Knysna

Knysna – sheer magnificence!

If you travel 73km from the George Airport along South Africa’s Garden Route, you’ll find Knysna, one of the Western Cape’s most popular coastal attractions. Historically known for its gold mining and wild elephants roaming the forest in the 1800s, it continues to be an area of extreme beauty and versatility today. Arguably, the most famous of its landmarks are the Knysna Heads, two awesome cliff faces that seem to be guarding the mouth of the Knsyna Lagoon.

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are many attractions that centre around the Lagoon including the bustling waterfront precinct where you can sit and watch the drawbridge rise to allow the yachts to moor as you nosh on a delectable meal with matched wines at 34 South. You can also opt to stay on the lagoon in a houseboat which can be equally romantic and adventurous and, either way, create a holiday to remember! And a particularly fun pastime at Knysna Lagoon known mainly to the locals, is to go wading knee-deep in the water at the changing of the tide to look for pansy shells. They’re such a warm bunch, just ask them where to go and what to do and they’ll share their secrets.

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Knysna is also filled with outdoorsy things to do if you’re the adventurous type. Think bungee jumping, abseiling, quad biking, paragliding, scuba diving, power boating, kloofing (also known as canyoning), mountain biking, canoeing and hiking. There are heaps of non-adventurous outdoorsy things to do too like checking out the castles on Noetzi Beach. This is one of the reasons why Knysna is such popular destination: you can live it up, go wild or just chill. It’s a sublime mix of adventure and relaxation.

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

One thing you can definitely expect however, is to indulge in all things foodie. You can’t go past the annual Oyster Festival in July that attracts thousands of people from all over the country as well as overseas. There are other more low-key places to visit like Mitchell’s Brewery where you can sample their natural craft beers and cider, or the quirky and quaint Spookasem Tea Gardens in Rheenendal where you can sip on a cup of traditional roobios tea.

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

The wonderful thing is that, as rich as Knysna is in things to do and see, your accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank. Yes, you can book in to one of the Milkwood Collection of Resorts, but you can also choose to stay at wonderful guesthouses like Be My Guest, or a backpackers like Knysna Backpackers in a magnificent heritage house. All of them show you a slightly different side of this bustling town.

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

And if you’re someone who likes giving back to the community, join Experience Knysna! through Love Knysna Projects and help unite kids from all local communities through field trips promoting social unity and a sense of belonging.

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

So, if you’re after a stunning holiday destination that offers you a whole range of things to do, or not to do (as the case may be), put Knysna at the top of your list. Join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page for more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday.

Knysna – sheer magnificence!

If you travel 73km from the George Airport along South Africa’s Garden Route, you’ll find Knysna, one of the Western Cape’s most popular coastal attractions. Historically known for its gold mining and wild elephants roaming the forest in the 1800s, it continues to be an area of extreme beauty and versatility today. Arguably, the most famous of its landmarks are the Knysna Heads, two awesome cliff faces that seem to be guarding the mouth of the Knsyna Lagoon.

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

Majestic Knysna Heads. Photo credit: www.southafrica.net

There are many attractions that centre around the Lagoon including the bustling waterfront precinct where you can sit and watch the drawbridge rise to allow the yachts to moor as you nosh on a delectable meal with matched wines at 34 South. You can also opt to stay on the lagoon in a houseboat which can be equally romantic and adventurous and, either way, create a holiday to remember! And a particularly fun pastime at Knysna Lagoon known mainly to the locals, is to go wading knee-deep in the water at the changing of the tide to look for pansy shells. They’re such a warm bunch, just ask them where to go and what to do and they’ll share their secrets.

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Sunset over Knysna waterfront. Photo credit: www.nightjartravel.com

Knysna is also filled with outdoorsy things to do if you’re the adventurous type. Think bungee jumping, abseiling, quad biking, paragliding, scuba diving, power boating, kloofing (also known as canyoning), mountain biking, canoeing and hiking. There are heaps of non-adventurous outdoorsy things to do too like checking out the castles on Noetzi Beach. This is one of the reasons why Knysna is such popular destination: you can live it up, go wild or just chill. It’s a sublime mix of adventure and relaxation.

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Take a heart-thumping ride in the Knysna RIB! Photo credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

One thing you can definitely expect however, is to indulge in all things foodie. You can’t go past the annual Oyster Festival in July that attracts thousands of people from all over the country as well as overseas. There are other more low-key places to visit like Mitchell’s Brewery where you can sample their natural craft beers and cider, or the quirky and quaint Spookasem Tea Gardens in Rheenendal where you can sip on a cup of traditional roobios tea.

