Located on a tidal lagoon, Knysna (the ‘k’ is silent) is now one of the main hubs of the Garden Route, and makes an ideal base from which to explore. Its name derives from a Khoi word, meaning ‘hard to reach’ – which remained true into the 20th century, and which preserved the Georgian and Victorian buildings at the heart of the village.
In the 19th century, Knysna was a small village in the midst of massive yellowwood and stinkwood forests, settled by woodcutters and their families. It developed as a port for the timber trade. Fortunately, conservation policies introduced in the late 19th century saved some of the remaining forest, and, without trees to fell, the timber trade went into decline.
Knysna has a human-size centre, with many excellent shops, restaurants and delicatessens; and great seafood, including cultivated and wild oysters. The Knysna Quays are a small-scale waterfront complex and marina where you can wander round the boutiques, eat delicious oysters, or sip a cooing drink looking out over the lagoon.
Sit on the quay and watch the world go by; take a boat trip across the lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve and around Knysna Heads; or discover the superb forests, lakes, mountains and rivers nearby. There is a plethora of wildlife, including waterfowl and forest birds, and the area has some of the best golf courses in South Africa. Knysna is not the place for the beach, but there is fine swimming in the lagoon and the stunning beach at Brenton-on-Sea is only 20 km away.
- Taste gourmet food and superb wines
- Watch the breaching whales
- Dare to dive with a Great White Shark
- Enjoy twice daily drives in search of big game
Belvidere Manor is an owner-run, four-star luxury retreat in an idyllic setting in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route.Accommodation is in charming Cape-style cottages set among ten acres of beautiful parkland running down to Knysna Lagoon. The village of Belvidere is an historic settlement on the lagoon and about 9 km from Knysna. The estate dates from 1834; the manor house from 1850. ...
Kanonkop Guest House is a small, owner-managed, 5-star retreat situated on Kanonkop Hill, with spectacular, uninterrupted views of the Knysna Lagoon and Heads.Run by Mark Conyers (the former South African cricketer), his brother and father, this guest house will appeal to the sporting enthusiast. Kanonkop is a corporate member of Fancourt, Pezula and Simola golf estates, so you can play on these m...
- Explore Cape Town's Table Mountain, Wine lands and Cape Peninsula
- Safari in the stunning non-malarial Eastern Cape
- Follow the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay and Knysna
- Travel with an experienced and knowledgeable professional guide
Conrad Pezula Resort Hotel & Spa is set on a 300-hectare private estate on the Garden Route, between Knysna’s Eastern Head, the Sinclair Nature Reserve, and the Noetzie River, with fantastic views across the Indian Ocean and the Knysna Lagoon.AccommodationConrad Pezula has 78 suites, including twopresidential suites, all with a contemporary African style. The suites are spacious and well equ...
St James of Knysna is a smart, owner-run, five-star country house hotel set in lovely three-acre gardens on the shores of Knysna Lagoon, about 2 km from the town centre. The views out to the Knysna Heads are impressive, the perfect backdrop to a game of croquet, a relaxing walk through the gardens and greenhouses, a tennis match, or a dip in one of three swimming pools. You can also fish from the ...
The Manor House Fancourt is a small luxurious boutique hotel, with excellent green credentials and staff development programme, is located in the 613-hectare Fancourt estate, just outside George. The meticulously restored manor has 13 luxury suites, four grand suites and a master suite with two bedrooms. All come with butler service and the property has its own pool. Guests also have access to the...
Views Boutique Hotel is set on the dunes overlooking the pristine Wilderness Beach, this small luxurious, ultra modern hotel makes the most of the natural light and spectacular sea views. The 18 open and airy suites are decorated in a fresh, modern, eclectic style and all have WiFi, satellite TV, safes, beverage stations and other top class amenities. Facilities include two dining venues, sea-view...
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