Only accessible by ferry, Featherbed Nature Reserve is a privately-owned unspoiled headland at the Western Head of the Knysna Lagoon. Visitors young and old will thoroughly enjoy embarking on a spectacular four-hour eco-experience to this exquisite little corner of the Garden Route. This outdoor experience includes a return ferry trip, nature drive, guided walk and a lavish buffet lunch at the Food Forest Restaurant. Access to the reserve is strictly controlled and visits are only permitted in the company of the Featherbed Nature Reserve's specialist guides.Starting with a 25-minute ferry cruise, your local guide will share intriguing tales about the Knysna Lagoon, early shipping industry and Knysna’s oyster cultivation.The cruise is followed by a 4x4 drive to the top of the Western Head where supreme views of the lagoon, mountains and Knysna can be seen. After the drive, you have the option of walking a 2.2 kilometre downhill guided nature trail. This fun family outing ends with with a blowout buffet lunch at the popular Knysna restaurant under the milkwood trees.The four-hour excursion departs daily from Knysna Waterfront. Bookings are essential.
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Knysna (0.2 km from Knysna Quays)
Explore the famous Knysna estuary by canoe in an unsinkable, 5 meter Canadian canoe.
The canoe is large enough for 2 adults and 2 children, and comes equipped with 2 water tight containers, 2 paddles, and life jackets. This activity is great fun for the family and is available for a half or full day hire
Galleries and Museums
Knysna (0.3 km from Knysna Quays)
Knysna Fine Art is one of South Africa’s finest galleries, specializing in contemporary South African art in a variety of media, although a number of international fine artists are exhibited.
The gallery also handles the work of the South African masters and works closely with vendors and collectors. Recent sales include major works by Gerard Sekoto, J.H Pierneef, Lucas Sithole and Robert Hodgins.
The owner is Trent Read, the elder son of the late Everard Read, who was the doyen of South African art dealers, and Trent is the fifth generation of his family to be a dealer. He worked at Christies in London for several years and also in the USA but most of his career has been spent as a director of Everard Read in Johannesburg. He moved to Knysna in 1994 and opened the gallery in 1997.
Trent is considered an expert in contemporary South African art but his knowledge of the fine and applied arts in general is broad. Clients of the gallery have access to a wide spectrum of expertise from his international links.
The gallery moved to Thesen House in 2010 and have recently opened a new venue in the same building. A Different Drummer handles ceramics, objets de vertu, photographs and fine tribal artifacts. Knysna Fine Art has rapidly established a reputation for excellence with collectors, architects and interior designers.
Knysna (0.3 km from Knysna Quays)
Eco Afrika Tours offers a relaxing and enjoyable deep-sea fishing trip off the Garden Route town of Knysna.
All equipment and bait is supplied; all you'll need to bring is your fishing license, warm jacket and any refreshments and food you would like to snack on. There are 2 vessels that operate daily. You are allowed to take your catch home.
Daily tours depart at 7:00 and 16:30.
Knysna (0.7 km from Knysna Quays)
Explore the famous Knysna indigenous forest with us and our knowledgeable guide for an unforgettable experience.
Birds that you could spot include the spotted gennet, cape spotted owl, night jarr and the famous Knysna Lourie. Potential wildlife encounters also include wild boar, blue duiker, bush baby, bush buck, chameleon, and on rare occasions you may get a fleeting glimpse of the Cape mountain leopard. Clients will ride in comfortable minibus vehicles with complimentary sherry. Advanced bookings are essential.
Price: R295 per person.
Minimum booking: 4 pax.
Maximum booking: 10 pax.
Knysna (2.2 km from Knysna Quays)
A personal, interesting and touching tour into the daily lives of folks in an African township.
Visit a pre-school, consult a sangoma, and taste traditional beer. As an exciting option, clients can have a traditional Xhosa lunch with a family.
Daily tours start at 10:00 and 14:00.
Knysna (2.5 km from Knysna Quays)
Knysnarians know about good watering holes and you'll certainly find plenty of them at the vibey Bosun's Pub and Grill, lips curled around a frosty or tucking into a hearty meal. This old style English pub serves locally brewed ale and value-for-money scrumptious pub grub! You'll find all the local Mitchell‘s Brewery products here – on tap and bottled, ranging from Bosun‘s Bitter, Foresters and the new Mitchell‘s Gold. So get down there and sluk a pint or two in this comfy, cosy pub and be warmed by the great atmosphere and friendly people.
Knysna (2.6 km from Knysna Quays)
This circular day walk takes about three hours and is easy to do. The total length is about 7 km. The trail is in the Gouna indigenous forest and crosses a part of the home range of the Knysna elephant herd. Clear markers serve as guide. Follow the Gouna road/Kom-se-Pad to the Grootdraai Picnic Site. There is a swimming area as well.
