Knysna & Sedgefield
Knysna must rank as the best-known small town in South Africa: its beauty and its forests, lagoon, culture, and history draw visitors in their thousands – yet it remains a place of great tranquility. The satellite village of Sedgefield (30 km west of Knysna’s CBD) is surrounded by lakes, beaches and fynbos that make it one of the Garden Route’s great family holiday destinations.
Web site: www.visitknysna.co.za
Telephone: 0027(0)44 382 5510
Address: 40 Main Street
Web site: www.visitsedgefield.com
Telephone: 0027(0)44 343 2658
Address: Main Road, Sedgefield
Knysna was built on the economy of the timber industry that was harvested by previous generations from the indigenous forest. that the old people used to harvest from its indigenous forests. Fortunately, though, that was stopped when people began to realise that they couldn’t go on cutting the yellowwoods, stinkwoods, and other trees (Cape Ash, boekenhout, and so on) for ever. And so the axes and the bow saws were silenced, and peace returned to the forests in the 1920s.
Today, the forests that survived form the backbone of the 160,000 hectare Garden Route National Park – and they remain one of Knysna’s most important attractions. Visit them for walking, hiking, picnics, mountain biking, tree spotting, and birding – and, perhaps, to catch a hint of the world’s last free-roaming elephants (this is an unfenced park, and yes, it does protect a small herd of elephants).
But, of course, there’s much more to Knysna, too: superb restaurants, outstanding championship golf courses, tours of the Knysna Lagoon, art, culture, shopping, beaches… (see below for more).
The Slow Town of Sedgefield lies on a sunny plain between the Indian Ocean, the fynbos and sand dunes of the Goukamma Nature Reserve, and the tapestry of fynbos, forests, lakes, and mountains of the Garden Route National Park.
Spend your days lounging on the beach, or enjoy outstanding walking http://gartour.com/free-stuff/walking-in-the-garden-route and birding http://gartour.com/free-stuff/birding-in-the-garden-route – but Sedgefield also attracts the artist in us all, and a number of fine artists and crafters have set themselves up in the village. Contact the Knysna Tourism Office info office for information – or visit the Saturday morning markets next to the Engen garage (petrol station), west of the village on the N2.
Garden Route National Park: almost 160,000 hectares. Unfenced, and stretching from Tsitsikamma in the east to George in the west. It includes forests, fynbos, beaches, mountains, lakes, rivers, and lagoons. www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route
- Goukamma Nature Reserve (between Sedgefield and Knysna): 2,500 hectares of dunes, dune forest, and lakes. Includes a marine protected area. www.capenature.co.za/reserves.htm?reserve=Goukamma+Nature+Reserve
- Pledge Nature Reserve (Knysna): 10 ha reserve in the heart of Knysna (Bond Street, Upper Central) www.pledgenaturereserve.org
- Steenbok Nature Park (Knysna): small reserve on the northern shores of Leisure Isle www.steenboknaturereserve.org.za
- Featherbed Nature Reserve: private reserve on the Western Head of the Knysna Lagoon. It offers a daily tour that includes a return ferry ride (from the north – town – shore of the Lagoon to the reserve); a 4×4 land train ride to the top of the headland; an optional 2.2 km walk down the mountainside and along the shore to the Food Forest Restaurant: and a slap-up buffet of epic proportions. www.knysnafeatherbed.com
- Bollard Bay (Leisure Isle, Knysna): safe swimming in shallow waters of the Lagoon.
- Brenton on Sea (18 km west of Knysna): walking, sunbathing, paragliding, fishing. Swimming is not recommended because of rip currents.
- Buffalo Bay (20 km west of Knysna): great for families. Good surfing, and fishing, and popular for walking (3 km to Brenton on Sea).
- Noetzie (10 km east of Knysna): famous for its stone castles.
