Jewel of the Garden Route

Knysna lies on the banks of a tranquil lagoon, guarded at its mouth by The Heads and overlooked to the north by the Outeniqua Mountains. 

©Roger de le Harpe

Surrounded by lush indigenous forests of yellowwood, stinkwood, Cape beech and red alder, its history is closely linked to the exploitation of the forests and to George Rex, a legendary figure who bought the farm Melkhoutkraal in 1804 and established himself as a timber merchant.

One of the most popular coastal resort towns along the Garden Route for South African holidays, Knysna offers visitors a wide range of water sports (in the lagoon and the sea) and adventure activities. Those in search of a more relaxed holiday can explore the lagoon aboard a houseboat, or on a boat cruise. The lagoon is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis) as well as many of the over 230 bird species recorded in the area to date. It is also famous for its fresh oysters.

Places of interest include Millwood House, dating back to the region's short-lived 1870s gold rush and now a museum, George Rex's grave and the Angling Museum. Numerous arts and crafts galleries, gift shops, farm stalls and furniture factories abound.

Accommodation in Knysna

For holiday-makers in search of the dichotomy of relaxation and adventure can rest assured that accommodation in Knysna on the Garden Route ...more

Diving Knysna

The unpredictability of the southern Cape weather and its sea conditions is one of the biggest influences on not only the diving conditions...more

Historical Buildings of Knysna

Parkes Cottage on Rawson Street was originally built in the Millwood Goldfields in the 1880s. This was after the first gold was found in Kny...more

History of Knysna

The history of Knysna begins with a handful of Dutch settlers who hacked their way through the forests and established farms in the region. ...more

Knysna Biome

During Miocene times, about 20 million years ago, a period of heavy rainfall allowed riverine and montane forest to spread out and form a ne...more

Sleepover With Elephants

Knysna Elephant Park offers a Sleepover With Elephants where the rooms overlook the elephants sleeping quarters. There are also supervised ...more

Knysna Oyster Festival

The Knysna Oyster Festival is a vibrant celebration of great South African cuisine, challenging sporting events and all-round family fun. Th...more

Knysna: The Ultimate Tourist Town

Knysna is the ultimate tourist town and everything seems geared to make the visitor feel at home, with unique places of interest. The Knysna...more

Knysna's Indigenous Forest

Stretching from Mossel Bay in the west to Harkerville in the east, the indigenous forests of Knysna cover about 45 000 ha of state and priva...more

Knysna's Water Wonders

The Knysna Seahorse has only ever occurred in the Knysna estuary. The Knysna lagoon is a rich field of study for any scientist. The Knysna O...more

Mountain Biking in Knysna

Homtini does not quite boast the full range of mountain biking experiences that the Harkerville trails do, but it nonetheless offers an awes...more

Outeniqua Choo Tjoe Train

The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe train was a passenger steam train following the coastline of the Garden Route. The scenic route was 67 kilometres an...more

Unique Biosystem of Knysna

It is the forests that in the end prevail as the jewel in the Garden Route botanical crown. The Knysna Lourie is a large turaco bird that is...more