After two days in Oudtshoorn, we head to our last destination, which is 125 km further along the Garden Route. Knysna is a cozy town set on a beautiful lagoon and is famous for the delicious oysters they breed here.
Staying in Knysna
The GPS takes us to the end of the hill along beautiful streets and fancy villas. Eventually we arrive at Kanonkop house. We are warmly welcomed with a bite and a drink, and we enjoy the stunning view over the bay. Then we are told that we do not stay at the hotel, but in Knysna Hights Villa.
Our host leads us along a few more streets, almost to the top of the hill, where we enter into an immense villa. The upper floor consists of one giant bedroom with ensuite bathroom and a large terrace. The entire frontage is made of glass so you have a spectacular view of the Knysna Heads from your bed. The floor below includes a spacious kitchen with a dining room and two sitting areas. There are spacious terraces on all sides so you can enjoy the sunshine at any moment. At the front there is an infinity pool. Downstairs are two more bedrooms and two bathrooms.
We have two options here:
Either in the morning someone comes to prepare breakfast or they make sure the fridge is always filled so we can provide breakfast for ourselves.
We choose the latter. We have already had a very busy trip and it is nice to switch to a lower gear. In the morning a little lumbering and not being bound by hours is nice.
The fridge is richly filled with eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, bread, fruit juice, soda and wine. Everything is included in the price.
In the afternoon, the housekeeper walks along to cover the beds and clean our mess. She checks the supplies and refills the fridge. If you'd rather eat something else, just leave a note for her and in the evening it's in the fridge.
I found it the ideal combination between a hotel and a holiday home. The privacy is superb and you do not have to go to the bakery yourself in the morning.
Kanonkophouse is definitely recommended.
Knysna owes its wealth to building furniture and ships and oyster farms. Here it is also relatively safe. You do not see high fences around the houses here, and there is little crime. It is therefore a popular residence and one of the most important stops along the Garden Route. Most homes are scattered across the hill, and at the harbor you will find the Knysna Quays. A modern neighborhood with great restaurants, boutiques and souvenir shops. The perfect place for a walk in the evenings.
A short distance away you will find Thesen Island with beautiful modern villas and apartments, a large marina and more restaurants. Thesen Island is connected to the city by a dam.
At the entrance of the lagoon you will see the Knysna Heads, two sandstone cliffs that guard the lagoon. Just outside Knysna city center you can drive up to the top of the Eastern cliff. From here you have a spectacular view of the opposite cliff, the lagoon and the ocean. Enjoy the short movie down here.
The western cliff can be reached by ferry. Featherbed Co. organizes half-day trips to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The excursion consists of a boat trip, a walk, a 4x4 ride and a lunch. You can also make a cruise on the lagoon during lunch or dinner.
Crazy about oysters? Then you are at the perfect spot. At Knysna Charters you can get a tour and, of course, they serve delicious oysters here in all the restaurants.
Thirty km further you will arrive in the mouthwatering Plettenberg Bay, the Miami of South Africa. The Portuguese called it Bahia Formosa (beautiful bay). Here you will find luxury hotels, nice shops, cozy terraces, ... You will see dolphins regularly and in the spring it is likely that you will see whales.
A little further along the route lies the Tsitsikamma National Park. Here you will find the most popular hiking routes in South Africa. The Otter Trail takes you to Nature's Valley in five days from the mouth of the Storms River. Along the way you will be treated to beautiful views of the ocean.
Do not want to walk five days? I can understand that very well. Still, you have to take the walk to the Storms River Bridge. From the parking area you will walk to this beautiful 120 meter long wooden bridge in an hour. Below the bridge lies the mouth of the river. Here you will also enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Wear comfortable shoes because it can be a difficult trip for untrained hikers (believe me, I know).
Where to eat?
This region is truly a walhalla for foodies. Here are some restaurants you should not miss:Deze regio is echt een walhalla voor foodies. Hier zijn enkele restaurants die je zeker niet mag missen:
- 34 South, Home of the Knysna Oyster: The name says it all, here they serve delicious oysters. Order the assortment of different oysters for the first time, so you can immediately know which ones are the best. The restaurant is on the Knysna Quays and from the terrace you have beautiful views.
- Freshline Fisheries: We received this golden tip from the hotel owner. Here you will find mostly locals. The restaurant consists of two parts. In one part they serve only fish and in the other you can also get meat. You are sitting here on wooden picnic tables with your feet in the white sand. The creamy mussel pot and the Seafood Platter are delicious. Booking is a must.
- Quay Four: Enjoy the delicious oysters on this super-cozy terrace on Thesen Island. Update: it seems the restaurant doesn't exist anymore under this name but I am sure there is another one on the same spot.
After a few quiet days a fantastic trip through South Africa came to an end. Just like 20 years ago, we have enjoyed all the wonderful things the Cape has to offer. South Africa remains my favorite travel destination.
Are you convinced too, but do not know where to start? Please contact me, and I will be happy to assist you.