Knysna

Visitor information

Visit Knysna Tourism at 40 Main Street for info about local attractions, restaurants, pubs, and sports and social events and festivals. They're open during normal business hours Monday to Saturday.

Telephone: +27(0)44 382 5510 

» Knysna visitor information

Adventures

Lagoon boat cruises

Forest walks & hiking tours

  • Tony Cook Adventures. Besides his walking and hiking tours, Tony also offers canoeing, guided trail running tours, kiting & surfing trips, etc. www.knysnaforesttours.co.za

Whale and dolphin watching 

  • Ocean Odyssey - boat-based whale-watching and dolphin-watching tours through The Heads; also SUP (stand-up paddle board) hire. www.oceanodyssey.co.za

Yacht trips through The Heads

  • Springtide Sailing Charters offers 90 minute to 4 1/2 hour sailing charters on the 52' luxury yacht Outeniqua www.springtide.co.za
  • Heads Explorer - the Featherbed Company's 90 minute to 2 1/2 hour sailing charters on the Lagoon and through The Heads www.knysnafeatherbed.com

Cycling & MTB

The Garden Route was designed for cycling - through the indigenous Knysna Forests, the fynbos, local plantations, and even along cliff-top paths.

Try these MTB tracks and trails. Or just climb on your bike and ride - right from our doorstep:

  • Garden Route Trail Park: awesome single track forest routes, pump track, BMX track, café, shower rooms, bike hire, and events. Near Karatara, 40 km from Knysna www.gardenroutetrailpark.com
  • Garden Route National Park MTB Routes - in the Farleigh Forests, the Harkerville Forests, and the Diepwalle Forests. Various routes and distances for riders of most classes. SANParks requires you to buy permits before you ride: they're available from their offices on Thesen Island, Knysna: www.sanparks.org
  • Cycle races: please visit Knysna Tourism's web site for regular updates about local cycle races. www.visitknysna.co.za/festivals

Golf in Knysna

  • Pezula Championship Golf Course: 18 holes, par 72. Kentucky Blue and rye fairways. Length: championship 6,281 m, seniors 6,198 m, ladies 6,218 m and 5,027 m. Magnificent cliff-top links course designed by Ron Fream on Knysna's Eastern Head . www.pezula.co.za 
  • Simola Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course: 18 holes, par 72. Kikuyu fairways. Length: championship 6,033 m, ladies 4,595 m, seniors: 5,189 m, pro Ts 6,318 m. Parklands course designed by The Golden Bear himself. www.simolaestate.co.za
  • Knysna Golf Club: 18 holes, par 73. Kikuyu fairways. Length: championship 5,924 m, club 5,924 m. Probably the only golf course in South Africa with holes below sea level. www.knysnagolfclub.com 
  • Sedgefield Links: 9 hole short course on the banks of the Swartvlei Lagoon in Sedgefield. www.pinelakemarina.co.za/sedgelinksgolf

Dining out

Great service, great food, great atmosphere. These are some of our favourite restaurants in Knysna (but talk to us when you get here - because there are lots more):

  • 34 South at the Knysna Waterfront: Knysna oysters, seafood, sushi, pizza, bakery. Also sells wines and unusual gifts. Open for breakfast, lunch & supper. www.34south.biz
  • Drydock Food Co.  (Waterfront): lunch and dinner on the harbour's edge: seafood, salads, sushi, fusion cuisine, sinful desserts, and amazing cocktails. Live blues music at selected times. www.drydock.co.za
  • Café Mario (Waterfront): One of Knysna's most famous Italian restaurants. Open all day. www.knysnawaterfront.com
  • O'Pescador (Waterfront): Authentic LM-style Portuguese cuisine. Open for lunch and supper. www.knysnawaterfront.com
  • Tapas & Oysters (Thesen Harbour Town): vibey waterfront bar and restaurant with kids play area. Live music on selected nights. From midday (ish) till late. www.tapasknysna.co.za
  • Sirocco Restaurant (Thesen Harbour Town): Sushi, pizzas, and oysters for lunch and supper on the Lagoon edge. www.sirocco.co.za
  • The Project Bar & Lounge (above Sirocco): sophisticated cocktails lounge and events venue with amazing views of the Knysna Lagoon. www.theprojectbar.co.za
  • Muse Fusion Food: cosy, trendy, and popular with the locals. Outdoor fireplaces, lounge, and a (free) pool table. Italian-inspired food. Live music from time to time. Facebook: musefusionfood 
  • Urge Urban Café at Avo Pomme Creative Hub (Woodmill Lane shopping centre); coffee, cake, food, pressed juice, and kombucha - with occasional exhibitions and presentations. Every day from breakfast time till Woodmill Lane closes. www.avopomme.com
  • East Head Café (Knysna Heads): probably the best views of any restaurant on the Garden Route. And great seafood, salads, and awesome desserts, too. Breakfast and lunch daily. www.eastheadcafe.co.za
  • Riverdeck Restaurant & Farm Stall, Goukamma (on the road to Buffalo Bay): traditional Afrikaans fare (braais, baboeties, kuierkos, etc.). Also offers canoeing and other water activities. Daily from breakfast-time onwards. www.riverdeckrestaurant.co.za
  • Totties Farm Kitchen, Rheenendal (on the 7-Passes road, close to the Goudveld Forests); restaurant and country store. Open Wednesday to Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and also from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Sundays for buffet lunches. www.tottiesfarmkitchen.co.za

Beaches

  • Bollard Bay on Leisure Isle (11  km from Elephant Hide): safe swimming at high tide in the shallow waters of the Lagoon.
  • Buffalo Bay (20 km): great for families. Good surfing and fishing, and popular for the 5 km (3 mile) beach walk to Brenton-on-Sea.
  • Noetzie (15 km): famous for its stone castles (although they aren't open to the public).
  • Coney Glen on the Eastern Head (12 km): tiny, spectacular beach worth visiting for the views. But please don't swim here!
  • Brenton-on-Sea (14 km): walking, sunbathing, paragliding, fishing. Swimming isn't recommended.

Art & artists

  • Knysna Fine Art - world-class gallery in Thesen House, corner Long and Union Streets. Required viewing for art collectors and art lovers alike. It specialises in contemporary South African art, handles works by the South African masters, and exhibits a number of internationally recognised fine artists. Open Monday to Saturday during normal business hours. www.finearts.co.za
  • iAfrica Gallery - this online gallery specialises in contemporary art from Southern Africa. The curator is based in Knysna, and is available for local consultations. www.iafricagallery.com