Having grown up camping along the Garden Route, I am well acquainted with this seaside town with its lagoon and holiday vibe. When I think of Knysna, I honestly can’t forget road trips past the pine forests, warm rainy days and coffee in the town square. Here are some of my reasons to visit Knysna …
Visit before it becomes too developed
Due to its popularity amongst South Africans and scours of tourists in the last decade, Knysna has become extremely developed in certain areas with a waterfront, more guesthouses and shops popping up along the main road.
You could be driving along the Garden Route only to find a traffic jam in Knysna main road. Try visit in low season outside of the bustling summer months and take time to enjoy its beauty by taking a sunset boat trip on the lagoon, visiting the market during the day and looking at the beautiful gardens of its churches. Go while it can still be considered relatively peaceful.
There are beautiful, old roads to explore
Not many people veer off the beaten track and walk up the streets away from the lagoon but if you do, you won’t be disappointed. Some of the oldest houses built in the town are located there and charm you with attics, porches and shade from giant oak trees. Just a step from the main road, you will feel like you’ve been transported to another old world.
There’s an abundance of local art
Just a walk to the market and one of the galleries and craft stores in the town and you’ll understand what I mean. There are many people who have put their talents to work and who earn a living by selling their art and crafts. So save up and allow yourself to take a bit of Knysna home with you.
The languid lagoon
Many a summer holiday was spent fishing with friends from the lagoon, putting along to the bridge in a small, wooden boat or having a picnic along the rocks. The sun sinking behind the Knysna Heads is something to behold and many yachts and cruisers head towards the light to catch the final glow of the day.
The Knysna Waterfront
If you want to get out and about and see where all the people are, this is precisely where you’ll find them. There are some pricey shops offering everything from beachwear and clothing to jewellery and souvenirs. Whatever food your heart’s desires can be found here and in the evening, the stores spill out with people as boats moor for the night.
There’s still some affordable accommodation left
You would imagine that Knysna’s guesthouses would set you back a lot of cash, but I found the loveliest Victorian hostel called Knysna backpackers a road or two away from the church in the main road.
You can see the lagoon from the porch couch and stay in a private room or dorm and share the delightful kitchen with other guests. The garden was filled with blooms and oak trees guarding the entrance way.