Knysna, the name is as unique as the picturesque coastal region, a place where the ocean meets jagged coastal cliffs that flow into fynbos belts and indigenous forest which eventually meets with a majestic stretch of the Outeniqua Mountain range. All of this is what makes our corner of the Southern Cape so unique.
It’s here that history, people and nature have shaped a special kind of place and sculpted the region with its rare and spectacular cultures formed around wood, boats, mining, farming and elephant mysteries. The Greater Knysna district consists of the sleepy town of Sedgefield to the west, the interesting hamlets of Karatara and Rheenendal to the North and the main town of Knysna itself which forms the eastern border. Knysna town is cocooned by rolling hills and a large estuary that connects with the Indian ocean through the enormous riven cliffs known as the Knysna Heads. These spectacular protruding cliffs played a huge part in the development of the town in earlier centuries. They formed the entrance to a safe portal and secure anchorage for passing ships on their trade routes, adding to the trade market that thrived in Knysna at the time. The wood trade was the reason why many flocked to the town and evidence of its early years is solidly imprinted in numerous buildings, museums and the boat building culture of Knysna.
The area’s rich farmlands lend themselves to the development of dairy and vegetable farming,. There are a few natural resources, such as gold, that also played a part in the economic and historical development of Knysna. Many a foreigner made Knysna their home even though prospects were not always good and involved endless hard work. These days the Knysna region is thought of as mainly a tourism destination offering the traveller a diverse space in which to enjoy adventure, scenic views, food, culture and family-friendly activities. Knysna is a central hub for those that wish to mountain bike, hike, run, sail, paraglide, surf, or just enjoy the magnitude of the natural outings the area has to offer. To the west, you can enjoy long stretches of beach at Brenton on Sea, Buffels Baai, Platbank, Cola Beach, Myoli Beach the Sedgefield Estuary Mouth and the pristine Swartvlei Beach, home to Gericke’s Point.
This coastal area contains unspoiled estuaries and naturally formed lakes that appeal to water lovers, fishermen and birders. Head towards the mountains and you can experience the lush green forest and rolling hills of fynbos, ideal for those that wish to escape into nature. Gravel roads and tracks lure hikers, cyclists, 4 x 4 enthusiasts and back road travellers to this region.
Knysna boasts one of the world’s best farmers markets, situated in Sedgefield the market is famous for its excellent fresh produce and locally made products. You won’t have to travel far to find eateries, restaurants, cafes and coffee shops that are family-friendly and where the welcoming smile of a local is always there to greet you. Knysna and the areas surrounding it provide a wholesome environment for those who wish to leave the city behind and just breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the wide-open spaces that the Garden Route has to offer.
Welcome to Knysna, where most things happen naturally with a little local flair
For more information on accommodation and activities please visit www.exploreknysna.com