--The Western Cape--
Home to the modern and friendly city of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, Table Bay and Robben Island, the wine lands surrounding Paarl, Stellenbosch and the exquisite towns and private estates of Franshoek, and of course, the Garden Route running along the length of it’s stunning coastline. Unsurprisingly, the Western Cape is the most popular overseas and local tourist region in South Africa.
--The Garden Route--
The coastline between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth forms the Garden Route. As you travel along the Garden Route spectacular mountains and their deep passes widen to fertile valleys and natural lakes, alongside of which the coastline of sheer cliffs plunge down to virtually empty beautiful sandy beaches by the deep blue Indian Ocean.
Nestled on the shores of the Oyster-rich lagoon, which empties and fills each day to and from the Indian Ocean through the narrow sandstone sentinels that are The Heads, and surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountains and Tsitikama forests, Knysna is (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful places on the planet. And in addition to natural beauty, the people are wonderful too. Knysna’s relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes it a great place to holiday.
--For when you are feeling adventurous—
You can swing through the trees of the Tsitikama Forest, abseil down the sheer cliffs of The Heads, scuba dive the wreck of the Paquita, canoe up the Knysna river, sail a catamaran across the Lagoon and through The Heads to watch Whales and Dolphins, horse ride around nearby lakes, visit the Garden Route Game Reserve for a safari or play a round or two of golf at the nearby world-class Pezula Resort Hotel &Spa.
--For the days when you want to relax--
You can visit the endangered Knysna elephants in their reserve, enjoy the spectacular Indian Ocean’s coastline through Wilderness and Sedgefield as seen from the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe, walk through the tranquil Tsitikama woodland, take a boat trip across the Lagoon to visit the Knysna Loerie’s on Featherbed Nature Reserve, stroll along the beach at Plettenberg Bay, shop in the boutiques and craft shops of Knysna.
--Eating and going out—
Famous for its Oysters (the festival in July is well worth a visit) there are literally hundreds of places to eat in Knysna including sophisticated elegant dining, family-friendly restaurants, bistros, pubs, cafes and tea rooms. There are lots of lively bars and family friendly pubs, many having outside space for children to run around, and a few night clubs and trendy lounge bars for those not yet exhausted by the days activities. There is also a boutique cinema and a theatre in Knysna.
Self-catering is a pleasure with four supermarkets (ranging from the inexpensive Spar to the South African equivalent of Marks & Spencer’s that is Woolworths), several exquisite delicatessens and a few liquor stores where you can buy your wine, spirits and beers. If when you are truly on holiday you don’t cook at all, then there are also some good restaurants offering take-away services.
Average annual rainfall of about 920mm falls over the course of the year, 75% overnight. Summer daytime temperatures are a comfortable 26 degrees, winter daytime temperatures about 20 degrees, and night time temperatures rarely fall below 6 degrees. Knysna has a reputation for having 'four seasons in one day' so if you wake up and it's cloudy, don't despair, it'll be different by the afternoon!