Knysna

The bustling town of Knysna, beside its beautiful lagoon, is known for its art galleries, boutiques and fresh oysters. Take a boat cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve or sail through the dramatic Knysna Heads.

Overview

Knysna is an attractive little town in the heart of the Garden Route. It is surrounded by a glorious lagoon and backed by an indigenous forest with abundant yellowwood trees. The sea approach to Knysna through The Heads (two cliffs) was so hazardous in the 19th century that the town was never able to develop as a major port. It was only in the 20th century that it has grown as a waterside resort. Knysna is a charming town of year-round residents (rather than seasonal second-homers) so it's full of restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and art & craft galleries. So a Knysna holiday is the perfect base to explore the Garden Route.

Knysna is the most central of all the Garden Route towns so everywhere is a relatively easy drive away. It doesn’t have an immediate beach, but there are some lovely beach options nearby, with the nearest being about 15 minutes drive at Brenton on Sea.

There are also so many things to do on a Knysna holiday such as sailing on Knysna heads, boat cruises and walks on Featherbed Nature Reserve. Or why not try some water adventure options such as stand-up paddling or kayaking? Inland the Knysna forest offers some superb walking trails of all lengths.

Horse-riding on Pezula estate on a Knysna holiday

It also makes for a great base for a golfing holiday on the Garden Route with Pezula and Simola golf estates. As well as Fancourt, Oubaai and Pinnacle Point not a very distance away either.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Drive (or sail) up to The Heads, the sandstone buttressed cliffs at the mouth of the lagoon.
  • Explore Knysna Quays waterfront with its restaurants, boutiques & lovely lagoon views.
  • Oysters and champagne at Knysna Oyster Company
  • Take a catamaran yacht cruise to sail the lagoon and through The Heads
  • Romantic slow yacht cruise at sunset, perhaps even taking a turn at the helm…
  • Explore the indigenous Knysna forest with its walking trails & old gold rush village
  • Visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve by boat
  • Enjoy the nearby beaches of Brenton and Noetzie

Explore the Knysna map

Start planning your dream trip

Find me the best in for

Need a little help? View our Safari Guide to help you get started

Accommodation

View More Accommodations

Kanonkop House – staff review

Kanonkop is perched high above the town with views in all directions through wooded hillside. You can just drive in with easy parking and then walk through the very well-tended gardens, past the pool to the house. It is tempting to just stop at the pool...Then straight into the comfortable and modern living area with a view over the lagoon. Very clearly a family house with homely dog and family photos but very beautifully done and very welcoming. The rooms/suites are in in various buildings over the site. All the rooms are much better than the photos. Very carefully designed.

Cedarberg : Ian Russell
Did you know
  • Aqua-FarmingCentre of the Oyster farming industry in South Africa
  • Endemic SpeciesKnysna Loerie and endangered Knysna Sea Horse