Garden Route Tourist AttractionsKnysna Lagoon
The breath-taking blue of the Knysna Lagoon imbues the coastal town of Knysna with an allure that is quite irresistible. This lagoon opens between two massive cliffs, known as The Heads. These stand tall, acting as rugged watchmen over the pristine loveliness of the lagoon. Here, exquisite views of the water surging through the narrowed entrance make for idyllic backdrops to your Garden Route excursion.
The Knysna Lagoon is one of the area’s chief tourist attractions and is a popular spot for local fishermen and water sports enthusiasts. Some of the bird species that may be spotted around the lagoon include sandpipers, stilts, herons, the malachite and pied kingfishers, black oyster catcher, African fish eagle, Knysna woodpecker, and Knysna warbler.
The Knysna Lagoon is ideal for the following activities:
Home to leerfish (Garrick), mullet, skate, elf (shad), grunter, white steenbras and Cape stumpnose, this is a prime spot for fishermen. Some prefer to take a boat out and enjoy the peaceful bobbing of the water, while others sit on the shores and jetties in wait for a promising bite. The gorgeous views are an added bonus.
Yachts, catamarans and motor boats are permanent fixtures of the Knysna Lagoon. Sailing and embarking on sundowner cruises are fantastic ways to experience its beauty, and to soak up the stunning vistas of the Knysna Heads.
Whether summer or winter, water sports enthusiasts are seen taking advantage of the unhindered stretches of water and the calm conditions.
It is popular for:
• Kite surfing
• Hydro-foiling (during the high tide)
• Wake boarding
• Stand-up paddling (commonly known as SUP-ping)
• Water skiing
Whale- and Dolphin-Watching
The Indian Ocean awaits visitors on the other side of the dramatic Knysna Heads and boat trips are conducted to these waters throughout the year. Dolphins may be seen exploring the warm waters here at any time. Then, between July and December, several whale species could also be spotted. These inquisitive creatures (usually humpbacks and southern rights) may spyhop, lobtail or even breach; creating a stunning spectacle for those watching from the boat.
For those who simply want to relax at one of the restaurants on the water’s edge, the views are spectacular and the vibe enticing. There are many fantastic eateries at the Knysna Waterfront, as well as ones that are right on the tip of the east head, or on the shores of the lagoon, closer to town.
Really, the Knysna Lagoon is a place of natural beauty, an abundance of plant and animal species, and near-perfect photo opportunities. It is close to many other local attractions in and around Knysna. The world-class golf courses of Simola and Pezula are just a few minutes’ drive away, while the elephant sanctuaries and raptor parks are less than half an hour away. The world’s highest commercial bungy jump at Bloukrans Bridge is just under an hour from Knysna and its scenic lagoon.