Garden Route Tourist AttractionsKnysna Heads
The Garden Route is a magnificent part of the South African coastline, known the world over for its breath-taking vistas and natural abundance. It links the provinces of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape and includes a number of popular holiday towns; such as Nature’s Valley, Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay.
This is also the very special route along which the Knysna Heads are found, emerging from the raw power of the ocean to stand like tall sentries, guarding the picturesque lagoon and town. The ocean waters surge and crash dramatically through the passage between them, providing breath-taking views from so many different vantage points throughout the town and its outlying areas. The Knysna Heads are also notorious for having been the resting place for many fishermen and seamen that tried to negotiate the unpredictable, powerful waterway in days past.
Today, The Heads are a stunning sight to enjoy from a number of restaurants, and provide the perfect backdrop for those indulging in water sports nearby. The East Head is the more accessible one, and visitors need only head to Leisure Isle and then follow the sign posts to be part of the drama and scale of this headland. It boasts a number of stunning homes, which have incredible views, as well as a selection of great restaurants. East Head Café has indoor and outdoor tables that are all positioned to make the best use of these views. Blankets are provided so that, even when the seasons turn, visitors can enjoy delicious food or cocktails accompanied by world-class views.
The East Head is easily accessible by car, and has a number of viewing points and decks from where to take in the stunning vistas. Cony Glen Road has two different viewpoints, each of which promises a slightly different perspective of this incredible natural wonder. There are also several little beaches and rock pools that can be reached via the East Head. These are a delight for young and old to explore, and are the launching point for snorkellers, SUP-pers (Stand Up Paddlers), canoeists, paddlers, kayakers, kite boarders, and more. The beaches are also gorgeous little spots at which to enjoy a family picnic and a suntan. Always be aware of the changing tides before getting into the water here, as it can become risky quite unexpectedly otherwise.
The West Head is considerably trickier to access, as there are not public roads to it. So, the only way to see it is via a ferry trip across the lagoon. These are conducted regularly from the waterfront. The West Head is well worth the visit, though, thanks to its being home to the lovely Featherbed Nature Reserve. A trip to the reserve includes the ferry trip across the lagoon, a 4 x 4 trip up the headland, stops at various lookout points, and an easy 2.2 kilometre walk that really shows off the loveliness of the area. The coastal forest and fynbos are beautiful to see, and the ancient caves are an exciting bonus.
The charters to The Heads include sunset cruises, oyster cruises and lagoon cruises; giving visitors even more variety in terms of the different ways that they are able to see and experience this beautiful part of South Africa.
Steeped in history and laden in breath-taking beauty, The Heads are very special must-sees for visitors to the Garden Route.