A Weekend in
The Knysna Darling
If The Garden Route is the darling of South Africa, Knysna is the darling of the Garden Route. This oh-so-charming coastal town steals new hearts every day. Pack your bags and escape to Knysna for the perfect weekend getaway.
Day 1: Friday – Arrive in Knysna
You’ll likely arrive in this charming village in the late afternoon. Find a table at one of the great restaurants for cocktails and dinner with a view of the lagoon and start your getaway off on a high note (Sirocco and Tapas & Oysters are great options).
Day 2: Saturday – Explore
Spend the day immersed in nature. Enjoy the indigenous forests, mountains, beaches and the lagoon to the max. Here are some suggestions:
- The Garden Route National Park has numerous hiking trails to choose from. Be mesmerised by the giant yellowwoods, beautiful fig trees and lush forest ferns. Birders, keep your eyes open for the iconic Knysna Loerie (Turoco) and the elusive Narina Trogan!
2. If you visit between June and November, I highly recommend booking a whale watching cruise. Southern right whales and humpback whales come to the warmer waters to mate and calve during this time so it’s the perfect time to spot them breaching and playing along the coast.
3. The Knysna estuary is one of great conservation significance because of its remarkable biodiversity, including the occurrence of the endangered Knysna seahorse (Hippocampus capensis). At its widest, the estuary measures about 3 km and at the Knysna River mouth (The Heads) it’s only 230 m wide. There are wonderful opportunities to experience the lagoon including paddling, SUP or sailing. A sunset cruise to the Heads is a great way to end off the day.
4. One cannot visit Knysna and not experience the oysters! Many restaurants offer oysters on their menu at great value for money. Knysna Charters offers a fun Oyster Tour which dives into the differences between wild and cultivated oysters while cruising to the Heads. The experience ends off with an oyster feast fit for a king.
Day 3: Sunday – Wind Down
For a quick but fascinating look into the history of the town, there’s a self-guided walking tour along the Main Road. The tour is guided by brown and white plaques placed outside historic buildings. This international project, ‘’the museum of the streets’’ has resulted in the placement of nearly 70 Open Plaques throughout the town – so keep an eye out while you’re exploring.
After your tour, why not continue exploring Thesen Island on foot and support the local artisans and business owners. There are many charming clothing and craft stores as well as bakeries (like Ile de pain) to make anyone’s heart and belly happy.
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
The Turbine Hotel
Pearl View Guesthouse
The Milkwood Collection
Forest Valley Cottages
Forest Edge Cottages
“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.“