Hiking boots? Check. Wide- brimmed hat? Check. Sunscreen and a bottle of water? Check. If nature if your thing, then Knysna is the place to visit. Some of the best hiking trails can be found within a close proximity to Knysna. On a hot summer day, there is no better place to visit than the Jubilee picnic spot and hiking trail. Nestled among dense indigenous forest, children will love splashing in the cool, shallow waters while the adults braai and relax. Another outstanding natural destination is Circles in the Forest (named after South African Dalene Matthees’ internationally acclaimed novel) , is a pleasant circular trail (choose between a 3.1km and 9km route) that celebrates Knysna’s Woodcutting heritage. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
If you are in the mood for adventure, why not try abseiling down Knysna’s geographical landmark; the Heads? Accessible only by boat (or kayak!), Featherbed Nature Reserve is a glorious escape from Main Road Knysna.
It’s an amazing opportunity to see and photograph Knysna from a different view point. Why not take the opportunity while you’re there to walk the coastal forest trail down to the ancient caves where the Khoi-San people originally settled? A guide will talk you through the history of the ancient settlers as well as give you information about the fauna and flora of the area. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
Knysna has long attracted an artistic crowd of people; who can blame them? Knysna has a multitude of spectacular sites and a wide variety of natural landscapes.
Originally the Lucy Wiles Art Gallery, the Leisure Isle Art Gallery holds paintings from local artists. The shop attached has developed into an antique haven, so vintage hunters will be pleased. Their stocks range from stainless steel tea sets to film cameras and fine crystal. After browsing one can sit at The Leisure Isle Coffee Shop under the shade of the Milkwood Tree (planted more than 100 years ago) and sip on a cappuccino or have a light meal. Visit the arts and entertainment guide at visitknysna.co.za for more info.
Knysna and surrounds is in essence a giant playground for children of all ages. Here are a couple of ideas that are sure to entertain your children while on holiday in Knysna.
If you feel like going out for lunch, then head to Muse. Situated just off the N2, there is a large garden that is fenced off on the water side. Kids will be happy to amble around, play a game of cards or climb a tree. There are also lots of vegetarian options on the menu and the chilli poppers are simply divine. The Friday Night Market is another great option. Take your own fold-up chairs (or grab one of the wooden benches if you can) and enjoy a selection of market stalls and licensed bar area. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
Absolutely not to be missed is the viewpoint at the Heads.
The Heads of Knysna are a geographic marvel. From the viewpoint you may be lucky enough to spot a southern right whale – this gigantic creature finds both food and refuge just after the mating season when her calf is born.
A set of binoculars may help you to spot them. From the northern side of the viewpoint, you will see Featherbed Nature Reserve, Leisure Isle and the expansive Knysna Lagoon. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
If swimming in the Indian Ocean, getting your dose of sunshine or eating locally produced organic foods is not enough to make your glow, why not indulge in a spa treatment? There is simply nothing more relaxing than laying back and being tended to. Pezula Spa and Gym offers 5 star quality treatments in a luxurious setting- from their award winning hair stylists to Hydrotherapy treatments you are sure to leave looking and feeling your best.
If your budget doesn’t allow for 5 star prices but your tastes do head down to central Knysna where you will find a host of beauty parlours that will cater to your every beauty need. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
The best way to do your shopping in Knysna is to go by foot. Park your car at the Waterfront parking (its free all day) and start your trip Waterfront where you will find a huge range of curios and artistic local crafts.
The items you will find here are of an international standard. Browse around the jewellery shops and pick up a trendy leather handbag. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
Looking for something small to take back on your flight home? You’ll find oodles of “Knysna-themed” fridge magnets, wire figurines and other original keepsakes.
If you have come from a big city, Knysna and its nightlife may seem a little restrictive.
Here in Knysna we focus more on quality than quantity! Main Street offers youngsters a couple of great dancing spots; Zanzibar for example is a lot of fun. For a slightly older crowd there is Bloo, which is walking distance from Zanzibar.
At Bloo you’ll also find a great restaurant, mostly only open in the evenings, the unique décor is sure to keep you entertained as are the occasional concerts and guest DJ’s. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
There are endless ways to get to and from Knysna. If you want to get from George Airport to Knysna hire a car or call for a shuttle service. Even more convenient is the newly re-opened Plettenburg Bay Airport. CemAir flies directly to and from both Johannesburg and Cape Town and is only about 35km from Knysna.
A wonderful way to explore Knysna itself is to hire bikes and cycle around town, even venturing as far as Leisure Isle (6.7 km from town) or the Heads (7.1 km from town). See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
You will find cycling shops on Waterfront Drive where you will be able to rent bicycles and helmets.
There is no end to options of food and beverage establishments in Knysna. This is truly a multi-cultural destination with a unique twist to your typical restaurant options. Of course, you must fit in some fresh seafood while at the coast; taste the local’s favourites of White Mussel Cracker and Grunter. And what would your trip to Knysna be if you didn’t try some delectable oysters? Take your pick from either the cultivated or coastal variety. If you are more in the mood for meat, try an ostrich “potjie”. Slow-cooked in a wrought iron pot, and usually done outside on the fire, this meal is as social as it gets. Enjoy a hot summers evening and ice-cold beer while the kids play around outside. For vegetarians, there is also a host of dining options. The Garden Route focuses on organically grown foods, from wholesome milk to iron-rich kale – you will certainly get your health buzz going. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
An absolute must during your visit to Knysna is to drive the historical Seven Passes Route between George and Knysna. On the Seven Passes route you will cross seven rivers: the Swart, Hoogekraal, Homtini, Karatara, Silver, Kaaimans and Touw. Take care if you are driving this route between October and December, as this is the rainy season in Knysna.
Along the route, you will have the opportunity to see both active and abandoned forestry settlements, Millwood Goldmine and some glorious picnic sites. One of the main attractions on route is the early gold-rush town of Millwood. During its peak, the town was a bustling town full of bars and banks and the like. Nowadays there is a little guesthouse, an old mine for touristc visits and a small museam. Pass through the Phantom Forest (the closest Pass to Knysna), taking your time as you wind downhill and finally connect to the N2 again. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.
Knysna naturally attracts many different kinds of people and with that come many types of cultures and religions.
Knysna offers a host of religious establishments; be heartily welcomed into a new parish, or mosque or synagogue during your time in Knysna, Call Knysna Tourism to find out where you place of worship is and the times of the services. See visitknysna.co.za for more info.