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Things to do in Knysna

Our most recommended things to do in Knysna

Knysna: 75-Minute Lagoon Boat Cruise

1. Knysna: 75-Minute Lagoon Boat Cruise

The tour departs from Thesan Island Harbour Town and heads out onto the pristine Knysna Lagoon, home to an array of native birds and marine life. On board the ‘Oyster Boat', spend a leisurely 75-minutes exploring the lagoon as you sail to the breathtaking and imposing Knysna Heads. As you glide along the waters, sit back and relax whilst soaking up the famous South African sunshine with the wind in your hair. From start to finish the tour provides breathtaking views of the surrounding waters as well as the Knysna coastline. During the boat ride your guide shares fascinating insight into the history, heritage, and culture of Knysna, from a local’s perspective.

Knysna: Downhill Forest Scootour Adventure

2. Knysna: Downhill Forest Scootour Adventure

Experience the stunning, tropical beauty that is Garden Route National Park on a mountain scooter-bike. Used in the Alps during the summer season on the snowless ski slopes, the thick tires and solid design of your scooter-bike allows you to carve Garden Route’s trails with ease. Each scooter can fit one adult and a child passenger. After meeting your expert guides, you’ll board a scenic minibus ride to start your descent into the national park. After a safety briefing, you’ll head out onto the sweeping bends, criss-crossing down long hills within the lush forest. Keep on the lookout for local wildlife, like the majestic Knysna loerie, the shy bushbuck, and plentiful wild boar. After 2 hours going downhill on the trails, you’ll head back to the meeting point via minibus, never needing to worry about the uphill climb.

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

3. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Knysna Sunset Sailing Cruise with Light Dinner and Wine

4. Knysna Sunset Sailing Cruise with Light Dinner and Wine

Have the ultimate sailing experience while soaking up the golden hues of the Knynsa sunset. Depart from the waterfront and cruise through the Knysna Estuary and rugged headlands, a region known for its lush and diverse flora and fauna. Pass by the iconic Knysna Heads, a formation of impressive sandstone cliffs. If weather permits, exit the estuary out onto the vast Indian Ocean for beautiful evening views. Let the natural beauty of Knysna enchant you, from the breathtaking coastline to the diverse marine life. Onboard, savor an appetizing sunset array of savory snacks, cheeses, and fruits, and a complimentary glass of chilled bubbly while you watch the sun sink into the horizon.

From Cape Town: 5-Day Best of Garden Route & Addo Safari

5. From Cape Town: 5-Day Best of Garden Route & Addo Safari

Day 1: Route 62Travel about 400 km Start with a morning pickup from Cape Town and Stellenbosch, between 6 - 7 AM.Travel along Route 62, the longest wine route in the world, with a wine-tasting stop (non-alcoholic tasting available too) before reaching Oudtshoorn in the semi-desert Klein Karoo in the late afternoon. For a close encounter with Mother Nature, opt in to join rangers on an Elephant Educational Bush Walk (at extra cost) as they follow 3 lovable rescued elephants along the waterhole, learning about these gentle giants' background. Then, spend overnight at Uthando Backpackers (if you choose the Saver Dorm package), at 88 van Rheede (if you choose the 3* Comfort package), or Buffelsdrift Lodge (if you choose the 4* Deluxe package). Day 2: OudtshoornTravel about 250 km Visit a working ostrich farm to learn about the largest, flightless bird in the world. Next, head to the mountains to go deep underground in the illuminated wonder world of the Cango Caves. Explore the vast halls filled with ancient stalactites before traveling onward to the Addo region. Spend overnight at Avaco Cabins, Gerald's Gift (if you choose the 3* Comfort package) or Addo Wildlife lodge (if you choose the 4* Deluxe package). Day 3: Addo, Jeffreys BayTravel about 250 km An early morning start allows the best option to spot wildlife as the bush awakes in Addo Elephant National Park, the 3rd largest national park in South Africa. You can join the optional 4x4 game drive (with extra cost).  Next, go on the included 2-hour safari with your guide. Navigate the park in the tour van in search of some of the Big Five animals, including 550 elephants, buffalo, lions, black rhinos, and zebras. Spend your afternoon relaxing with free time at Jeffreys Bay's beach.  Choose between surf lessons, beach horseback riding, or sand boarding (all optional at extra cost). Spend overnight at Island Vibe, Sea Whisper (if you choose the 3* Comfort package), or On The Beach lodge (if you choose the 4* Deluxe package). Day 4: Tsitsikamma, SedgefieldTravel about 250 km Experience the highest Bungy Bridge Jump in the world or Waterfall Zipline over waterfalls in the nearby Tsitsikamma forest (optional at extra cost). Next, see Tsitsikamma National Park. Take a short walk to the suspension bridges before a photo stop at Knysna's lagoon en route to Sedgefield. Spend overnight at Pili Pili Beach Cabanas, Fairy Knowe (if you choose the 3* Comfort package), or Dolphin Dunes Lodge (if you choose the 4* Deluxe package). Day 5: WildernessTravel about 450 km Take to the water for a leisurely canoeing session to a secret waterfall along the rivers of the Wilderness region. On the journey back to Cape Town, spot wildlife on a 4x4 Botlierskop game drive (at extra cost) or relax at Mossel Bay's Diaz Beach after walking to the Cape St Blaize lighthouse. Your adventure ends with an evening drop-off at your Cape Town or Stellenbosch accommodation between 8 - 10 PM.

