Jetty at Knysna

Travel to Knysna – Western Cape’s Activity Playground

Knysna is one of the Garden Route´s best known travel destinations – situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful estuary…. It offers many activities and attractions to a wide variety of people. “People. beauty and mystery” is what comes to mind when describing Knysna. The town nestles between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, with the world-renowned forests encircling it like a protective mantle. The 21 ha estuary is protected from the sea by the monolithic sandstone “Heads” – silent sentinels down the centuries of the rich history of this unique part of “paradise of earth”.

Knysna is the ideal Garden Route base, offering visitors an unforgettable holiday, from the very adventurous holidaymakers, to those who prefer relaxing in the sun, strolling through the cool forests or taking scenic day drives.

The Knysna lagoon is the largest estuary of its kind in the Southern Cape, and is rich in plant, marine and bird life. The famous Knysna seahorse can be found here. The “chameleon of the estuary”, is the name given to the little known seahorses found in the Knysna estuary. So called because of their ability to change colour, as well as being able to move its eyes independently in its search for prey. These tiny creatures have unusual reproductive habits. Seahorses are the only fish species where the male experiences a true pregnancy.

The forests surrounding Knysna are home to unique fauna, including a number of rare and beautiful birds, which make the town and it`s surrounding habitat a delight for bird watchers. Here they are likely to spot the Knysna Woodpecker (Campethera Notata), the Knysna Turaco (previously known as the Knysna Loerie) and the Knysna Warbler (Bradypterus Sylvaticus).

For generations the Knysna Elephant have roamed freely in large numbers in their natural forest habitat, thrilling adventure seekers and threatning local woodcutters, so that the legend of “Big Foot” in entrenched in local folk lore and culture. Today the elphants have become elusive creatures with a mere three reported to have survived. They are still spotted from time to time by forest scouts.

The forest is also home to the rare Knysna Dwarf Cameleon (Bradypodion damaranum) which occurs only in this area and is characterised by its gregarious nature and distinctive throat crest, and the fact that it gives birth to live young rather than eggs.

Knysna is an adventure seekers paradise – with every type of hard or soft adventure experience available. From seasoned adrenaline junkie to gentle ethereal nature-lover – there is something for everyone. From abseiling, to quad biking, canoeing to scuba-diving, the choices are endless.

The coast around Knysna offers visitors endless opportunities to explore its natural beauty. Visit Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay, Bollard Bay on Leisure Isle, and the beach and estuary at Noetzie and enjoy 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.

In and around Knysna one will find a selection of fine restaurants, seafood taverns, pubs, coffee shops and eateries, to match your mood or budget. For the shopper, there are interesting shops tucked away around every corner, authentic African traders and for the person with a passion for history, well, Knysna will intrigue you…

Knysna is easily accessible on foot, and takes only 10 minutes to walk across the town centre and to the waterfront. No public transport is available, private shuttle buses do operate through the town.


Africa Travel Information