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

Sample some of the freshest oysters at the annual Oyster Festival in Knysna. Photo credit: www.oysterfestival.co.za

The wonderful thing is that, as rich as Knysna is in things to do and see, your accommodation doesn’t have to break the bank. Yes, you can book in to one of the Milkwood Collection of Resorts, but you can also choose to stay at wonderful guesthouses like Be My Guest, or a backpackers like Knysna Backpackers in a magnificent heritage house. All of them show you a slightly different side of this bustling town.

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

Knysna Backpackers for those on a budget. Photo credit: www.knysnabackpackers.co.za

And if you’re someone who likes giving back to the community, join Experience Knysna! through Love Knysna Projects and help unite kids from all local communities through field trips promoting social unity and a sense of belonging.

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

Knysna boasts some of the oldest forests in the world. Photo credit: www.theapricity.com

So, if you’re after a stunning holiday destination that offers you a whole range of things to do, or not to do (as the case may be), put Knysna at the top of your list. Join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page for more travel inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African holiday.

Summer Dining – Alfresco Style

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa share a summer because we are all in the Southern Hemisphere. It is at this time of year that the weather warms up and our thoughts turn to outdoor activities, eating alfresco and three fantastic months of getting out and enjoying the summer months.

The warmer months draw a lot of tourists to South Africa where they can participate in adventure activities, go on safari and indulge in the world class food and wine of South Africa has to offer.

No matter where your South African summer adventure takes you, be sure to bring your appetite because you are going to want to take part in everyone’s favourite activity whilst on holiday; eating and drinking.

The Garden Route is a popular driving route and is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. There are plenty of towns to stop at on your drive where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch and marvel at the view.

Serendipity restaurant located in Wilderness has a gourmet South African inspired menu which uses fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce. Serendipity believes that South Africa has a wealth of culinary gems – mostly unknown to the world and they are passionate about showcasing them in a unique and innovative way. Serendipity currently holds the number one spot on Trip Advisor as the Best Garden Route restaurant. You can check out some reviews here.

Serendipity

Image source: Serendipity

If you’re after a more casual dining experience, East Head Café is just outside of Knysna and overlooks the sea – with a breathtaking view through Knysna Heads. The café supports local suppliers who source responsibly and describes their menu as “simple well-made food with an accent on flavour and freshness”. They have indoor and outdoor seating options, but no matter which you choose your meal will be accompanied by the most spectacular ocean views!

East Head Cafe

Image source: East Head Cafe

Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind. While there, be sure to visit the cellar and sample their range of Vukani Empowerment wines. Vintner Peter Thorpe established this line in 2004 and named it after the Xhosa word for ‘wake up’. A percentage of all these wine sales enable local projects, especially the training and development of local farmers.

Bramon Wine Estate Food

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Did you know that Western Cape restaurants frequently feature in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Top 50 Restaurant list? A visit to this region is a must for any foodie visiting South Africa.

The food of the Western Cape is heaven for adventurous eaters. The province is blessed with an abundant agricultural bounty, from both the land and the sea. Whether you feast on multi-course tasting menus in Franschhoek at the popular Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais or wolf down mouthfuls of umngqusho (a traditional Xhosa bean stew which was reportedly Nelson Mandela’s favourite dish) in Gugulethu, there is something to suit every mood, palate, and wallet.

Desert 2

Image source: The Tasting Room

The West Coast also offers up the traditional cuisine of the Sandveld (sand bush) at eateries such as Bosduifklip where delicious meals are served straight from the coals and Geelbek which is named after the Cape salmon. Eat just-caught seafood and spit-roasted lamb at the Musiboskerm and Strandloper restaurants near Lambert’s Bay. If you still have room, Paternoster’s quirky clutch of delicious delis and restaurants are not to be missed and can offer up a number of great snacks for the car!

Image source: Strandloper

Image source: Strandloper

Summer lunches mean one thing to South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians – fresh seafood! Seafood is prepared in many ways in South Africa – braaied (barbecued) on an open fire; battered and fried; drenched in Cape Malay pickles and curries; cooked Cajun-style; grilled and sauced with lemon butter; and, more recently, prepared Asian-style. You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants both on the coast and inland to suit any taste and budget from haute cuisine to the freshest of no-frills fish and chips

Inland, Johannesburg’s Fishmonger in Illovo is packed on a nightly basis, while Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant, Sushi and Oyster Bar on Nelson Mandela Square does brisk business. Portuguese, Mozambican and Brazilian restaurants in general are renowned for excellent shellfish.

Have we got your mouth watering?

For more summer inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African summer holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

Summer Dining – Alfresco Style

Australia, New Zealand and South Africa share a summer because we are all in the Southern Hemisphere. It is at this time of year that the weather warms up and our thoughts turn to outdoor activities, eating alfresco and three fantastic months of getting out and enjoying the summer months.

The warmer months draw a lot of tourists to South Africa where they can participate in adventure activities, go on safari and indulge in the world class food and wine of South Africa has to offer.

