A shimmering lagoon, lush indigenous forest, the sprawling Indian Ocean, and postcard-perfect suburbs await visitors to the Greater Knysna region.
With its unspoiled coastlines, breathtaking landscapes, captivating wildlife encounters, private game reserves, charming towns, and majestic mountains to explore, the Garden Route has been added to the bucket list of many travellers.
It’s here, within the expansive 157,000 hectares of the Garden Route National Park, that Greater Knsyna has fast become one of the most prominent travel destinations to experience along the way. The region traces the landscape between the Knysna estuary, the Indian Ocean, and vast stretches of indigenous forest, providing an ever-changing topography and natural haven for diverse wildlife and Cape Fynbos.
A Guide to Greater Knysna
The Greater Knysna region encompasses Knysna, Sedgefield, Brenton, Noetzie, Rheenendal, Belvidere, and Buffalo Bay, where indigenous forests, fynbos, lakes, rivers, mountains, and picturesque coastlines converge, complemented by a moderate climate that transforms the area into a natural Eden.
Spectacular views and warm, hospitable locals set the stage when visiting the town of Knysna. Known as the gem of the Garden Route, Knysna is celebrated for its world-famous oysters and lively year-round ambience, as well as a stunning collection of accommodations. Located on the banks of a shimmering lagoon, tucked between the famed Knysna Forest and the sprawling Indian Ocean, Knysna is naturally magnificent, boasting a rich history that adds to its charm.
Situated just 12km west of Knysna, this charming coastal village is a sought-after holiday retreat. Located at an elevated vantage point, offering a sweeping view of Buffalo Bay’s crescent curve, Brenton-on-Sea has unparalleled vistas and a popular expansive beach. Whether you’re in the mood for sunbathing, swimming, surfing or hiking, a visit to Brenton is a must.
Buffalo Bay is an absolute must on your travel itinerary if you’re a beach lover. With its stunning setting, array of activities, and coastline showing off breathtaking sunsets, it’s nothing short of paradise. Located in a small beach village with a vibrant personality, Buffalo Bay invites you to experience the epitome of a perfect beach holiday.
Belvidere, on the edge of the Knysna lagoon, offers enchanting vistas of the water and distant mountains. Its serene ambience and rich history make it a unique destination, where old homes and a small-town feel create a break from the business of the surrounding suburbs. Steeped in the legacy of two prominent Knysna families, the Rex’s and the Duthies, Belvidere is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts.
Just a brief drive away from the heart of Knysna, Rheenendal is the tranquil home of farmers, nature enthusiasts, and a community of artists and artisans. This idyllic countryside hamlet is filled with stunning scenery, historical charm, forest strolls, cycling adventures, towering trees, inviting picnics, free-roaming farm animals, an abundance of birdlife, and a lovely farm kitchen to complete the experience.
Sedgefield is a charming, small seaside village between the Garden Route towns of George and Knysna, surrounded by tranquil lakes and picturesque sand dunes dotted with fynbos. Sedgefield is renowned for its unspoiled beaches, an array of water sports, and exhilarating paragliding experiences.
Just 10 minutes east of Knysna, Noetzie is a postcard-perfect escape of pristine forests, meandering rivers, serene estuaries, and a captivating beach. Known as one of the Garden Route’s premier attractions, it’s the distinctive cluster of stone castles that cling to the cliffs above the award-winning sandy shores, reminiscent of something straight from a fairy tale.
Things To Do in Greater Knysna
Considered the ‘adventure hub’ of the Garden Route, visitors to Greater Knysna can choose from a wide selection of unforgettable experiences, ranging from laidback relaxation to high-energy outdoor adventures and sports.
Renowned as a premier mountain biking destination, it features kilometres of single cycling tracks winding through indigenous forests and Cape Fynbos, while the region’s diverse landscapes, including forests, coastal routes, hills, and mountains, are crisscrossed with hiking and running trails. Sedgefield serves as an unofficial paragliding Mecca, while Brenton provides an alternative take-off site if conditions in Sedgefield aren’t ideal.
Given its extensive network of rivers, lakes, and estuaries for exploration, water enthusiasts can partake in canoeing, kloofing, water-skiing, stand-up paddling, wakeboarding, snorkelling, or scuba diving. Unspoiled beaches along the Indian Ocean provide additional opportunities for adventures like whale watching and world-class surfing at Buffalo Bay.
Looking to take a break and stroll around? Whether browsing the charming local shops, tucking into delicious cuisine, relishing Knysna oysters, or enjoying locally brewed beer, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to how to spend your days.
