Located on a lagoon, and surrounded by centuries-old indigenous woodlands (which constitute the largest closed-canopy forest in Southern Africa), Knysna is more low-key than neighbouring Plettenberg Bay, but with the same cosmopolitan attractions. Small-town hospitality and easy-to-navigate environs makes it a relaxing and laid-back leisure destination, while a plethora of craft studios and markets, artisanal bakers and coffee shops give it its quaint charm.
Knysna’s scenery is a large part of its appeal. Hiking, running, fishing, biking and boating – the forests, rivers, cliff paths, beaches and golf courses set the scene for a multitude of leisure pursuits and make it the ultimate active holiday option. A trip to this beautiful town would not be complete without exploring the famous forests (once the home of its now legendary elephants), or a boat trip to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, where you can marvel at the Knysna Heads (the iconic cliffs that tower above the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon).
For a more social experience, the Knysna Waterfront is a popular attraction and is the hub of the town’s nightlife. The famous Knysna Oyster Festival takes place in July – an opportunity to sample these locally farmed delicacies and take part in the Knysna Marathon (always on the same weekend).