No matter where your South African summer adventure takes you, be sure to bring your appetite because you are going to want to take part in everyone’s favourite activity whilst on holiday; eating and drinking.

The Garden Route is a popular driving route and is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. There are plenty of towns to stop at on your drive where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch and marvel at the view.

Serendipity restaurant located in Wilderness has a gourmet South African inspired menu which uses fresh, locally sourced and seasonal produce. Serendipity believes that South Africa has a wealth of culinary gems – mostly unknown to the world and they are passionate about showcasing them in a unique and innovative way. Serendipity currently holds the number one spot on Trip Advisor as the Best Garden Route restaurant. You can check out some reviews here.

Serendipity

Image source: Serendipity

If you’re after a more casual dining experience, East Head Café is just outside of Knysna and overlooks the sea – with a breathtaking view through Knysna Heads. The café supports local suppliers who source responsibly and describes their menu as “simple well-made food with an accent on flavour and freshness”. They have indoor and outdoor seating options, but no matter which you choose your meal will be accompanied by the most spectacular ocean views!

East Head Cafe

Image source: East Head Cafe

Bramon Wine Estate is the only Wine Estate located in the middle of The Garden Route. The restaurant is set in the vineyards and overlooks the Tsitsikamma Mountains and The Elephant Sanctuary. The wine menu compliments the menu of tapas, local cheeses, oysters, meat and freshly baked homemade bread. If you’re looking for a relaxed, long lunch after driving along the Garden Route – the atmosphere at Bramon Wine Estate is sure to help you unwind. While there, be sure to visit the cellar and sample their range of Vukani Empowerment wines. Vintner Peter Thorpe established this line in 2004 and named it after the Xhosa word for ‘wake up’. A percentage of all these wine sales enable local projects, especially the training and development of local farmers.

Bramon Wine Estate Food

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Bramon Wine Estate

Image source: Silke Marshall Marketing

Did you know that Western Cape restaurants frequently feature in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Top 50 Restaurant list? A visit to this region is a must for any foodie visiting South Africa.

The food of the Western Cape is heaven for adventurous eaters. The province is blessed with an abundant agricultural bounty, from both the land and the sea. Whether you feast on multi-course tasting menus in Franschhoek at the popular Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais or wolf down mouthfuls of umngqusho (a traditional Xhosa bean stew which was reportedly Nelson Mandela’s favourite dish) in Gugulethu, there is something to suit every mood, palate, and wallet.

Desert 2

Image source: The Tasting Room

The West Coast also offers up the traditional cuisine of the Sandveld (sand bush) at eateries such as Bosduifklip where delicious meals are served straight from the coals and Geelbek which is named after the Cape salmon. Eat just-caught seafood and spit-roasted lamb at the Musiboskerm and Strandloper restaurants near Lambert’s Bay. If you still have room, Paternoster’s quirky clutch of delicious delis and restaurants are not to be missed and can offer up a number of great snacks for the car!

Image source: Strandloper

Image source: Strandloper

Summer lunches mean one thing to South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians – fresh seafood! Seafood is prepared in many ways in South Africa – braaied (barbecued) on an open fire; battered and fried; drenched in Cape Malay pickles and curries; cooked Cajun-style; grilled and sauced with lemon butter; and, more recently, prepared Asian-style. You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants both on the coast and inland to suit any taste and budget from haute cuisine to the freshest of no-frills fish and chips

Inland, Johannesburg’s Fishmonger in Illovo is packed on a nightly basis, while Montego Bay Seafood Restaurant, Sushi and Oyster Bar on Nelson Mandela Square does brisk business. Portuguese, Mozambican and Brazilian restaurants in general are renowned for excellent shellfish.

Have we got your mouth watering?

For more summer inspiration and the latest news and tools to plan your perfect South African summer holiday, join the conversation on our Australian or New Zealand Facebook page.

Close Encounters at Knysna Elephant Park

Believe it or not, elephants are surprisingly good flat-mates…and I love that I know this fact from first-hand experience!

Last night I stayed at Knysna Elephant Park and my room was literally next-door to the elephant’s cushy nightly accommodation.

Waking up and having my morning cuppa with the elephants before riding off into the breathtaking sunrise on the back of one of them, was simply amazing!

Definitely a highlight!

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Close Encounters at Knysna Elephant Park

Believe it or not, elephants are surprisingly good flat-mates…and I love that I know this fact from first-hand experience!

Last night I stayed at Knysna Elephant Park and my room was literally next-door to the elephant’s cushy nightly accommodation.

Waking up and having my morning cuppa with the elephants before riding off into the breathtaking sunrise on the back of one of them, was simply amazing!

Definitely a highlight!

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant

 

Knysna Elephant

Knysna Elephant