Knysna

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Knysna is situated in the heart of the Garden Route and is the perfect town to stay while exploring the surrounding areas. With a host of luxurious guest houses, fully-equipped caravan parks and up-market hotels there is a spot that everyone can call home for just a while. Make sure that you plan your holiday with enough days to fully explore the quaint town of Knysna. Home to the illustrious Pansy Shell, the Knysna Lagoon is a must-see spot. Children will love playing in the shallow waters, as adults sit in their deck chairs and marvel at the Knysna Heads. Secure, peaceful and beautiful, Leisure Isle combines a fun day at the beach; go canoeing, kayaking, hire a speed boat or go fishing. Another must-see spot are the Knysna Heads. A paved pathway and secure balustrade allow for some gorgeous photography. The viewpoint is situated on the Eastern Head, below one can view the channel which flows between this geographical landmark. In the days that this channel was still unmarked territory, it was a treacherous undertaking to pass though and enter the Lagoon. Remnants of the Paquita still lie at the entrance to the Heads. Scuba diving at the Heads is a popular pastime and a great way to view the Paquita.  
On the Western side is Featherbed Nature Reserve which is privately owned. Featherbed is accessible by ferry which one is able to take from the Knysna Waterfront.  If you happen to be travelling to Knysna during August and September, the Heads viewpoint is the best place view the Southern Right Whale! 
One of Knysna’s most prominent festivals is; the Knysna Oyster Festival. The festival is held in July every year and features over 100 sporting and gourmet events over a period of 10 days. From oyster sampling to cycle and trail races, this festival is certain to heat up your Winter chills.
Nature enthusiasts will relish in the variety of activities. Try to spot the illusive Knysna Loerie (you will hear its call long before you see it), trace the prints of an elephant in the Knysna Forest and delight in local flora such as coastal Fynbos and the Milkwood Tree. The Knysna Elephant is another icon of the Knysna Forest.
The town of Knysna itself is a hub of craft shops and trendy cafes. Explore the flea-markets for something to wear or something to take home as a souvenir. Walk up Knysna’s Main Road, past Woodmill Lane (the historical site of Knysna’s Sawmill and Timber Factory), down towards the Waterfront and onto Thesen Island. Both the Waterfront and Thesen Island will have you overwhelmed for choice of bars and restaurants. Enjoy a sundowner and reflect on a day well spent in magical Knysna. 
 

Last updated : 05-Mar-2018

This article was produced for South African History Online on 02-Mar-2018