- Swartvlei River Mouth Beach (Upper Kingfisher Drive)
- Myoli Beach (Lower Galjoen Road, Sedgefield):
- Cola Beach (Claude Urban Drive, Sedgefield):
- Swartvlei Beach and Gericke’s Point (off the N2, Sedgefield)
- Platbank–Groenvlei Beach (bordering the Goukamma Nature Reserve, Sedgefield)
Knysna & Sedgefield
- Wild Oats Community Farmers Market (next to the Engen 1-Stop garage, Sedgefield): Saturday mornings from 7:30 – 11:30 in summer; 8:00 – 11:30 in winter. Locally-produced foods. www.wildoatsmarket.co.za
- The Friday Market (at the Montessori School, off Welbedacht Lane, Knysna – follow the scarecrows!): mainly a supper-time get-together (16:00 – 20:00)(Closed between June to September) featuring local chefs, live entertainment, bonfires, kiddies jumping castles, body painting, etc
- Harkerville Market (off the N2, 18 km east of Knysna): Saturday mornings. Crafts, farmer produce, flea market. www.harkervillemarket.co.za
- Knysna African Arts & Craft Market (corner George Rex Drive & Vigilance Drive): open every day. African sculpture, wire art, kitchen items.
- Templeman Square Craft Market (Main Street, Knysna): open every day. Jewellery, wooden crafts, printed fabrics, gifts and souvenirs.
Knysna Art Gallery (in the Old Gaol, corner Main and Queen Streets): revolving exhibitions of local and other artists. www.knysnaartgallery.co.za
- Knysna Fine Art: Knysna Fine Art (in Thesen House, corner Long and Union Streets). Specialises in contemporary South African art, handles works by the South African masters, and exhibits a number of internationally recognised fine artists. http://finearts.co.za/
- Mosaic art in Sedgefield: sparkling treasures! Discover nearly 30 different mosaicked plaques, murals and sculptures in and around the village. More information here www.visitsedgefield.com/index.php/activities/mosaic
Knysna Timber Route
Visit the forests, meet the craftsmen who turn the timber into treaures www.timberroute.co.za
- Knysna Golf Club: 18 holes, par 73. Kikuyu fairways. Length: championship 5,924 m, club 5,924 m. Probably the only golf course in South Africa with holes below sea level. www.knysnagolfclub.com
- Pezula Championship Golf Course, Knysna: 18 holes, par 72. Kentucky Blue and rye fairways. Length: championship 6,281 m, seniors 6,198 m, ladies 6,218 m and 5,027 m. Links course designed by Ron Fream. www.pezula.co.za
- Simola Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Knysna: 18 holes, par 72. Kikuyu fairways. Length: championship 6,033 m, ladies 4,595 m, seniors: 5,189 m, pro Ts 6,318 m. Parklands course designed by The Golden Bear himself. www.simolaestate.co.za
- Sedgefield Links: 9 hole short course. Alongside the N2, 2 km west of the village. Telephone, 0027(0)44 343 2379.
Cycling & mountain biking
Sedgefield MTB routes: all start and finish at Cycleworx in the village.
- Wilderness-Knysna (108 km)
- Woodville-Hoogekraal (46 km)
- Hoekwil-Barrington (75,7 km)
- Railway (17km )
- Cloud Nine (10 km)
- Platbank (16,3)
SANParks MTB Routes
Farleigh Forest Cycling Trails: all circular routes that start and finish at the Farleigh Forestry Station car park. Take the Karatara/Ruigtevlei turnoff from the N2. Follow the road to Barrington. Turn right at the T-junction and immediately left towards the Forest Station; now follow sign posts to the car park. You’ll need a SANParks biking permit – get yours beforehand from the Garden Route National Park’s offices on Thesen Island, Knysna.
- Green route (10 km)
- Yellow route (20 km)
- Blue Route (30 km)
Harkerville MTB Routes: all circular routes that start and finish at the Garden of Eden (on the N2; about half way between Knysna and Plett), where you’ll have to buy a permit.
- The Yellow Route (14 km)
- The Blue Route (12 km)
- The Green Route (15 km)
- The Red Route (24 km)
Petrus-Se-Brand Cycle Route, Diepwalle Forest: 24 km. For bikers of average fitness. One-way route from Diepwalle to Garden of Eden.
get permits at Diepwalle Forest Station. Take the R339 Uniondale turnoff from the N2 (4 km east of Knysna); after 15.5 km, turn right to Diepwalle.
Knysna to Oudtshoorn 115 km
Knysna to George 65 km
Knysna to Mossel Bay 110 km
Knysna to Plettenberg Bay 38 km
Knysna to Cape Town 510 km
Knysna to Port Elizabeth 280 km