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Explore The Area

There is never a dull moment in Knysna – unless requested! Please contact reception for more information on any specific activity

A Natural Paradise

In Knysna, nature quite literally knocks on your front door. The town nestles on the shores of an estuary fed by rivers originating in the Outeniqua Mountains, it is surrounded by lush indigenous forests and is cooled by a sea breeze from the Indian Ocean. This exceptional nature’s playground (beaches, lakes, mountains, forests and rivers) offers an unforgettable holiday. Whether you’re an adventurous type or simply like it lolling around in the sun, Knysna has it all. Geographically too it is the ideal base from which to explore a region filled with enchanting beauty and friendly people.

Our Animal Kingdom

Knysna boasts an array of unique, some of them sadly endangered, species including the Knysna seahorse, the delicate Pansy shell of the lagoon, the endangered dwarf chameleon and Brenton Blue Butterfly, and Oupoot, the last remaining forest elephant roaming free in the surrounding forests. The Humpback and Southern Right whales visit the coastline during the months of May and September to breed in the calm, warm waters of the Indian Ocean and present a spectacular theatre of breaching, rolling, playing with calves and just generally lolling about. Spectators sit for hours watching these giant gentle creatures enjoying life on their way around the most southern tip of Africa.
The Knysna area is home to a wealth of bird life. Near-endemic avian wonders include the famous Knysna Loerie with its bright red feathers highly visible in flight. Then there’s the Narina Trogon, Knysna warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, chorister robin-chat and the forest canary. The lakes play host to a wide variety including the Malachite Kingfisher, the African Fish Eagle and our beaches provides the breeding grounds for the endangered African Black Oyster Catcher.

Adventure and Sport

Come and play in our forests and dive into outdoor adventures like horse riding, hiking, yachting, fishing and canoeing. For a pure adrenalin rush get into the more extreme sports of paragliding, scuba diving or water skiing and some of the best mountain bike routes in the country. Knysna has something for everyone - from the very young to the well matured and for every size, shape and temperament. the sun set.

Mecca for the gourmand, whether it’s shopping, food or culture

In and around Knysna one will find a selection of fine restaurants, activities, cultural & heritage experiences, adventure and natural encounters to match your mood, age, physique and budget. The Knysna Waterfront may be small, but it makes up for it in charm and variety. Wine and dine your way through a formidable array of fine restaurants, seafood taverns, pubs, coffee shops, delicatessens and other interesting eateries. The famous Knysna oyster features on many a menu, but your culinary experience need not end there. From fusion food with an Oriental flavour to nouvel cuisine; from traditional South African dishes such as Cape Malay-inspired bobotie to a Xhosa delicacy known as umnqusho; from a meaty braai to a syrupy sweet koeksister, Knysna offers it all. For the shopper, there are an array of interesting shops, authentic African traders and interesting locally produced items on offer.

History & Culture

If history and culture fascinate you, Knysna will intrigue you with a Gold Rush story of its own, a Timber Trade history interwoven with rich stories of early woodcutters and their special relationships with the forest elephants and the famous John Benn family whose sole responsibility was to navigate ships and boats through the treacherous Heads. Then there is also the story of George Rex, lifelong exile from England that made Knysna his home in the early 1800’s. Rumoured to be a King’s son that won the love of a King’s daughter, the mystery that surrounds him have never been solved.

- Photo of the group of diggers at Millwood Goldfields shaft head is from the book Timber & Tides, as supplied by Mrs B Parkes.
 

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