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Knysna, pearl of the scenic Garden Route, is situated between George and Plettenberg Bay. Perennially green thanks to a Mediterranean Maritime climate with rain falling throughout the year, Knysna is mantled by indigenous forests extending into the Tsitsikamma National Park area. Nestled between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian ocean, the culinary capital of oysters and other delectable seafood is a compulsory stopover on every travelers’ itinerary. At the heart of Knysna is a lagoon protected from the sea by the monolithic sandstone "Heads" Webcam– best explored on board a catamaran or from along hiking paths in the Featherbed Nature Reserve. A hotspot for art and craft, as well as adventure activities such as tree canopy gliding, kloofing and abseiling, Knysna offers something to everybody. The peculiarity of the origin of the place-name Knysna is commonly explained with a light-hearted joke of two German tourists travelling to Knysna, and upon reaching the lookout point on the eastern Knysna Head, the one says to the other: 'Nice, na?'. On a more serious note, Knysna is believed to be derived from a Khoi word for place of wood, or fern leaves, but most probable straight down or hard to reach - referring to the steep Knysna Heads. (less...) (more...)

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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
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  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Knysna

  • The lagoon: about 18 sq. km and home to at least 200 species of fish is connected with the Indian Ocean through a turbulent channel between "The Heads", two sandstone cliffs. Tour around on one of several boats or just take a coffee at "the Heads". Take a boat across to the Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Heads (this is an organised tour because it's a private reserve, but it's a good way to spend some time on the lagoon then take a walk in the reserve).
  • The Knysna Forest: about 80.000 ha are now under conservation. The ‘King Edward VII’ tree (at Diepwalle forest station) is an estimated 600 years old, 39 m at height, and has a circumference of 6 m. The most famous animals are the Knysna elephants. Currently research, involving DNA testing of dung, is being done to see how many of them may still rumble in the jungle, please report any "dung" sightings! Remember to always take care. There are several hiking trails but you need a car to access the forest. Don't forget the conservation motto "Take only photographs, leave only footprints!".
  • Pledge Nature Reserve: offers 3.5 km of pathways through scrub forest and hillside fynbos with fine views over the lagoon and is just 500 meters of the town centre. A nice place for a walk in the afternoon.
  • Millwood Gold Fields: Site of one of the first gold rushes in South Africa, the Millwood Museum and Materoli Tea Room (be sure to try a piece of Jayne's World Famous Chocolate Cake) offers a unique and fascinating view of the greed, entrepreneurship, energy, and ultimate failure of the first gold discovered in South Africa during the late 1800's. Tours through the old gold diggings are available.

Knysna Quays

Knysna Golf Club

Goukamma Nature and Marine Reserve

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Popular events in Knysna in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Knysna


  • Hire a fully equipped self-drive Knysna Houseboat and spend your holiday gently floating along on Knysna's tidal lagoon. No experience or skipper's licence is required. Visit, ☎ +27(0)44-382 2802 or email
  • Walk along the lagoon, take a coffee at one of the many shops at the waterfront and head straight on for The Heads.
  • There are many golf courses around, often with stunning settings or views. Pezula Championship Course and Golf Club, Simola Country Estate, Golf Club and 5-Star Hotel and Knysna Golf Club.
  • Knysna Elephant Park (Halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay on the N2),  +27 (0)44 532-7732, e-mail: Offers the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with African elephants. The elephants here are orphans from various SAN Parks and further afield, and they are so used to humans now that it is possible to feed them and actually touch them! Buy a bucket of fruit at the entrance and the elephants will pick up bits of fruit that you offer to them in your hands, or far more likely, they will take it straight from your bucket when you're not looking! You can also (if you book well in advance) take an evening or morning walk with the elephants. If you have the time, this is an experience not to be missed.
  • Orbit Day Trips +27 (0)44 382-1546, fax: +27 (0)44 382 1549, e-mail: Departures Daily from Knysna at 8:30. 4 Safaris in the Knysna and Plettenberg bay area. *Safari 1: Monkey, Bird & Elephant Safari. *Safari 2: Game, Whale & Dolphin Safari. *Safari 3: Site-seeing Day Tour (Also ideal for rainy or drizzly weather days). *Safari 4: Customise My Tour (Minimum 6 people).
  • GoVertical Mountaineering Adventures, Waterfront Knysna,  +27 82 731 4696. Abseiling, rock climbing, kloofing, trekking, hiking and slackpacking adventures in the Garden Route Knysna.
  • Millwood Mine walk.
  • Forest Walks.
  • Mountain bike in one of the beautiful forests.


  • Knysna Oyster Festival. Mid July every year.
  • Food, Wine FestivalGastronomica Festival Knysna. End September - First week of October every year.
  • Pink Loerie Mardi Gras. 1 May to 4 May.


Many restaurants line the main street and the waterfront area.

There are so many good restaurants in and around Knysna that you will be spoilt for choice!!

  • The Dry Dock', Waterfront. Great ambiance and delicious food.
  • Ile de Pain, Thesens Island. Delicious dishes with various kinds of home made bread.
  • Zachary's Restaurant'. The highly acclaimed Zachary's is a sophisticated world-class gourmet restaurant under the helm of Executive Chef Geoffrey Murray, who delights in serving up local ingredients inspired by global influences.
  • Persello's Pizzeria, Memorial Square (By Knysna Public Library),  +27443822665. Italian pizzeria with wood-fired ovens, home-made pasta, lasagne, cannelloni, crostoli, crisini and other gourmet treats all under a charming atmosphere.


  • Mitchell's`s Brewery, Arend Street,  +27 (0)44 382-4685. Offers tours around the brewery and tastings of their beer


Shops line along the Main St. and the Waterfront.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Knysna on Wikivoyage.