Encompassed by a stunningly wonderful island coves and ancient tropical forests, Knysna is the most vital region that is easily accessible on the Garden Route.
It used to be the main source of the timber business, producing tons of Yellowwood and Stinkwood that are mainly used for railroad purposes, for shipping and also building of homes. The region gained prominence for intricate woodwork, crafts, and furniture making.
The beach and other water attraction has dependably been well known for cruising devotees, and there’s also flourishing seafood industry to help South Africa’s economy.
Here are a few Things To Do In Knysna …
When To Go:
The overall climate and atmosphere of the island is composed of hot summers, and mellow to crisp winters. In any season, it stays lush green and anytime of the year is useful when going to the territory. It gets rain as the year progressed, albeit around 70% of that falls during the evening and for the most part in summer.
The humid summer season falls inside the period of October to March. The months April to September are viewed as the off season winter time. Knysna lies in the southern half of the globe inside a standout and most calm atmospheres on the planet where the seasons are the complete opposite of those in the northern side of the equator.
These are the top attractions and the not to be missed places when in Knysna, South Africa…
is perhaps the most beautiful part of Knysna that consists of two head lands, like two heads close to the Knysna Lagoon and reaching out to the Indian Ocean. In good weather, you can see high waves lapping at the shore and sparkling; splashing crashing on the rocks.
There are also lovely walks with remarkable landscapes. During peak season, the crowded parking is difficult because the available space is really small. The Heads are definitely worth a visit. Especially in the morning light as it is still quiet. You can make a short walk to the sea and enjoy watching the waves.
It is the point where the ocean, with its strong waves shrinks and then will form the Knysna lagoon. It is very nice to see the landscape and the excellent terraces.
On the way back also recommend is a visit to leisure island to see the same scene from a different point of view. It is a must-visit place. Give yourself two hours of carefree walking in front of a breathtaking landscape that will take any negative thought from your head.
To access this place, follow the signs with the car until you reach a small parking lot. It is obviously all free (apart from the usual “valet” found almost everywhere in this country.
Knysna Elephant Park
It is a great experience to meet these pachyderms up close here at the Knysna Elephant Park. The tour begins with a train that takes you in this very large lawn where you’ll meet the elephants, about 9 of them and each specimen is followed by an attendant who tells them what to do.
They usually place them behind a bulkhead to feed them, then each employee by will say a bit of explanations and then you can approach, touch, feed (you can buy s fruit basket at the checkout counter) them and take some photos.
For what it offers, it is perhaps a bit expensive about 30 euro each but it is still a great experience. The guides are very knowledgeable and helpful. During the visit you will learn many things about the life of elephants.
The Knysna Elephant Park is an unforgettable experience for adults, kids and the whole family. You can avail of the ride on elephants a (a fantastic experience but very painful on the legs).
After the ride you can wander along the forest with the elephants where you will have the chance to touch, hug, and caress them. You can sleep close to the elephants in an attic overlooking them. There you will see lots of puppies and pregnant mothers.
It is one of the popular things to do on a visit to Knysna.
Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park
is a road that meanders between the flower beds, beautiful plants and inspiring scenery. The first place you will see is the reconstruction of a village Khoisan that consists only of two stalls.
From here, you can go on the same route and cross the highest bridge in the world from which you can do bungee jumping.
This sighting post is nice and you’ll see the bridge and the location of the launch. Then you can proceed with the car towards the suspension bridge (another crossing). The path to get there is made of wooden stairs which is located about 900 meters along the sea. Pay attention to the flowers and the view.
You will get to the bridge and be surprised to find that it is in effect a set of 3 wooden bridges and rope that run one after the other. It is not structured like the usual bridges with vertical strips of wood but are parallel to the person, so they are more prone to swaying. In return, you can spot a small colony of dolphins and whales that gives quite a show in the ocean.
If you plan to continue, walk further up to the canopy tour which offers a chance to climb trees with ropes and suspended platforms. You can stop and see the Big Tree, a yellowwood tree that is more than 1000 years old with the trunk measuring 18 meters high, 8.5 meters in diameter, huge and majestic.
It is obligatory to visit to this old inhabitant; it seems to be really in the presence of a loving grandfather that looks imposing and well preserved.
You can also take a short walk to the Storms River Mouth located between forest and ocean view. This part of the park is still very touristy but it is worth all the effort to see the natural wonders of Knysna.
To access the Knysna Lagoon you must take the boat that leaves from John Benn beautiful Waterfront Knysna and in about 40 minutes reach the most famous point of the whole lagoon: The Heads. This is the biggest attraction in the lagoon because it opens the Indian Ocean in a succession of rocks and spurs.
The anecdote /story goes that many boats try to enter the lagoon and then to the port of Knysna have clashed against the rocks and are therefore sunk. The ride is very relaxing on this beautiful landscape of Knysna.
The Knysna Lagoon is a must. A cruise allows you to fully enjoy the beauty, especially if done at sunset. Small or large boats, catamarans or canoes allow appreciation of the views and variations of light at all times of the day.
The City of Knysna is extremely pleasant and the best part of it is the lagoon. In the area of heads, the lagoon meets the sea, which is very beautiful. There is a waterfront with several shops and restaurants, which is a great place to stroll and eat something.
The Knysna Lagoon measures 17 kms long and is one of the postcards in the region of Knysna, a town in the Western Cape Province that integrates the Garden Route which is known for producing oysters with fine dining experts in the preparation of these mollusks.
Another point of tourist interest of Knysna and worth mentioning is the viewpoint of Knysna Heads, with panoramic views, allowing you to observe the two large sandstone cliffs that mark the meeting of calm Knysna Lagoon with the indomitable Indian Ocean.
is a quiet resort with opportunities for camping and surfing. You can reach this beach after a fabulous walk from Brenton on Sea. Along the way, you can often stop to appreciate the sea, the spectacle of sea birds and the fresh breeze from the sea. The beautiful wild beach can be accessed by walking from Brenton or by car.
