Explore Knysna

Explore Knysna: 11 Must-Have Experiences to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

Explore Knysna: 11 Must-Have Experiences to Add to Your Travel Bucket List

Nestled between the Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, Knysna is a picturesque town on the Garden Route of South Africa. It is known for its natural beauty, stunning landscapes, and diverse wildlife making it a perfect holiday destination for nature lovers. Knysna has a range of offerings that are sure to appeal to everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to foodies to families. Here are 11 must-have experiences that should be added to your travel bucket list when visiting Knysna.

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1. Hike the Knysna Heads

The Knysna Heads, towering cliffs that guard the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon, is a popular spot among tourists. Avid hikers can hike up the Heads, which is a moderate-to-difficult trail that provides spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. The trail is a 2.2km hike and takes around 90 minutes to reach the peak. It is a steep climb, but the panoramic views from the top are worth every step.

brown and green rocky mountain beside body of water during daytime

2. Cruise Knysna Lagoon

Knysna Lagoon is a magnificent natural estuary. The lagoon is home to an array of birdlife, marine life, and fishermen. Take a relaxing cruise on the lagoon and enjoy breathtaking views of the impressive coastline. The leisurely boat ride is an excellent opportunity to spot dolphins that often swim alongside the boat.

3. Visit the Featherbed Nature Reserve

If you want to witness the beauty of Knysna at its best, then visiting the Featherbed Nature Reserve is a must-add to your bucket list. The reserve is located on the western head of the Knysna Heads and is only accessible via a ferry ride. The reserve boasts stunning views of the lagoon, the heads, and the coastlines. The guided hike on the reserve is a must-do activity as it offers a chance to witness the sea caves, ancient forests, and 2,000-year-old Milkwood trees.

4. Explore The Garden of Eden

This enchanting forest, located 16 km east of Knysna, is a visual splendor. The Garden of Eden is a lush forest that is a National Park, and it is home to an array of exotic birds and animals. Take a stroll through the shady woods and enjoy the calm tranquility the forest has to offer.

green leafed plant

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5. Visit Monkeyland

Monkeyland is one of South Africa’s top tourist attractions and is home to over 500 primates of various species. The sanctuary provides a unique opportunity to witness monkeys in their natural environment. A guide will take you on a walking tour of the park, sharing insights into the primates’ habits, habitats, and history. You get to see these primates in their natural habitat, swinging from tree to tree and grooming each other.

6. Visit the Knysna Elephant Park

The Knysna Elephant Park is where you can get up close and personal with these gentle giants. The park is home to rescued African elephants, and visitors can feed and interact with these magnificent animals. The park offers a variety of tours, including walking tours, elephant back safaris, and overnight stays.

7. Surf in Buffalo Bay

Buffalo Bay is a surfer’s paradise. The wave breaks are perfect for both beginners and advanced surfers. The beach is popular among locals and visitors alike, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re not a surfer, you can still take a walk along the beach and enjoy the breathtaking views.

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8. Indulge in Oysters at the Knysna waterfront

Knysna is famous for its oysters, and what better way to indulge in them than at the Knysna Waterfront. The waterfront has an array of restaurants that serve fresh oysters and delicious seafood. The restaurants have outdoor seating areas that provide picturesque views of the lagoon, making it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a family outing.

white and blue boat on dock during daytime

9. Take a scenic drive to The Heads

The drive to The Heads offers some of the most stunning views in South Africa. The winding road takes you through dense forests, rocky terrain, and stunning viewpoints that provide stunning views of the Indian Ocean. It’s a great way to see the beauty of Knysna and its surrounding areas.

10. Enjoy a braai

South Africans love their BBQ, and what better place to enjoy one than in Knysna. Head to one of the local markets, purchase some fresh meat from the vendors, and have your braai by the beach. It’s an excellent way to enjoy the local cuisine and absorb the coastal atmosphere.

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11. Kayak with dolphins

Knysna is home to the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin, and there’s no better way to experience these beautiful creatures than kayaking alongside them. The guided kayak tour takes you through the Knysna estuary, and the chances of spotting dolphins are pretty high.


1. When is the best time to visit Knysna?

The best time to visit Knysna is between May and October. During these months the weather is dry with mild temperatures, making it ideal for outdoor activities. However, the town is a year-round destination with plenty of things to do in every season.

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2. Is Knysna safe for tourists?

Knysna is a safe town for tourists. However, it’s always best to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions when traveling at night.

3. What is the currency used in Knysna?

The currency used in Knysna is the South African Rand.

4. How do I get to Knysna?

You can get to Knysna by driving, flying, or taking a bus. The closest airport is George Airport, and it’s approximately 70km away from Knysna. Shuttles and taxis are easily available from the airport to Knysna.

5. What other areas can I visit near Knysna?

There are plenty of areas near Knysna worth visiting, including Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness, and Mossel Bay.

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