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Knysna

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Southern Africa : South Africa : Western Cape : Garden Route : Knysna
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Knysna is in the Garden Route region of South Africa. It`s one of the most popular places along the route with an abundance of tourist facilities. The town nestles along a beautiful lagoon and is surrounded by indigenous forests making it worth a stay of several days.

Get in

By road

Located in the middle of the Garden route Knysna is easily accessible from Cape Town (about 500 km) and Port Elizabeth (about 270 km).

By bus

The major bus companies serve Knysna on their run from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. The Baz bus stops here, too.

By plane/ rail

The next airport is in George, while for international flights you have to go for Cape Town. There is no rail service to Knysna (except the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe historical steam train between George and Knysna which offers a wonderful scenery)

Running from George to Knysna, and stopping at both Widerness and Sedgefield stations, this is a not-to-be-missed experience.

For true steam lovers, pop into the stream museum in George - for a trip down memory lane.

Get around

Walking around is the best option or rent a bicyle for longer distances. Except the minibuses there is no public transport so you have to take a taxi if you want.

See

- The lagoon: about 18 sq. km and home to at least 200 spe. of fish i`s connected with the Indian Ocean through a turbulent channel between "The Heads", two sandstone cliffs. Tour around on one of several boats or just take a coffee at "the Heads".

- The Knysna Forest: about 80.000 ha are now under conservation. The ‘King Edward VII’ tree (at Diepwalle forest station) is an estimated 600 years old, 39 m at height, and has a circumference of 6 m. But most famous is the forest for the Kynsna elephants (some of them may still rumble in the jungle but weren´t seen for several years. But keep care!). There are several hiking trails but you need a car to access the forest.

- Pledge Nature Reserve: offers 3.5 km of pathways through scrub forest and hillside fynbos with fine views over the lagoon and is just 500 meters of the town centre. A nice place for a walk in the afternoon.

Do

Walk along the lagoon, take a coffee at one of the many shops at the waterfront and head straight on for "the Heads".

Buy

Eat

Many restaurants line the main street and the waterfront area. Knysna`s special are oysters (traditionally served at Knysna Oyster company)

Drink

Sleep

Many guesthouses, hotels and B&Bs compete for the visitor in off-season, but in high season prices rise and places fill early so book ahead. There are also several nice options out of town (e.g. in Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay ...) for those with their own transport.

  • Highfield Backpackers, 2 Graham Street (Tel: 044 382-6266; Fax: 044 382-5799) is a nice place with a pool a little bit of main street and offers dorms and private single/ double rooms.
  • Wayside Inn, Main street (Tel/Fax: 044 3826011; http://www.waysideinn.co.za)is a very nice B&B in the centre of the town with charming rooms starting at R240 pps.

Get out

Hike in the Kynsna forest or take a tour in the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam-train to Knysna. Other options are a day tour to Oudtshoorn or the Noetzee castle a few km north east of town.

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