Knysna is a picturesque town close to La Vista Lodge in Plettenberg Bay, there is a small boat harbour with bistros, restaurants and boutique shopping as well as opportunity to enjoy marine life and the outdoors. Photo : Wikipedia.com
Enjoy these top things to do on the Garden Route in Knysna, South Africa. Find what to do today, on the weekend or during your next stay at La Vista Lodge. We have reviewed some of the best places to visit in Knysna and can recommend that you visit these top-rated and must-see restaurants and attractions while visiting the Garden Route. Knysna is less than a 30-minute drive from La Vista, so take some time to explore during your stay with us.
Look carefully and you may be lucky enough to find the Knysna turaco which is also known as the Knysna loerie. This is an unmistakable bird, although often inconspicuous in the treetops. It is approximately 42cm long from crown to tail with a small orange-red bill and a white line just under the eye to contrast with its mainly green plumage. It has a tall green crest, which is topped with white. You will most likely find it flying between forest trees or hopping along branches. The best places to find one in the wild is in the Knysna Estuary, at the Knysna Heads or at the Featherbed Nature Reserve. If for some reason you aren’t so lucky, you can be guaranteed to find one at the Birds of Eden aviary.
The Featherbed Nature Reserve is a privately-owned Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site. It’s a beautiful piece of paradise accessible by water only, and access is controlled. There are several options to get to the reserve including paddle cruisers, sailboats, and ferries. This is a fantastic outing which can also include guided itineraries with historical reference to fauna and flora, hikes though coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves.
There’s almost nothing more relaxing than a sunset cruise, and fortunately for visitors, Knysna has a resident sailboat that offers several special experiences – Ocean Sailing Charters. If you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll spot some visiting marine life. Southern right whales, Humpback whales (during Whale Season, May – October) and dolphin. It’s an unforgettable experience to sail through the historical Knysna Heads, the inspiration of many novels. You can even book a fully catered sunset cruise for the ultimate package.
Plan a tour of the local Knysna cuisine with the ladies from Knysna Hike & Bike. It’s a walking tour that takes you through the town to sample the local cuisine and enjoy a tipple or two at various Knysna restaurants and cafés.
île de païn is one of Knysna’s most popular café-style restaurants with breakfasts and lunches, authentic artisanal breads and delicate patisserie favorites. This award-winning restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only, and a must visit destination. Each dish showcases fresh, seasonal ingredients with a twist to create innovative dishes. They have a very impressive beverage selection with specialist coffees and teas, fresh juices and a curated wine and beer menu.
The Wild Oats Market is just a further 20 minutes when travelling through Knysna, in the same municipal district – Sedgefield. The market is open every Saturday, a wonderful morning outdoor experience wandering around stalls to sample and purchase homemade cheese, breads, produce, desserts and other freshly prepared foods and a variety of heavenly roasted coffees under the trees. The samosa stand is a must-stop as well as the ladies who serve delicious and beautiful cakes and other sweet treats.
Neighbourhood to Explore
While Knysna is best known for its coffee shops and restaurants, it also has some interesting historical locations. Something most guests find interesting, Knysna has a long history with a local Rastafari Community. Visit Judah Square situated in a small valley in Khayalethu South, a suburb of Knysna. You can book a guided tour or experience one of the different events they have scheduled throughout the year. Emzini Tours offer the residents much-needed income and offer guests direct insight into the live of the local Xhosa people. Tours include visits to schools, businesses and African restaurants.
Explore South African masters including works by Gerard Sekoto, J.H. Pierneef, Lucas Sithole and Robert Hodgins. Knysna Fine Art is owned and operated by Trent Read, a fifth-generation art dealer. He is considered an expert in contemporary South African art. His gallery is at the Thesen House on Thesen Island and in addition to works by the masters, you can also view and shop ceramics, specialty objects, photographs and fine tribal artifacts. A beautiful shopping experience.
SPOILING AFTER A DAY IN KNYSNA
If you need to ‘unwind’ after a trip into Knysna, don’t forget you can always book a late dinner at La Vista Lodge. Our love affair with food is almost palpable. When dining with us, you have the unique experience of being served by our Chef and before the end of the meal, you’ll feel like one of the family.
Take advantage of an in-house massage on the verandah the next morning, or maybe you prefer the privacy of your own patio. The therapists from Forest Nature Spa specialize in couple’s massage, but don’t forget to ask for prior notice for these bookings.