There are lots of small restaurant and souvenir shops. If you are lucky you can see whales, dolphins or sometimes a stray penguin! The beach is great for surfing at low tide and ideal for small children. It has a small observation deck with a great view. The Buffalo Bay is a vast natural area with an endless beach. The beach consists of very fine sand and you can collect many beautiful shells there.
The Buffalo Bay invites many surfers, wake boarders and canoeists who go there to pursue their hobby. On weekends, there are many families with children who enjoy the variety of water sports activities which can be found there.
Since it is quite flat in the water, it is the ideal beach for children. Even at its peak season the beach is not crowded and you can always find a free spot where you can enjoy a mile-long walk or jog to the direction of Brenton-on-Sea. It is a good option near Knysna because it is one of the beaches with sand and waves closer to the people and only 20 minutes away from downtown.
Brenton on Sea
is one of the many beaches of this mega country. It pays to go all the way on the detour to get there (going up there also offers great views of the Knysna Lagoon). Once you get to Brenton, there is ample parking space and a spectacular view on the wild beach with rocks and cliffs.
You can swim to the beach without any problems and find a unique tranquility that only this part of Knysna can offer. The beach is close to Knysna downtown and very spacious with golden sands and fabulous surroundings.
There are some places designated for swimming (do not go too far there are chances of strong waves, currents and sharks). It is equipped with small but simple and clean facilities (restrooms, benches, and a small bistro) and a possible chance of seeing whales on the horizon. Other things, it is a good place to stroll whether it is early morning or towards the evening after sunset.
Featherbed Nature Reserve
The tour of the Featherbed Nature Reserve begins with a half hour boat ride to the entrance of the lagoon with a very humorous guide (look for the Featherbed Company Tours).
The trip starts by boat from the harbor and crossing the lagoon to the berths of the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Then you go with a “Ranger-train” up to the plateau, from where you will have a great view of the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Knysna. down a trail that is easy to manage on foot.
At the reserve, the participants of the tour are then distributed into several small trailer which were drawn up with a tractor the mountain. At the top, it will move in a slow tempo and a long queue to walk back down. The distance is about 2.5 km. Those who do not feel like running can simply take their pace and walk slowly.
The adventure is made more interesting because of the jokes and sayings of the tour assistant who wants to make it feel like just a walk in the park. The served lunch is okay and the scenery is beautiful. For more adventure, you can try and rent a canoe where you can paddle through the waters or explore the Lagoon and Heads in any other way.
The Featherbed Nature Reserve itself is a must see. You can also view the entire city from this point. You can walk and see several historic stunning trails through forests, past cliffs and caves (good shoes required) and with a stop for an excellent buffet lunch.
Garden of Eden
is a small tropical rain forest with a trail of half a mile which is one of the best way to experience and admire the rich flora and fauna of Knysna. You will understand its environment more through a piece of this rain forest that is dotted with tall Yellowwood trees and some other rarities.
The upkeep of the birds really have a very nice facility and you can see many species of every breed that is endemic to South Africa. The Garden of Eden is a quick stop along the highway equipped with two small loops in the shade of trees where it is ideal to stretch and take a breath of fresh air while in the quiet forest.
The path is made of nickel and all wood and fully adapted to strollers or people with limited mobility. You can cross several resumption of birds but it would still be impossible to photograph because of their speed. At one point, the birds are fed and it is the right time and opportunity to approach and admire them closely and eventually take some pictures.
The garden is a short walk on a wooden walkway in a small patch of forest in the area and might be of interest only to fans of botany.
Nevertheless, the place is still fantastic and one of the best attractions that must not be missed while in South Africa. Enjoy the quiet and peaceful walk on a built path in the woods; it is not something grand, but rather a calm and pleasant walk of about 30 minutes in the shade.
There are lots of birds in all colors and the gift shop is highly recommended because it offers the lowest deal elsewhere.
7 Passes Scenic Drive
The route to reach the 7 Passes Scenic Drive is quite a challenging one because it alternates gravel and asphalt roads from one way or another. The best reward of the treacherous trail is to drive the distance and see spectacular views.
But if you go alone anyway the route between George and Knysna runs two times, then one should ever go through this if you have the time. The other route (N2) is of course much faster, but also very nice. First, it’s quite nice to drive on quiet dirt roads. The views to see are overwhelmingly presented.
But if you drive just a lot through the forest side then the view is therefore limited .You drive a good part of the route on dusty roads through forests and plateaus, up and down hills, and over bridges. There are lots of scenic sights to admire with many trees and pastures.
This one involves all road driving in around 2 hours. The passes are more of the lighter variety and challenging but it is all worth the effort.
Prince Alfred Pass (R339)
From Knysna take the road towards Uniondale that immediately comes after the township of the city and drive through the long dirt road to get to the Prince Alfred Pass (R339).
You have to travel more than 20 km on a very challenging trail (it takes a good car and a lot of patience) that is always dirt then once you get on the scenery you’ll be rewarded with astounding views. It has nothing to do with the mountain passes, but surely if you are in the area and maybe you have a little free time it is worth it.
Despite the rough roads the way to Prince Alfred Pass is a very scenic route! The roads are bad and quite narrow but this just adds to a little extra fun and adventure while on the road.
Knysna is a wonderful place to explore if you are into long road trip adventures to the forest, wildlife preserves, scenic lookout pass, beach adventures, splendid lagoons, challenging passes and good seafood.
If you long to explore nature and admire the scenic sights along the Lagoon area, be sure to check out Knysna which is one of the greatest gems to discover if ever you are in South Africa.