Property Knysna - Out & About in Knysna
Choice Properties Knysna can assure you that Knysna situated in the heart of South Africa's Garden Route is a vibrant town, abuzz with creativity and energy. A place where the young and the young-at-heart can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, trendy boutiques and fleamarkets, and the pulse of good, hot music.
- Asian (1)
- Contemporary (2)
- Mediterranean (1)
- Mexican (1)
- Moroccan (1)
- Portuguese (1)
- Seafood (7)
- Steakhouse / Grill rooms (2)
- South African / Traditional (2)
- Italian (1)
- Vegetarian (1)
Nightlife & Entertainment
- Dance Venue / Club (1)
- Pub / Bar (4)
- Cinema (1)
- Café / Coffee Shop (4)
- Fine Dining (3)
- Picnics (2)
- Pub Meals (2)
- Trendy / Vibey / Live
ARTS & CRAFTS
The natural splendour and tranquil atmosphere of Knysna have enticed more artists, crafters and creative spirits than any other location in South Africa. A cauldron of creativity, Knysna teems with art galleries, craft shops, studios, workshops and potteries. The recently-opened Knysna Fine Arts Gallery, under the experienced management of Trent Read, is the largest gallery in the Western Cape and attests to the calibre and scope of the area’s talent.
Knysna is synonymous with fine timbers and woodwork - Feathers Gallery, for example, manufactures exquisitely handcrafted birds of wood. Potters, painters, woodcarvers, leather workers and artists of many descriptions may be visited in their studios and workshops, whilst shops and galleries stock a representative range of items and artifacts.
The Craft & Traders Market
A plethora of local art, crafts and produce, and a village-market atmosphere can be enjoyed at the Wilderness Craft Market at the mouth of the Touw River on the last Sunday of every month. Wooden products, bowls, furniture, pottery and ceramics, handmade clothing, candles and ornaments, preserves, indigenous plants and good music are just some of the colourful items on offer.
The Traders’ Market takes place on the second Sunday of each month in in front of the Karos Wilderness Hotel. Jumble, bric-a-brac, crafts and food are among diverse items for sale. Contact persons: Di Young or Gill Thomas. Tel (044) 343 2561
The Great Outdoors
Knysna is famous for its spectacular environment and natural beauty, which promise hours of fun for the outdoor enthusiast and adventurer. Beaches, rivers, lakes and lagoons provide ample opportunity for watersports, while mountains and forests beckon hikers, riders, and cyclists. A range of eco-adventure companies offer safe, guided activities.
Knysna has become a Mecca for sporting events, including cycle races, forest marathons and tournaments of various descriptions.
- Many of the gorges and bridges in the Garden Route are suitable for abseiling, and guided trips are offered by several companies. Permits may be required from relevant authorities.
The coast around Knysna offers visitors ample opportunity to explore and enjoy its pristine beauty. Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay, Bollard Bay on Leisure Isle, and the beach and estuary at Noetzie all provide ample opportunity for walking, swimming, fishing, surfing, boardsailing, beach games or lazy sunbathing. The warm currents of the Indian Ocean make for pleasant sea temperatures in the summer months. Tides can be strong though, and bathers need be aware of currents at specific
Knysna and its environs are a bird-watcher’s paradise. Over 200 species have been recorded by local birding groups. Lorna Watt, of Birdlife SA, may be contacted for more information on tel. (044) 381 0237.
Waterfowl and waders occur in abundance at several locations. Woodbourne Pan, opposite the Leisure Isle causeway on George Rex Drive, is host to a multitude of different species, depending on the tides and on the time of year: Ducks (Cape and Hottentot Teal), Egyptian Geese, Herons, Sacred Ibis, Hadeda, Spoonbills, Rails, Ruffs and Curlews flock to this sheltered and idyllic pond.
Upper Langvlei and Rondevlei are wildlife reserves; of 95 species of waterfowl recorded in South Africa, 75 can be seen in this small locality. Birdhides and trails around the lakes provide an opportunity to observe, amongst others, Spurwing Geese, Coots, Ospreys, Fish Eagles and the rarer Nerina Trogon.
The endangered Oyster Catcher is much in evidence on the beaches in the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Kingfishers and Fish Eagles may be seen up the Knysna and Goukamma Rivers.
