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About Knysna Houseboats

Knysna Houseboats offers fully equipped, self-drive houseboats to spend your holiday gently cruising along in Knysna's beautiful and scenic tidal estuary. No experience or skipper's license is required and the houseboats can easy accommodate four adults or a family of five.

The houseboats all exceed the South African Maritime Safety Authority operational and safety requirements. They are your floating home away from home and offer a holiday with a difference. The boats have been fitted to a high specification, so it is truly a comfortable experience. They all have the basic self-catering facilities with a full galley and bathroom, and guests can relax on the rooftop sun deck.

The boats have all safety equipment and life jackets on board, with a first aid kit and fire extinguishers. All you need is an adventurous spirit and a love for the outdoors, and we’ll make you captain of your own holiday. Please note that no smoking is permitted inside the houseboats.

  • Response Rate: 98%
  • Enquiry Response Time: 50 hours
  • Minimum stay: 2 Days
  • Type: Self-catering
  • Sleeps: 35
  • Check-in: 2:00 PM
    Check-out: 9:30 AM
  • Reviews: 8 Reviews


  • Braai/Barbecue

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Dutch
  • German
  • French
  • Italian
  • Belgian

Important Information

Provisional bookings will only be confirmed once a 50% deposit is received within 24 hours of your booking. The balance is due 2 weeks before arrival. If a 50% deposit is not received by the due date as outlined in your acknowledgement, Knysna Houseboats reserves the right to cancel the provisional reservation. The hire fee is due and payable... Provisional bookings will only be confirmed once a 50% deposit is received within 24 hours of your booking. The balance is due 2 weeks before arrival. If a 50% deposit is not received by the due date as outlined in your acknowledgement, Knysna Houseboats reserves the right to cancel the provisional reservation. The hire fee is due and payable in cash or credit card by the hirer before arrival. Unfortunately no cheques are accepted by Knysna Houseboats.

The check-in time will be between 14h00 and 16h00 on weekdays, and 10:00 and 12:00 on weekends & Public Holidays. The check-out time will always be 09:30. If the hirer does not arrive at Knysna Houseboats in good time and fails to let Knysna Houseboats know that he/she will be late, Knysna Houseboats may place the boat for re-let. No refund will be paid for late check-in or early check-out.

Bookings from persons aged under 21 cannot be accepted without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Take-over of Craft Houseboats are let on the understanding that Knysna Houseboats will explain the controls of the boats and its equipment and show that the engine and propeller are in good order, after which the hirer is responsible for the boat, propeller and its equipment. When the hirer takes possession of the boat after the inspection, the hirer will thereby accept that all the parts and goods are in good working condition.

No responsibility will be accepted for the loss of time or expense occasioned through accidental damage to the boat while in the hirer's charge. Every boat is checked before the start of each cruise so it is unlikely that any boat will suffer mechanical breakdown. Should this happen, Knysna Houseboats will not accept liability for any consequential loss of time or expense. If the hirer should have an accident or breakdown, he/she should report it to Knysna Houseboats immediately so that steps can be taken to repair the boat and enable the hirer to resume the cruise. Knysna Houseboats cannot be held responsible for the consequences of delays or restrictions of cruising arising from obstructions, repairs or damage to navigational works, flooding, shortage of water, industrial action, fuel rationing or any other such cause.

Knysna Houseboats reserves the right to refuse to hand over a boat to any person who in their opinion is not suitable to take charge, which may lead to serious accident or damage. Knysna Houseboats reserves the right to repossess the boat at any time where a serious accident or damage has occurred or in their opinion is likely to occur because of the unsuitability of the hirer due to age, ill health, disability, inexperience or any other reason.

The hirer has charge of the boat and is responsible for its safe navigation. The driver must be in possession of a valid
drivers licence. In case of an accident or any damages to the boat or to other crafts and waterway property, it is the hirer's responsibility to:
A. Obtain the name of any boat involved together with the names and addresses of its owner and/or hirer.
B. To report these facts to Knysna Houseboats together with the full detail of the damage as soon as possible. No repairs may be affected without Knysna Houseboats consent.

The hirer is responsible for the boat and for its gear and equipment. The hirer is expected to take all reasonable care of it and to report and pay for any equipment lost, damaged, broken or stolen. All equipment, utensils must be returned in clean and working condition at the end of the hire period. If no loss or damage has incurred and the craft has not been involved in any accident, the security deposit of R1200, to be paid on arrival, will be repaid to the hirer.

On take-over, the hirer will receive two 25L tanks of fuel, unless otherwise stated. On check-out, the boats tanks will be refuelled and the difference billed to the hirer. Only petrol from Knysna Houseboats may be used.

The boat will be placed at the disposal of the hirer on the date stated unless Knysna Houseboats are prevented through circumstances outside their control from so doing. Knysna Houseboats cannot guarantee to provide an alternative boat if that happens, but the deposit and any other payments made by the hirer will be refunded in full. No further liability will be accepted beyond such refund.

