On behalf of the Knysna council, I wish you a warm welcome to our piece of paradise, Greater Knysna. Our area is a unique place rich in breathtaking natural beauty and caring, dynamic and dedicated residents. Those who visited after the devastating fires of 2017 will notice the bountiful regeneration of our once-charred surroundings. Greater Knysna has definitely risen from the ashes, successfully demonstrating the #SpiritOfKnysna.
Whatever you choose to do this holiday, be it taking advantage of the wide variety of outdoor activities, strolling through our streets, browsing through the shops or taking advantage of the wide variety of culinary establishments, have fun and enjoy every moment. Reading this holiday guide you will discover just how much there is on offer.
Please treat Greater Knysna as your home away from home while you recharge your batteries for the year ahead. We are privileged to live in an area of unsurpassed beauty and I encourage you to explore our trails, shores and parks and to work with us in protecting our natural environment.
Have a blessed festive season and a very prosperous 2019. Thank you for visiting Greater Knysna, and when it's time to leave, please travel safely. I speak for all in hoping for your speedy return to Greater Knysna.
With warm festive greetings,
Mark Willemse - Executive mayor
If you count everything from the grand sweep of sand named Nature's Valley and the sobering desolation of the natural reserve leading up to Gericke's Point just west of Sedgefield, you would arguably be encountering one of the world's sexiest collection of coastal coves contained in a 100-odd kilometre stretch.
Despite it disappearing every half-a-dozen decades or so, it always resurfaces better than ever.
Includes that most resilient landmark – the Lookout Deck – which will no doubt remain intact after a 3rd World War.
Cool paddle pools for kids at the river-mouth and excellent surf for the beautiful young people and well-honed adorning the sand-strip stretching from the restaurant towards Keurbooms –basically Baywatch with a touch of class.
Popular for long walks, jogging, kayaking and paddle-skiing.
Stretches for 4km between the Robberg Peninsula and the Beacon Island Hotel.
Great sightings of dolphins, whales and seals either in or just behind the waves breaking onto the beach.
At low tide it is possible to spot a piece of Plett history, the shipwreck of the Athena, a Greek trawler that sank there in 1967.
Buffalo Bay is one of the most-loved beaches on the Garden Route. It’s situated in the Goukamma Nature Reserve where the natural beauty of the area has been protected over the decades.
Buffs (as it is affectionately known) offers great natural entertainment for all ages:
- Braai places along the beach towards caravan park
- The 6-odd km walk to Brenton on Sea offers best opportunity for existential pondering on Garden Route.
- Fine ablution facilities.
The western side of Buffs towards the river mouth is one of the only places along the garden route where you can see a susnset over the sea.
Brenton on Sea is a grand expanse of shoreline bordered by lush indigenous forest and the powerful Indian Ocean.
It is ideal for long lazy days of tanning and/or fishing from the rocks.
Its magnificent scenery and spectacular sunsets can be seen from Brenton Blue Hotel deck.
Dog friendly and ideal for long walks.
Wide sandy spread to the west and finely contoured coastline to the east complete with a river running through it.
Some surreal sand-sculpted boulder-fields and a natural mini hole-in-the-wall marking the start of a great nature trail to Nature's Valley.
One of the most popular Italian eateries south of Sicily makes it an absoluto primo SA beach experience still far from the maddening crowds.
1. Try your hand at pulling in some of the various fish species that populate the lagoon.
2. Get on a ferry and see the lagoon with a guide, some snacks, and a drink or two.
3. Watch the sunset from one of many restaurants scattered around the lagoon.
4. Visit the SANParks building on Thesen Island and see our internationally studied Knysna seahorse.
5. Go kayaking or canoeing. Or try your hand at some snorkeling.
6. Bird-watchers: the lagoon holds some treasures that you can spy with your binocular eye.
7. Try one of the oyster tours and experiences in the home of the Oyster Festival.
8. Or set out on the lagoon for a whale watching excursion.
The indigenous inhabitants of Knysna are called Khoi Khoi; they made this part of South Africa their home after traveling from Botswana some 2,000 years ago. In fact, UNESCO has recognized the Khoi Khoi culture.
European explorers first found what is now known as Knysna in the 18th century. Many of the Khoi Khois were displaced.
The endangered Knysna seahorse is named after the town and
can be spotted during a good snorkeling session in the estuary.
The species has survived 40 million years.
Knysna is also home to the only forest elephant in South
Africa called the Knysna Elephants (now thought extinct), the rare Pansy Shell
and the elusive Turaco bird, the Knysna Loerie.
Not only that, its indigenous forest makes up the largest closed-canopy forest on the continent.
Just outside Knysna to the south is a large Rastafarian community at a place called, Judah Square. It has been in existence since 1993.
As with all urban centres, petty crime can occur in the Garden Route, so residents and visitors are urged to be vigilant and always use common sense when out and about.
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO CONSIDER:Always keep a copy of your identity document and passport on your person.
Plettenberg Bay has developed a burgeoning wine industry over the past two decades and currently boasts 16 vineyards producing award-winning wines and bubbly. In 2000, local Peter Thorpe planted the first grapes in the area on his Bramon Estate in the Crags.
Others started to follow slowly and today the area boasts the country's most easterly cultivars stretching 57km along the coast from Packwood in Harkerville to Lodestone on the Redford Road in the Crags. The vineyards produce several varieties including Methode Cap Classique (MCC), sauvignon blanc, rose and pinot noir.
Here's a list of things you can do when the heavens open up this holiday:
Take a township tour and enjoy some unforgettable experiences off the beaten track. You can also take a drive on the 7 Passes Route and witness some beautiful scenery.
A hitherto unrefuted claim was once made that more adventure sports activities are available in a 100 km radius from Sedgefield than anywhere else on earth within the same geographical ambit.
Pro Dive Scuba Diving is situated at the Beacon Isle hotel in Plettenberg Bay and offers excellent facilities for scuba diving.
Bloukrans Bungy (Face Adrenalin) is situated just outside Plettenberg Bay. It was established in 1997 and recognised in 2003 as the world's highest commercial bungy jump.
Heads Explorer offer catamaran yachts for hire. For adventure and/or romance go sailing on the Knysna Lagoon to the Heads and beyond.
Experience the ultimate rush over some of the most scenic drop zones in the world with an adrenaline-pumping skydive in Plettenberg Bay.
Next to the Swartvlei lake in Sedgefield
Every Saturday from 07:30 - 12:00
Next to the Swartvlei lake in Sedgefield
Every Sunday from 09:00 - 15:00
HARKERVILLE SATURDAY MARKET
N2 between Knysna and Plett
Every Saturday from 08:00 - 12:00
THE FRIDAY MARKET
Knysna Montessori School
Every Friday from September to May, 16:00 - 20:30
OUTENIQUA FAMILY MARKET
N2 just outside George, opposite Garden Route Mall
Every Saturday from 08:00 - 14:00