Forest and garden birds are more visible in the Goukamma Valley and at Coney Glen (near The Heads) than in recognised forest areas: Knysna Loeries, Hoopoes, Woodpeckers, Canaries, Shrikes, White Eyes, Francolins, Rameron Pigeons, the Knysna Warbler (one of South Africa’s rarest birds) can be found in abundance.
Fynbos species, such as Sunbirds, Seed Eaters, the Sugarbird and grass birds can be found in the Kranshoek area.
Many waterways in the area are restricted to non-motorised craft, giving ample opportunity for peaceful, undisturbed paddling. Indigenous forest, fynbos and a wealth of birdlife abound on the banks of rivers and lakes. Take note that only the watercourse is open to the public, whereas most land bordering waterways is private property. When canoeing on the lakes and on the lagoon, be aware of tides and sudden changes in the weather.
Lakes and lagoons: Swartvlei, Groenvlei, Sedgefield estuary, Knysna lagoon, Plettenberg Bay lagoon
Rivers: Touw River, Goukamma River, Knysna River, Keurbooms River
Adventure Centre Tel. 083 269 8501.
Blue Sky Adventures Tel. 083 444 5176
Knysna Eco-Ventures Tel. 044 - 382 5920
SEAL Adventures Tel. 083 654 8755 or 044 - 382 6399
Diving along the Knysna coastline is a unique and wonderful experience, offering a kaleidoscope of colours and spectacular coral reefs.
Nudibranchs, sea spiders, Toothed decorator crabs, colourful corals, fish and sharks are but a few of the wonders to be seen. The Knysna lagoon has the highest diversity of organisms of any estuary in South Africa, and is host to the famous Knysna seahorse.
Reef dives, shore dives and wreck dives are offered by local dive companies. Due to the nature of these waters, diving can be dangerous. Contact a local dive shop for information before going diving.
Knysna Blue Dolphin: Tel. 082 773 8070
Waterfront Divers: Tel. (044) 382 6737
Knysna provides a wealth of opportunities for the keen fisherman: fly-fishing, rock and surf fishing, deep-sea fishing, bass and trout fishing. The most common fish caught in the area are steenbras, grunter and leervis. No permit is required for fishing or bait-collecting in the estuary. There are, however, bag and size limits, as well as closed seasons. An invertebrate reserve has been proclaimed in the area between Thesen Island and Leisure Island ? no bait may be collected from this area.
Detailed fishing regulations are available from the Tourism Bureau and from the National Parks Board - Tel. (044) 382 2095.
Kajiki Charters Tel. 083 228 7372
Kelsea Deep-sea Charters Tel. 044 - 382 5577
Knysna Blue Dolphin Charters Tel. 082 773 8070
Several game farms in the Knysna area offer an opportunity to observe game at close quarters.
The Buffalo Valley Game Farm features a unique collection of animals easily visible from a gentle 3 km drive through grassland and fynbos, as well as a bush walk, bird hide and Bush Lodge accommodation.
Entrance is R20 per car. Tel. 044 - 382 2481.
The Elephant Park provides a safe encounter with these gentle giants who used to roam the Knysna forests in days gone by. The reserve offers picnic facilities and nature walks through the forest. The park is open from 8h30 to 16h30 every day. Tel. 04457 - 7732.
The well-stocked Mountain Pastures Game Farm offers game drives, bush walks, rock art, night game drives, and accommodation. Eco-adventures include abseiling, rock-climbing, paintball war games, archery and snorkeling, as well as birding and Black Bass fishing. Tel. 044 - 752 3510 or 083 251 5293.
The Garden Route features some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, through forest, fynbos and along its pristine coastline.
Advance Booking is essential since the trails are very popular, and numbers are limited. Permits are required. All trails offer accommodation in overnight huts.
For detailed information call the Department of Forestry tel. 044 - 382 5466.
