Knysna is one of the famous towns in South Africa, located in the West Cape Province of the country and part of the famous Garden Route. Knysna is a Khoisan word that roughly means: place of wood, and the town is probably one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. Due to its location, there are a lot of things to do in Knysna. Here are the 15 most popular things to do there.
Knysna attractions include beaches, national reserves, and national parks. The town offers everyone a chance to relax and have fun, while at the same time, learn about nature. Here is a breakdown of some of the places you should definitely visit when in this famous South African town.
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15 popular things to do in Knysna
What is Knysna famous for? This list offers a guide of what to do in Knysna as well as things to do in the Garden Route.
1. Take time and chill on the beach
Knysna has some beautiful beaches. Two of the beaches, Buffalo Bay and Brenton on Sea, recently got Blue Flag status, which speaks highly on the condition of beaches. Activities at the beach include surfing and cycling, and you will enjoy a variety of foods from the restaurants along the beaches.
Location for Brenton Beach: 198 State President C R Swart Rd, Brenton-on-Sea, Knysna, 6571, South Africa.
Location for Buffalo Bay: 163 Walker Dr, Buffels Bay, 6571, South Africa
Hours: Open 24 hours
2. Take a tour of the Knysna Elephant Park
There is nothing more stunning than an African elephant, and one of the must-do Knysna activities is to see these elephants. Luckily, Knysna Elephant Park allows guests to interact with elephants closely, which is a unique experience. The facility rescues elephants and gives them a home.
Location: Just off the N2 between Knysna and, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
Telephone: +27 44 532 7732
Fax: +27 44 532 7763
Hours: Open every day from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
Rates: R320 for adults, R160 for children between 5-15 years, free for children below 5 years and tour guides, R230 for pensioners and students, R265 for a group of over 10 people, and R45 for Elephant Snack Bucket.
3. Set a picnic at Jubilee Creek
Looking for things to do in Knysna on a budget? The Jubilee Creek offers wonderful picnic sites beside a forest stream. There is also a waterfall and a swimming place. You can also simply take a hike on the forest trails and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Location: Garden Route, South Africa
Contact: +27 44 302 5600/ +27 44 302 5606
Hours: Open every day from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Rate: R17 for adults, R9 for children under 13
4. Take a trip across the Lagoon on a cruise
Move across the Lagoon to Knysna Heads on a cruise. The trip takes approximately 75 minutes. For even better views, take the trip in the evening to experience mind-blowing sunset views. You can reach out to Knysna Charters to book a spot on the cruise.
Location: Shop Th24B Sawtooth Lane, Thesen Island, Knysna, 6570, South Africa
Contact: +27 82 892 0469
Hours: Open every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Rates vary based on the cruise.
5. Tour the Featherbed Nature Reserve
This has to be on everyone’s Knysna things to do list. The reserve is a South African Natural Heritage Site and features the iconic Knysna Loerie (a bird species) and Blue Duiker (an antelope species). The reserve also has other species of wildlife.
Location: Featherbed Nature Reserve, Knysna Quays
Telephone: +27 44 382 1693
Fax: +27 (0)44 382-2373
6. Attend the Knysna Oyster Festival
One of the popular events in the Western Cape, the Knysna Oyster Festival, first took place in 1983. Going by the slogan 'Best 10 Days of Your Winter', the festival offers fun activities to do across two weekends. During the festival, the Pick n Pay Cape Times Forest Marathon and the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Cycle Tour take place. This event promises a lot of fun packed activities for families and individuals.
Contact: +27 44 382 5510
Date: (21 June -30 June 2019)
7. Go swimming at the Drupkelders Rock Pools
This is probably one of the most exciting things to do in South Africa. The pools form part of the Homtini River and are located 3 kilometers inside the Indigenous Millwood forest. Only 12 people are allowed to swim at any given time in the pool and you need to have a permit from SanParks.
Location: Inside the Indigenous Millwood forest- Queen St, Knysna Central, 6571, South Africa.
Contact for SanParks kiosk for permits.: +27 44 389 0252
8. Check out the Knysna Heads
What is there to do along the Garden Route? Checking out the Heads has to be in your list when deciding what to do in Knysna. The Knysna Heads are famous landmarks along the Garden Route - the eastern head can be accessed by a car while you can only access the western head via a ferry.
9. Go to the Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market
The market has been around for over 15 years and forms a part of the culture of South Africa’s Garden Route. Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market attracts farmers and visitors locally and from all over the world. It acts as a learning platform on nutrition, agricultural issues, environmental awareness, and local food sources.
Location: N2, Sedgefield, 6573, South Africa
Contact: +27 82 376 5020
Hours: Open every Saturday (from 7:30 am to noon during the summer and 8:00 am to noon during winter)
10. Explore the Millwood Museum
Learn more on the history of Knysna Forest, indigenous flora, woodcutters, and the forest elephants at the museum, which is built in the Millwood mining village.
Location: Millwood House, corner Queen Street & Clyde Street
Contact: +27 44 302 6320
Hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm from Mondays to Fridays and from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturdays
11. Visit Mitchell’s Brewery and taste some beer
Mitchell’s Brewery is one of the oldest craft beer brewers in South Africa and has been in existence since 1983. The brewery makes beer from natural ingredients; so, if you are looking to taste some high-quality local beer, then go to Mitchell’s Brewery.
Location: 10 New Street, Knysna
Contact: +27 44 382 5530
12. Take an adventure on the Blombos Trail
Which Knysna activities and adventure can one do? Blombos trail should come top on the Knysna South Africa things to do list. This trail will be heaven for workout freaks. Blombos offers three routes: the longest is 15 km, the medium is 13 km, and the shortest is 6.5 km. The trail is popular for bird viewing.
Location: Goukamma National Reserve, Knsyna
Contact: +27 44 383 0042
13. Visit the Packwood Wine Estate
For the wine enthusiasts, this award-winning vineyard offers a chance to taste the best locally made wines. The estate also has a country house and cottages for accommodation, and it is surrounded by indigenous forests and spectacular views. Besides wine, there are also cheese platters, breakfast, and bubbles.
Location: Garden route between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Garden Route, Fisanthoek, Plettenberg Bay, 6600, South Africa
Contact: +27 78 244 9400 / +27 82 253 9621
Hours: Wine Sales and Tasting (Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm), Breakfast and Bubbles (Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 11 am and Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am), Cheese platters (Monday to Friday until 3:30 pm and Saturday until 2:00 pm)
14. Bungy jumping at Bloukrans Bridge
This is a fun experience for adrenaline junkies. Bloukrans Bridge is 216 meters above Bloukrans River. Just imagine being suspended 216 meters on air gliding! This is a once in a lifetime experience, unless you like it and end up doing it over again. The minimum age required for one to do this adrenaline-rush activity is fourteen years.
Location: Bloukrans River Bridge N2, Garden Route National Park
Contact: +27 42 281 1458 /+27 71 109 6872 /+27 71 248 5959
Hours: Open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.
15. Experience the Garden of Eden Forest Walk
Get to check out a beautiful garden full of nature during this short 1 kilometer walk at the Garden of Eden Forest Walk Knysna. The garden has wooden benches and tables that come in handy when picnicking.
Location: Harkerville Forest, between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, Garden Route.
Contact: +27 12 428 9111
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This town has some spectacular sites that produce some of the most beautiful views in the world, so make sure you include the above things to do in Knysna in your bucket list. Try these things to do Knysna and share your experience.