Greater Knysna Accommodation
Visitors to the Greater Knysna region are spoilt for choice when it comes to spectacular accommodation options, each offering its own unique charm. From secluded treehouses above the forest and romantic self-catering cottages hugged in indigenous fynbos, to fully-serviced luxury lodgings and private villas, each escape is bound to leave long-lasting memories.
Teniqua Treetops is an immersive nature escape where a selection of wooden glamping units are tucked away among 36 hectares of the Knysna Forest. The ‘tree-houses’ are off the beaten track, partially off-the-grid and offer a family-friendly experience that is great for birding and hiking, with the closest town of Sedgefield being 20 minutes away. Each of the Teniqua Treetop suites is located in a scenic gorge with access from the ground level, while the front of the units are built on stilts providing spectacular views of the Karatara Gorge and the majestic Knysna Forest.
Woodlands Country Retreat
Woodlands Country Retreat is a peaceful self-catering escape wonderfully positioned on a quiet country road just outside the little town of Knysna. Located in the beautiful Rheenendal Valley, surrounded by lush forests and stunning indigenous fynbos gardens, Woodlands Country Retreat offers the perfect base for travellers looking to explore the famed area or simply relax in the picturesque tranquillity. The family-run getaway features an intimate number of only five units, comprising two couple cottages, two family cottages, and one unique loft-style tiny house, each sleeping two to four guests.
Forest Valley Cottages
Forest Valley Cottages is a peaceful, immersive escape in the Rheenendal Valley – a lush destination part of the Knysna Forest. Towering above the rich landscape below, the accommodations feature spectacular views over the expansive panoramas, and are equipped with luxury amenities and a wonderful sense of privacy – making it perfect for a rejuvenating getaway in nature. Each of the eight beautiful cottages offers contemporary self-catering living areas, with an indoor fireplace, spa tub, outdoor bath or jacuzzi, braai facilities, and a kitchenette for self-catering ease.
Simbavati Fynbos on Sea
Simbavati Fynbos on Sea is a stunning eco-friendly luxury lodge, tucked away between George and Knysna, sitting on a verdant hillside offering uninterrupted panoramic views in every direction. The lodge is within touching distance of the golden sands and rolling waves of the Indian Ocean, as well as the beautiful Sedgefield Lagoon, and the forest-covered heights of the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountain ranges beyond. The accommodation at Simbavati Fynbos on Sea consists of just nine private rooms within the main lodge, and an additional self-catering cottage that’s perfect for those travelling with friends or family.
Alkira Lodge is a breathtaking escape set within a private nature conservancy above Knysna, offering abundant birdlife, shy antelope, and even endangered butterflies. Alkira Lodge and Private Villa offer a sophisticated, modern retreat in an unmatched natural setting, where privacy, luxury, and personalised service converge. In addition to 360-degree views of the fynbos-dotted mountains, sweeping ocean and tranquil lagoon, guests at Alkira Lodge will be wowed by the leading-edge design that effortlessly integrates with the surrounding landscape, offering a perfect mix of modern comfort and uninterrupted vistas.
Cliffhanger Cottages is a private self-catering retreat perched on the edge of a valley overlooking the magical Knysna Forest, situated along the beautiful Garden Route. Located just 15 km from the centre of town, Cliffhanger Cottages offers a wonderful sense of being far removed from it all with uninterrupted views of the Outeniqua Mountains and lush surrounding forest. Cliffhanger Cottages, allows guests to escape to a world of epic sustainable luxury, where you can have the best of both worlds – modern amenities and the serenity of nature. Each cottage has been designed to blend seamlessly into the spectacular surroundings, where private wooden decks and outdoor Weber braais make for the perfect spot to enjoy the vistas.
Forest Edge is a peaceful retreat featuring private self-catering cottages and cabins on the periphery of the historic Knysna Forest, within the heart of the Garden Route. The beautiful Rheenendal Valley offers a spectacular getaway location for those seeking an escape in nature, and Forest Edge serves as the perfect launching point for exploring the surrounding area, before coming back to an idyllic setting to unwind. Picture yourself on the verandah, observing birds or deer quenching their thirst at the dam. As the sun sets, fire up a barbecue under the stars, accompanied by the dance of fireflies and the calls of nightjars, and during winter, cosy up with a good book or a movie by the warming log fire.
Become immersed in the natural wonder and abundance of activities in the Greater Knysna region and book your stay with Conservio today!