- Outeniqua Trail Indigenous forest and fynbos; 7 days
Book at Forestry Department (044) 382 5466
- Harkerville Trail Forest, coast and fynbos; 2 days
Book at Forestry Department (044) 382 5466
- Otter Trail Spectacular coastal walk crossing several rivers; 5 days
Book at National Parks Board (012) 343 1991
- Tsitsikamma Trail Indigenous forest and fynbos; 5 days
Book at SAFCOL (042) 391 0393 (mornings only)
Enjoy the Knysna forest on horseback. Several stables in the area provide guided outrides. For those with their own horse, there are trails in the Harkerville area. Maps are available from the Forestry Department. Please note that riding on beaches is prohibited.
Cherie's riding Centre : Tel (044) 343 1575
Forest Horse Rides : Tel. (044) 382-4764
Southern Comfort Horse Ranch : Tel (04457) 7885
Knysna and its environs provide some spectacular mountain bike trails through state forests. These cycle routes pass through varied and scenic terrain and offer the recreational cyclist a choice of difficulty grades. Many of the cycling routes include some single track riding. Cyclists are requested to stay on the paths and to strive to ride with minimal impact.
- Harkerville Cycle Routes: Three separate routes of 12 km, 15 km, and 20 km length, starting at the Garden of Eden.
- The Petrus-se-Brand Cycle Route: A 24 km route starting at the Diepwalle forest station and ending at the Garden of Eden.
- The Homtini Cycle Route: A 19 km circular route starting and ending at Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site.
Maps of cycle routes are available from the Tourism Bureau or the Forestry Department, tel. (044) 382 5466. Permits are either self-issued or are available at manned entry points.
The Saddles Knysna Cycle Tour takes place on the 4th July as part of the Knysna Oyster Festival. Contact Marthy Watson tel. (044) 382 6973.
Knysna Cycleworks provide bicycles for hire, and guided cycle tours along several trails, including an overnight trail. Tel. (044) 382 5153
Luxuriant indigenous forests and shimmering lakes, mountains of breathtaking grandeur and slopes of many-hued fynbos, long golden beaches and wave-pounded rocky shores - the Garden Route forms a scenic kaleidoscope of remarkable beauty and diversity which can be enjoyed along numerous highways, dusty gravel roads, historic passes and forest tracks that service the area.
Full-day drives may include a journey through the historic Prince Alfred Pass, the Seven Passes Road or the lush, green Tsitsikamma forests. Shorter routes meander through the elephant forests, the ‘Gold Rush’ route, or along tranquil, picturesque lakelands.
The Garden of Eden : A boardwalk leads through an unspoiled glen of indigenous forest.
The Diepwalle Road : Enjoy the ‘Elephant Walks’ at Diepwalle forest station; the imposing 600-year-old ‘King Edward VII’ Yellowwood tree; the Valley of Ferns, and panoramic views from Spitskop viewsite. At Kruisvallei, you may choose to turn off to Plettenberg Bay via Wittedrif.
The Prince Alfred Pass : On the road between Knysna and Uniondale, a gravel pass winds its way steeply through scenic splendour and ever-drier vegetation as it descends into the fruit-growing are of the Langkloof. The return journey can be made through the Langkloof, over the Outeniqua Pass and via George.
The Seven Passes Road: The Seven Passes Road is the original road which connected Knysna and George before the modern, coastal road was built. A spectacular ramble along the Outeniqua mountains, through forest and farmland, over old stone bridges and dark, mountain rivers.
The Lakes: A meandering gravel road runs along a set of tranquil lakes which form part of the Wilderness National Lake area.
Gold Rush Route: The gold-rush town of 1876, Millwood, is now a ghost town, with remains of old buildings, street signs, a graveyard and mine shafts to be seen. Only one building remains intact, housing a museum and a coffee shop.The Milkwood hiking trail covers 5,6 km in this area.
There are two main paragliding spots near Knysna: the car park at the Holiday Inn in the Wilderness, and the dunes at Brenton-on-Sea. Guided trips are offered.
Smile High Paragliding : Tel. (044) 382 3148 or Cell 082 652 1952
CloudBase Paragliding (Wilderness)
Sunlit clearings, bubbling streams and soothing birdsong invite visitors to the Knysna forests to dally a while, enjoy a picnic and partake of the remarkable beauty of these ancient, indigenous forests.
- Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site
Situated alongside a spectacular, 800 year old Outeniqua Yellowwod tree, this grassy site near the Gouna forestry station is an ideal spot to spend a few quiet hours.
