a popular destination for bird-watching – with the colourful Knysna Loerie being the crowning experience!

Knysna hosts a number of popular annual festivals, including the internationally renowned Knysna Oyster Festival in July - a gastronomic feast of delectable ocean fresh oysters. Other popular festivals include the Knysna Literary Festival in March, Gastronomic a Lifestyle Festival in September, the Rastafarian Earth Festival in July and the glittery, four day Pink Lourie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival at the end of April – one of the biggest and most festive gay events hosted in South Africa!


Accommodation in Knysna ranges from bed and breakfasts, back packer’s lodges, guest-farm stays, holiday resorts, hotels – including five star luxury hotels, houseboats, self-catering apartments, guest houses, lodges and health spas. With over sixty restaurants to choose from, Knysna offers a choice of culinary experiences ranging from affordable eateries to haute cuisine and fine-dining. Cuisines include popular cultural offerings as well as African, pub fare, sushi, tapas, seafood, vegetarian and Mediterranean fare. Knysna is also home to the well-known craft brewery ‘Mitchells Brewery’.


Entertainment includes live bands, theatre productions, the latest cinema releases, clubs and pubs. The Knysna Waterfront being a popular pub and live entertainment venue. The Knysna Waterfront is a veritable ‘shoppers’ paradise’ with offerings  such as branded- and leisure clothing, books, gifts, curios, collectables, art and crafts, jewellery and tarot readings!