A busy little town conveniently set at the heart of the Garden Route, Knysna is a popular base from which to explore the back roads, grand forests and empty beaches of South Africa’s favourite holiday destination. With a wide selection of outdoor activities complemented by good restaurants and plenty of places to stay, a Knysna holiday is a fantastic option for families, honeymooners and nature lovers alike.

Knysna lazes next to a large lagoon, its peaceful waters protected by the buttress-like ‘Heads’ - two rocky headlands through which the tide ebbs and flows. Take the short ferry-ride across to the Western Head and Featherbed Nature Reserve - a natural mosaic of coastal and cliff-top paths, caves and sandy coves - or hike in the nearby Knysna Forest, well known for its giant hardwood trees.

The town itself is fine place to wander around, shop, chat and plan your day. Knysna's main road is lined with coffee shops, art galleries and quirky gift shops while the sparkling Waterfront development is filled with lagoon-side restaurants and bars. And if you spend any time at the Knysna Waterfront, you’ll soon discover the town’s other great attraction: it’s the county’s oyster capital.

Knysna’s oysters are so delicious they’re well worth celebrating, which is exactly what happens every July when seafood lovers arrive en masse to gulp down the town’s best-known export during the 10-day Knysna Oyster Festival. It's an event that is rapidly becoming more and more popular so be sure to book your Knysna accommodation well in advance if you want to take part in all the fun.

The same advice applies for the months of December and January when South Africa’s schools close for their long summer break and the best Garden Route accommodation is at a premium. To find out more about a Knysna holiday, chat to one of our Africa Safari Experts: they know the best time to visit and can recommend quiet cottages or luxurious country estates well away from the holiday crowds.