A 1,800 hectare lagoon, kilometer after kilometer of sandy beaches, the brooding Outeniqua Mountains, the famous - and mysterious - Knysna forests, and the 160,000 hectare Garden Route National Park (the only unfenced national park in South Africa).
In other words: Naturally Knysna.
But Knysna has many other attractions to offer, too: excellent dining, trendy shops and shopping, probably the top contemporary art gallery in the country, and a rich and varied selection of events and festivals that celebrate culture, sport, and the good life.
For more information, please see www.visitknysna.co.za - or try any of these recommended attractions and activities:
Featherbed Nature Reserve - a 4-hour tour that includes ferry transport across the lagoon, a driving and walking tour of the reserve on the Western Head at the Knysna River Mouth, and a superb buffet meal. www.featherbed.co.za
Knysna Fine Art - South Africa’s leading contemporary art gallery. Specializes in South African fine artists (moderns and masters), but exhibits international artists, too. Sister gallery, ‘A different drummer’ (also in the historic Thesen House) sells ceramics, objets de vertu, photographs, and fine tribal artefacts. www.finearts.co.za
Knysna Waterfront - shops, dining, coffee shops, sailing and lagoon tours. www.knysnawaterfront.com
Radical Raptors - flying demonstrations, education centre and raptor rehabilitation facility at The Heath (a quaint destination on the road to Plett - with a gift shop, coffee shop, cheese maker, furniture shop, and nursery). www.radicalraptors.co.za
Springtide Sailing Charters - 90-minute, 2-and-a-half-hour, or four-hour sailing cruises, private charters, and overnight charters on the luxurious, hand-built sailing yacht Outeniqua out of the Waterfront at the Knysna Quays. www.springtide.co.za
Thesen Harbour Town - shopping, art and decor, health and beauty, and dining on the water’s edge. www.thesenharbourtown.co.za
Whale watching with Ocean Odyssey - marine tours, estuary tours, and licensed boat-based whale watching. Departures from Thesen Harbour Town. www.oceanodyssey.co.za
Plett Wine & Bubbly Route - wine experiences in the area between Harkerville and the Crags (30 - 40 minutes drive from Simola). Includes 16 estates, including Bramon, Newstead, and Anderson Wines. www.plettwinelands.com
Cape Coastal Route - a general resource for attractions and activities in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo. www.capecoastalroute.com
One of the newest - and already one of the most popular - events on South Africa’s motorsport calendar, The Knysna Speed Festival features a Charity Golf Day at Simola’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Classic Car Friday at the Knysna Waterfront, and the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb with its King of the Hill Shootout, SuperCar Shootout, and Street Party in the pits.
First run in 2009 as the Simola Hillclimb, and sponsored by Jaguar South Africa since 2014, the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb is now recognized as the South African equivalent of the UK’s renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed.