Activities in and around Knysna

Knysna Lagoon is actually an estuary and a water sport haven. Water skiing, wakeboarding and tubing on the lagoon can provide endless entertainment for people of all ages. Fishing, both estuarine and deep sea, is perhaps the most popular activity. Fishing licenses are required and are easily obtainable at the local post office.

Sailing is another popular activity - from sailboards to large ocean going yachts. Knysna has one of the oldest Yacht Clubs in South Africa.

In the late afternoons a score of kayaks paddle up the lagoon and for the more adventurous there is the challenge of going through the Heads into the open sea in a sea kayak.

Visitors can hire boats and canoes from various boating companies and are a number of ferries taking visitors around the lagoon. A number of charter options are available for deep sea fishing or whale and dolphin watching. The best time for watching whales is from August to October.

Swimming at Leisure Isle on the side facing the Heads and scuba diving at the Heads are also options.

  • Wine Tasting - Packwood Wine & Country Estate is our closest wine estate; a mere 25 kms (30 minute drive) from us on the way to Plettenberg Bay set on a gentle rolling hill 330 meters above sea level bordering the beautiful indigenous forests of Fisanthoek. Their award winning hand-crafted wines are available for tasting at Packwood and are also for sale to our guests.
  • The Knysna Heads - go for a walk along the Heads and see the panoramic views of the town and lagoon from various viewsites.
  • A ferry ride across the lagoon is a great way to see the heads and get a full view of the lagoon.
  • Markets - There are many markets in the centre and on the outskirts of Knysna. Here you can buy anything from African Curios to clothes, shoes and jewellery.
  • Beaches - There is no beach in Knysna itself, but the coast surrounding Knysna has some really beautiful places to visit for the day. Visit Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay, Bollard Bay on Leisure Isle, and the beach and estuary at Noetzie. Noetzie is famous because of the castles surrounding the beach that make it look like a scene from the medieval times.
  • Whale and Dolphin Watching - The Knysna coastline is home to one of the highest diversity of marine mammals in the world - including whales and dolphins. During certain times of the year, sightings of the following can be had: Southern right whale, humpback whale, Bryde's whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, orca, humpback dolphin.
  • Canoeing - Many waterways in the area are restricted to non-motorised craft, giving ample opportunity for canoeing on the Knysna lagoon, Knysna River or Goukamma River.
  • Abseiling - Knysna has awesome scenery and what better way to experience it then abseiling the cliffs at the Heads or through a waterfall in the Harkerville forest.
  • Diving - Diving along the Knysna coastline is a great experience. Contact a local dive shop for information before going diving.
  • Fishing - Knysna provides a wealth of opportunities for the keen fisherman: fly-fishing, rock and surf fishing, deepsea fishing, bass and trout fishing.
  • Hiking Trails - The Garden Route features some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, through forest, fynbos and along its pristine coastline. There are also many great walks you can do in the Knysna Forest.
  • Horse Riding - Enjoy the Knysna forest on horseback; there are trails in the Harkerville area.
  • Cycling and Mountain Biking - Knysna offers cyclists some great mountain bike trails. These cycle routes consist of a choice of difficulty grades.
  • Sailing - With over 18 square kilometres of lagoon, and a tidal system of over 1.7 metres (five feet) Knysna draws sailors from far and wide who enjoy swapping stories at the third oldest yacht club in South Africa, with its most hospitable 'bar'.
  • Monkeyland is unique as a primate sanctuary. It is home to many varied species of monkey from several continents which were captive bred prior to their release at Monkeyland. Situated 16 km east of Plett, it offers safaris conducted by game rangers. This is the world’s only multi species, free roaming primate sanctuary.
  • Bird of Eden is a unique two hectare dome (the World’s largest) spans over a gorge of indigenous forest. The sanctuary has its own mysterious ruin, which incorporates a walk-behind waterfall. Another feature is its amphitheatre, which has the ability to seat over 200 visitors.
  • Elephant Park - join the southern-most elephants in the world at Knysna Elephant Park, where you get the rare and exciting opportunity to get close to these gentle giants.
  • Elephant Sanctuary, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience and elephant back riding.
  • Tony Cook Adventures - Mountain biking, kite boarding, Forest tours, surfing lessons and more in and around knysna



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