Leisure Island (2.9 km from Knysna Quays)
If you’re looking for a great family friendly beach to soak up the solar rays look no further than Knysna. Of all the Garden Route beaches, sandy Bollard Bay Beach on Leisure Isle is the perfect spot to chill with your tot.
This safe swimming beach has no crashing dumpers and plenty of shallow water for little folk to splash around in. So settle down on your sandy spot and take in the magnificent views of Knysna Heads with no fear of your pipsqueak being swept off to Antartica.
And it's not just for small fry. The main beach on Leisure Island, Bollard Bay beach offers plenty to do for young and old. When the tide is high you can swim, fish, canoe or sail. At low tide, pump for prawns to use as bait or walk across the sand as far as The Heads.
Knysna (3.5 km from Knysna Quays)
Meandering through the tidal pools and between towering indigenous trees, Knysna Golf Course offers an incredible golf experience on the Knysna Lagoon.
This 18-hole course commands wonderful views of The Heads and features an attractive parkland layout with some of the finest bent grass greens in the Southern Cape. The course provides a first-rate challenge to players of all levels and is also an affordable and essential golfing option on Garden Route itineraries.
The signature hole is the par-five ninth, known to be the most daunting in Knysna. Channelling through the estuary with reeds flanking both sides of the fairway, it presents a stiff challenge to the most experienced player. The course is also home to abundant ocean and freshwater birds as well as forest-dwelling birds and the Knysna loerie.
After a demanding round of golf, relax in the friendly atmosphere of the clubhouse. Bookings are essential +27 (0) 44 384 1150.
Knysna (4.2 km from Knysna Quays)
One of South Africa's best golfing destinations, Simola boasts overwhelming views and an outstanding Jack Nicklaus Signature course.
Breathtaking vistas of the Knysna Heads on one side and the Knysna River on the other make it difficult to focus on the game. But in the midst of all this beauty, the course offers challenging and rewarding golf amidst spectacular scenery.
Simola was one of the first Jack Nicklaus designs on the Garden Route, reflecting the maestro's philosophy of adjusting the layout and design to the natural features of the landscape.
Fairways flow along the rising and falling natural landscape and every hole offers superlative views of the Knysna Lagoon all the way to the Heads or across the pretty meandering Knysna River and valley below.
Brenton on Sea (5.1 km from Knysna Quays)
Locals claim that one of the most wonderful beaches on the globe lies right on the other side of the Knysna Western Heads, at Brenton-on-Sea. There are rocks to clamber on, little pools to cool off in and a long bay for beach walks and shell seeking. Walk to Buffels Bay from Brenton-on-Sea, have lunch or an icecream, and stroll back.
Pezula Golf Estate (6.1 km from Knysna Quays)
The Fisherman's Path Sparrebosch Hiking Trail is a scenic trail through indigenous forest and fynbos to a secluded bay where two streams run into the sea. During the rainy season there is a beautiful waterfall. Bushbuck and numerous birds can be spotted on this well-established route.
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (steep hill)
Distance: 5 km
Pezula Golf Estate (7.3 km from Knysna Quays)
Direct access is a little steep but it's worth the effort to steal away and spend hours on the beautiful private beach of Sparrebosch. Swim, fish or just soak up the tranquility and stunning natural beauty around you.
Pezula Golf Estate (8.2 km from Knysna Quays)
Rated amongst the best and most scenic golf courses around the globe, Pezula Championship Course is a prerequisite on any Garden Route golfing itinerary.
Pezula offers terrific international-standard golfing with superlative views of Knysna Lagoon and the Indian Ocean from the cliff tops. Knysna Golf Club and Simola is a short drive away.
Extensive rolling fairways, eyebrow bunkers and pristine fynbos contribute to this unique and challenging 18-hole course designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA.
The award-winning course offers five different tee options on every hole to cater for all skill levels. Three breathtaking signature holes are built on the cliff top overlooking the ocean – the par-five 13th, par-four 14th and the par-three 15th.
The elegant clubhouse features a gourmet restaurant, bar, luxurious private lounge with library, and a boutique pro shop. A heated swimming pool, game practice area, tennis and leisure facilities are also available.
Buffels Bay (9.4 km from Knysna Quays)
Buffalo Bay Beach, also called Buffelsbaai, is situated in Goukamma Nature Reserve, an attractive holiday hideaway on the Garden Route. Extensive dune fields, coastal fynbos and coastal forest flank the long sandy beach. Bottle nosed and common dolphins are frequently seen surfing the waves and whales migrate here between July and October.
Holiday activities are focused around the safe beach and rock pools. Spend blissful hours here surfing, sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, canoeing or simply chilling. Ample parking, ablutions, restaurants and a shop are conveniently situated above the beach.