- Jubilee Creek Picnic Site
A most beautiful picnic spot in the Millwood forest. Located in two forest clearings, alongside a stream, this site is a popular destination for day outings.
- Millwood Picnic Site
A grassy picnic area close to the site of the abandoned Millwood mining town and Mother Holly’s Tearoom.
The Knysna Angling and Diving Association’s club house is situated near the municipal slipway on the lagoon, where visitors may launch boats for a fee of R15. For more information tel. 044 - 382 4002.
Knysna also has associations and clubs for the following sports: Bowls, canoeing, diving, golf, gyms, sailing, squash, and tennis.
Knysna and its environs offer the keen hiker endless possibility to enjoy unspoiled beaches and indigenous forests, featuring well laid-out walks of varying lengths and gradients. Maps are available from Knysna's Tourism Bureau or from the Department of Forestry's offices.
A comprehensive guide to walks in the area, 'On Foot in the Garden Route' by Judith Hopley, is available from the Tourism Bureau.
Coastal Walks: Brenton-on-Sea Beach Walk (7 km), Goukamma Circular Route (8 km); Kranshoek Trails (3 km or 9 km)
Forest Walks: The Elephant Trails (7 km, 8km or 9km); Jubilee Creek (3,6 km); Millwood Goldmine Trail (5,6 km); Terblans Forest Walk (6,5 km); Witels Forest Walk (2 km).
Adventure Centre Tel. 083 269 8501
Blue Sky Adventures Tel. 083 444 5176
Forestwalks Tel. 044 - 382 4788
Knysna Eco Ventures Tel. 044 - 382 5920
SEAL Adventures Tel. 044 - 382 6399 or 083 654 8755
The Knysna lagoon provides ample scope for a range of watersports. Visitors are advised to inform themselves of the location of channels and the time of tide changes when boating on the Knysna lagoon.
Sudden weather changes can occur on all waterways, particularly at The Heads.
Boating safety regulations and a map of the lagoon’s channels are available from the National Parks Board or from Knysna’s Tourism Bureau.
In case of emergency, the NSRI can be contacted at tel. (044) 382 2675
BOATING AND SAILING
The Knysna lagoon is ideal for small-boat sailing. Several tour operators offer yacht cruises and boat-hire. Boats may be launched for a small fee from the Knysna Angling Club’s slipway.
Motorised boats are prohibited on certain waterways, and boats may only be launched from demarcated areas. Please proceed with consideration for swimmers, divers and other craft.
Tait Marine: Tel. (044) 382 4460
Lightley's Holiday Cruises also offer accommodation on a range of luxurious boats on the lagoon
Waterskiing on the Knysna lagoon is restricted to certain areas. A map indicating these areas is available from the National Parks Board on Thesen Jetty.
Jet skiing is permitted in the Bay of Biscay area of the lagoon, subject to obtaining a boat survey from Mr. Piet Hamilton at tel. 044 - 382 1884 or 082 494 1692. In addition, a permit has to be obtained from the National Parks Board.
Good surfing spots are found at Buffalo Bay and at Lookout Beach in Plettenberg Bay. There are several surf shops in Knysna.
All rivers are swimmable. The lagoon offers safe swimming at a little beach near The Heads. Buffalo Bay offers safe and pleasant swimming opportunities in the sea.
Good windsurfing can be had on the Knysna lagoon and at Swartvlei. Wind conditions are variable.
Humpback and Southern Right whales frolic in the Garden Route's coastal waters from May to December, whilst dolphins are year-round residents, delighting beach-goers with playful antics and graceful motion. Whale-watching has become a popular pastime for visitors and locals, and a Whale Hotline offers information and up-to-date reports of sightings (tel. 0800 228 222).
Southern Right Whales are the most numerous visitors. They migrate to these coastal waters from June to November to calve. Their length varies from 14 to 18m. Weight averages at 41 000kg. Humpback Whales, an endangered species, can be found in the area between May and December. Bryde's whales and Killer whales are found slightly further offshore all year round, but sightings are rare.
Kelsea Deep-sea Charters: Tel.044 - 382 5577
Knysna Blue Dolphin Charters: Tel. 082 773 8070