Knysna: Lagoon Boat Cruise and Oyster Tour with Tastings

6. Knysna: Lagoon Boat Cruise and Oyster Tour with Tastings

The tour departs from Thesan Island Harbor Town and heads out onto the blue waters of Knysna Lagoon. As you sail, learn all there is to know about oysters, as well as how to taste the difference between those that are wild or cultivated. The boat takes you around the stunning lagoon where the ocean stretches out towards the crisp blue sky, then sails around the Kynsna Head for more spectacular views. Throughout the tour, feel free to ask questions, take photos, and excite your taste buds with complimentary oyster tasting and white wine too.

Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

7. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town and heads to Hermanus. Follow the scenic coastal road to Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, and the place where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy a paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. Visit the famous Knysna Heads viewing point, overlooking the Knysna estuary. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park offers hikes of varying lengths including a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including buffalo, lions, rhinos, warthogs and many more. After an exciting morning on safari, we drive back to the Garden Route where we overnight in Wilderness/Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along the seaside cliffs, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town in the early evening.

Knysna Coastline Speedboat Tour

8. Knysna Coastline Speedboat Tour

Depart from Knysna Waterfront and travel along Knysna Estuarine at speed until you reach the Knysna Heads. Famous for their large waves, exit the Heads safely with a professional skipper at the helm of a custom-built adventure boat. Once out at sea, jet along the coastline and enjoy the pristine scenery. Be sure to keep a look out for the abundant marine life that inhabits the waters. Travel into the vast sea caves and get close to the rocks so you can experience the amazing power and beauty of the ocean up close. Enjoy numerous stops for photo opportunities, before making your way back to Knysna Waterfront.

Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

9. Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

Get back to nature on a 5-day tour of the beautiful Garden Route and look for wildlife in nature reserves including Tsitsikamma National Park and Addo Elephant Park. Day 1: (D) Depart Cape Town and head towards Oudtshoorn in the semi-desert of Little Karoo with a stop at Ronnie’s sex shop for a refreshing drink! Explore the magnificent Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm, where you can try to ride one! Spend the night in Oudtshoorn and enjoy a delicious ostrich braai dinner. Day 2: (D) Cross the mountain range to reach the coast and famous Garden Route. Get panoramic views from the Map of Africa lookout before visiting the charming town of Knysna. Continue through Plettenberg Bay to spend the night at Storms River village. Day 3: (B, D) Get back to nature in Tsitsikamma National Park. Walk the coastal route to the hanging bridge over Storms River Mouth. Continue to Addo Elephant National Park to spot huge elephant herds, antelope species and more. Alternatively, go straight to the surfing capital of South Africa at Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will spend the night. Day 4: (B, D) Head back towards the Garden Route to brave the world's highest bungee at Bloukrans. Enjoy a night in luxury accommodation at the Garden Route Game Lodge (guesthouse option). Go for a late afternoon safari drive to look for rhinos, lions, buffalo, cheetahs, and antelopes. Day 5: (B) Take an early morning safari drive to look for animals when they are most active. Depart for Hermanus, where Southern Right whales have returned after almost 50 years of being near extinct. Arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon via the stunning False Bay coastline.  

Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

10. Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

Come get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean on this 2-hour whale watching tour! Your trip begins as your captain navigates you through the Knysna Estuary and then you'll head out towards the vast and beautiful Indian Ocean. Every year, both the southern right and humpback whales leave their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the Southern African coastline - this makes Knysna one of the best whale-watching destinations in the country. The tour will be narrated by an experienced skipper and guide who will share with you fascinating information about the lives of these whales. Your adventure will also be assisted by an experienced whale spotter who is in radio contact with all skippers, so you can be directed to any sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for other marine life as well - you may even spot a dolphin or a penguin or two!

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What people are saying about Knysna

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 468 reviews

Great tour. Communication for initial pickup was good and on time, from there our guide TK looked after everything. Backpackers accommodations were a good standard overall (varied from basic to really nice). Activities were brilliant and scenery throughout the tour was fab. Tour guide TK added a lot of knowledge and was keen to share South African history and culture with the group as well as learn about our countries current affairs, culture and history.

The cruise was amazing. The tour guide answered all our questions and explained everything clearly. My kids enjoyed it too. We got to taste the oysters for the first time, that was just fantastic

Stefan and teams passion for what they do was very obvious. Professional and engaging and felt we were in good knowledgeable hands. Stayed out longer than scheduled to ensure we saw whales.

It was a great experience and we had a super great time! The captain and his crew were just so extremely attentive and lovely! We look forward to doing this trip again! Many thanks

My experience was so awesome and amazing, I would do it again.