No cruising is allowed between sunset and sunrise.
No smoking is allowed inside the cruiser and please try to refrain from it on the outside deck as well, as there are petrol and gas compartments which are highly flammable.
No pets are allowed on our boats please.
Once you are inside the harbour where Knysna Houseboats Jetty is situated you must proceed at idle speed only. You enter or leave this bay once you have passed the SAN-PARKS building.
No boat is allowed to anchor anywhere between buoy 19 and the Railway Bridge or between buoy 21 and the Railway Bridge.
No boat is allowed to pass under the railway bridge outside the specified railway bridge times. (A copy of these times is in your Captains Handbook.)
No boat is allowed to go past Featherbed Jetty, which is indicated by buoy 28. Buoy 25 can only be passed on an incoming tide.
No boat is allowed into the Knysna Quays Waterfront.
No boat is allowed to have more than 5 passengers on board, as specified by Knysna Houseboats.
The boat is not allowed to tow any other craft unless prior permission is obtained from the management of Knysna Houseboats Holiday Houseboats.
The boat may not be entered into or take part in any race whatsoever.
No boat on- a similar course are allowed within 100 meter of each other.
The hirer may not overnight on the boat anywhere except in the areas nominated by Knysna Houseboats.
Under no circumstances is the cruiser to be taken in, near or through the Knysna Heads. Anyone found past the last point as detailed on the map may be declared unsuitable and the boat will be repossessed.
Drinking and driving applies to both cars and boats, so be responsible and adhere to the limits.
Under no circumstances is the Hirer allowed to park the boat in in the Knysna Houseboats moorings. The Hirer may approach the Jetty and should call our staff during office hours to park the boat on the Hirer's behalf.
The hirer is allowed to barbeque anywhere on the Knysna Lagoon, except for the Knysna Houseboats jetty and moorings at Thesen Harbour Town.
The hirer must adhere to Knysna Houseboats' barefoot policy on-board the cruiser.
Deficiencies you are obliged to report any equipment deficiency on your boat to Knysna Houseboats immediately.

The hirer's use of Knysna Houseboats premises and boat is entirely at the hirer's risk and Knysna Houseboats will not be liable for any loss or damage to any persons or their property from any cause whatsoever. In the event of a dispute, which results in litigation the matter will be heard in the Magisterial District Knysna.

Knysna Houseboats reserves the right to cancel a booking at any time if in their opinion the conditions of the lagoon constitute any danger whatsoever. Should it become necessary to curtail cruising after a cruiser has left our premises, we reserve the right to insist that the vessel is moored to a secure mooring or anchored until conditions improve. Knysna Houseboats will not be held responsible for the change of tides.

The hirer shall be responsible for all legal costs as between attorney and client including collection commission, in respect of any legal action for the recovery of any amount due under this agreement, as well as any cost in proving the claim of Knysna Houseboats in case of death, insolvency or liquidation of the hirer, as well as the cost in respect of execution of any judgement and generally all costs (inclusive of attorney and client costs) that may arise out of or in connection with the debt herein mentioned. Failing payment by the hirer of any such attorney's disbursements and costs as referred to herein, Knysna Houseboats shall be entitled to effect payment on behalf of the hirer which amount shall become due and payable within seven days from such payment by the hirer in terms hereof.

Knysna Houseboats will make every effort to supply the cruiser as requested, but reserves the right to supply an alternative cruiser with similar facilities.
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Reviews for Knysna Houseboats

8 guest reviews Reviews of

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Diane McCann
09 July 2018

The whole experience was fantastic from the ability to explore the lagoon, skipper your own boat and the comfort of being cocooned in the cabin overnight. The service was excellent and although it seemed daunting to take over a boat without any experience the team prepared you so thoroughly it was a breeze. That duvet was so toasty!I would avoid the pre-ordered platters - they were a definite let down.

Anonymous, South Africa
09 April 2018

Mike and I spent two awesome nights on the houseboat. We were welcomed by friendly, efficient staff who took us through all the ropes.We would highly recommend Kynsna Houseboats to anybody wanting to get away from it all for awhile.Kind regards Janice

Sanet Swart
12 September 2017

A beautiful experience on a clean, well stocked, luxurious house-boat with tranquil calls of a fish eagle, mirror smooth water and a feast for the eyes. Thank you

Nathalie Schuurman, South Africa
25 October 2015

We had a very good time on the houseboat.The boat was very clean and everything we needed was there. Service was excellent and professional.

Fimke Delport, South Africa
05 April 2014

Not the cheapest night away but absolutely worth it. We really enjoyed our stay with our three children. We stayed two nights and fished, swam, sunbathed and loved the quiet night under the starry skies. The houseboat has all you need. Like a floating caravan. You cannot go very far with the boats so the holiday is more about being that travelling which suited us just fine.

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Knysna Houseboats Map

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Knysna Houseboats is 1.5km from the centre of Knysna , the nearest airport 74.3km (George Airport).
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling

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