Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Galleries and Museums
Knysna (1 km from Thesen Island)
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 Quays (1.1 km from Thesen Island)
Sail on a 50-foot charter yacht from the Knysna Lagoon though the famous Knysna Heads to the ocean Springtide Charters offer a luxurious and exhilarating sailing experiences ranging from sunset and breakfast cruises, wedding and honeymoon packages, private functions and dinner charters.
Knysna Quays (1.1 km from Thesen Island)
Ocean Odyssey offers a wide range of boating activities in Knysna, South Africa.
From close encounter whale and dolphin watching cruises, to sunset lagoon cruises, there are options for everyone and every occasion. If you are more keen for a relaxing cruise, Ocean Odyssey will be more than happy to take you out for a lovely cruise through the Knysna lagoon.
Advance bookings are essential for all cruises.
Knysna (1.3 km from Thesen Island)
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
Knysna Quays (1.3 km from Thesen Island)
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.
Knysna (1.4 km from Thesen Island)
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 (1.7 km from Thesen Island)
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 (1.8 km from Thesen Island)
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.
Leisure Island (2 km from Thesen Island)
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 (2.4 km from Thesen Island)
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 (2.4 km from Thesen Island)
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 (3.3 km from Thesen Island)
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.
Knysna Quays (3.9 km from Thesen Island)
A trip to Knysna Heads is a prerequisite for first time visitors to Knynsa. Two dramatic sea cliffs guard the entrance to the lagoon from the surging ocean.The Eastern Head has a lookout with spectacular views of the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. The Western Head is primarily a privately owned nature reserve reached only by ferry – Featherbed Nature Reserve. Four-hour excursions depart daily from the Knysna Waterfront.An onboard excursion to Knysna Heads is a thrilling experience and there are various options available. The ultimate cruise is aboard a catamaran such as the Zakat, which cruises through the Heads while serving oysters and champagne. The perfect way to end a day!
Pezula Golf Estate (5.1 km from Thesen Island)
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
Brenton on Sea (5.2 km from Thesen Island)
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.