Welcome to your Knysna summer!

Welcome to paradise.

You’ve packed – and repacked – the car. You’ve driven long, hot roads, listening to everything from Thirty of your toddler’s favourite songs to dad’s old Abba cd. You’ve made do with soggy padkos sandwiches and siblings squabbling over who’s leaning over whose half of the backseat.

And finally you’re here! You’ve booked your accommodation and it’s just what you expected. You’ve unpacked and found the sunscreen and it’s time to hit the beach! The greater Knysna area boasts seven beaches to choose from. Sedgefield offers Swartvlei, Myoli and Cola beaches. Next there’s Buffel’s Bay that links onto Brenton on Sea beach. Leisure Isle has Bollard Bay and of course there’s Noetzie just outside of Knysna on your way to Plettenberg Bay.

An aerial view of Buffalo Bay.
An aerial view of Buffalo Bay.

Our beaches are pristine, stretch for miles and offers some of the best swimming, surfing, snorkelling, kite surfing, angling, walking – well, almost anything that you could imagine doing at the beach! And we’re proud to announce that the beaches at both Brenton on Sea and Buffel’s Bay have once again retained their Blue Flag status, while the Swartvlei beach in Sedgefield has been awarded pilot Blue Flag status. And, while Knysna is known for its magical backdrop: the age-old forests, the rolling hills of Cape fynbos, and the miles of unspoilt beaches, the magic of our natural surroundings is not limited to the beauty on dry land. Dive our waters and discover an enchanted subaquatic world of fantasy…

But if you’ve had enough of the beach for now, don’t worry – there’s loads more to fill your holiday with. You will find a host of activities in and around Knysna to entertain all members of the family or friendship circle.

The Knysna SPLASH is good, clean, dirty fun for the whole family.
The Knysna SPLASH is good, clean, dirty fun for the whole family.

If you’re reading this before 19 December, be sure to join in the fun of the Knysna SPLASH – it is bound to be the most fun you and your family will have in and around the Knysna lagoon this December. With a mud run, lagoon swim, dragon boat races and rubber duck race, everyone will enjoy the aquatic antics of this fun festival.

Sedgefield is often described as the hidden gem of the Garden Route. The town’s unofficial slogan is if it’s outdoors, it’s out here and, often mistaken for a sleepy village, Africa’s first official CittaSlow town is abuzz with outdoor activities, and a Mecca for paragliders.

Mountain bikers will feel as if Christmas has come early when they discover the variety of challenging, yet enjoyable single tracks and other routes in the Sedgefield/Knysna area. Follow exciting trails through ancient forests, meander through Cape fynbos, race the waves along unspoiled beaches or taking a leisurely cruise around the Knysna Estuary – whatever your pedalling pleasure, Knysna is your perfect cycling destination.

Photo courtesy of Elle Photography
Photo courtesy of Elle Photography

It almost goes without saying that Knysna is the perfect destination for golfers – that’s just par for the course. We boast internationally acclaimed courses at the Knysna Golf Club, Simola Hotel Country Club and Spa and the Pezula Championship Golf Course. Enjoy a mashie game at Blackwaters River Lodge & Mashie Golf Course, or drive through Sedgefield for a mashie game at Sedge Links Golf Club and Café.

We also have a variety of wildlife sanctuaries and parks in and around the Knysna area. These include the Garden Route Game Lodge, Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary, Monkeyland and Birds of Eden, the Knysna Elephant Park and the Elephant Sanctuary.

When it comes to eating, Knysna has everything on the menu. Oysters have long been synonymous with Knysna and locals and visitors alike enjoy these delectable morsels throughout the year. Knysna boasts two delicious varieties of oyster – the cultivated oyster which is farmed, in part, right here in the world famous Knysna estuary and the wild, coastal variety that grows en masse along our coastline. For more info on the restaurants in the greater Knysna area, please visit the Restaurants section under the drop-down menu of each of the Knysna areas at www.exploreknysna.com.

Plettenvale Wine Estate offers stunning views - and wines! Image from www.plettenvalewines.co.za
Plettenvale Wine Estate offers stunning views – and wines! Image from www.plettenvalewines.co.za

Few things go down better with oysters than a fine wine. You don’t necessarily equate the Garden Route with great wines. But a number of top class wine estates are changing that perception and showing the world that Garden Route grapes make for wonderful wines. Read more about the fantastic vineyards within easy driving distance of Knysna here.

But talking of beverages brewed in Knysna – do visit our very own Mitchell’s Brewery. As a guest blogger once wrote “Mitchell’s is the kind of place that makes anyone and everyone fall in love with beer.” They’ve just celebrated their 30th birthday last year, so head on over to offer your congratulations and to enjoy some of the best craft beer around.

So now you’ve hiked through and had a picnic in our mysterious forests, you’ve lazed on our beautiful beaches and you’ve enjoyed all the activities on offer on and alongside our estuary. You’ve shopped at our fascinating markets and enjoyed the gourmet treats at our fantastic restaurants. But, have you explored our history? Knysna boasts a rich history of sailing, timber – and even gold! Read more about it here and head out to explore a different era.

Whatever your passion, you’ll find it in Knysna this summer. And, if your holiday is too short to fit everything in, why not book your return visit at www.exploreknysna.com in the meantime? You’ll be happy you did…