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Knysna beaches Travel Guide

About Knysna beaches

Picturesque Knysna is teeming with natural beauty and unspoilt landscapes. Nature lovers and romantics alike will be charmed by this coastal community from its wilderness reserves to its alluring ocean culture. Not your typical South African location, but Knysna has the amenities to entice anyone looking for a traditional African experience along with some of the best seafood the Indian Ocean has to offer.

The area thrives on the Knysna estuary and lagoon and much of its tourist appeal is due to the combination of protected waters, surf-friendly headlands, and the nearby sands of Buffalo Bay. With a remote location, natural beauty and rich culture, visitors will be amazed by how much Knysna has to offer.


The ocean coast of Knysna is very rocky and rough, but within the lagoon and estuary there are many golden beaches at which to swim, kayak, waterski and explore the marine life. Knysna has several national parks that protect the marshy coastline and visitors can go scuba diving at Knysna Heads.

Only 10km (6 miles) southwest of the centre are the sweeping beaches of Buffalo Bay. White sandy beaches line this open bay allowing for amazing views and excellent surf. Unlike other beach areas, these are relatively unpopulated with only small hotels and sandy roads accessing them. The Indian Ocean roars upon the headland and makes for incredible surfing. Only a short walk from the town of Brenton on Sea, Buffalo Bay has few amenities so come prepared if you want to venture away from the resort areas. Whether you soak up the sun or catch a wave, Buffalo Bay is a beloved beach location for locals and travellers alike.

Beyond the beach:

The verdant forests and nature reserves of the Garden Route provide a vast wilderness for hiking, biking and exploring. Climb through fields of beautiful flowers on the Outeniqua Trail or have a leisurely picnic along the Garden of Eden Eco Walk. In addition to hiking there are quad and mountain bike trails as well as horse riding in the Harkerville Forest. Get in tune with nature by spending the night at one of the leafy campsites.

Family fun:

Travel 22km (13 miles) to the west on the N2 and you will come across the charming Knysna Elephant Park. Take a walking tour through the park where you can follow wandering elephants or take a ride on the gentle giants. Children will love the hands-on experience and the talented guides will make it an enriching experience for all.

Exploring further:

About 120km (75 miles) northwest of Knysna is the beautiful region of Oudtshoorn. Besides a quaint town centre with intricate masonry work, there is the Cango Caves. These limestone caverns take you deep below the earth's surface and reveal hidden natural springs and fascinating formations.

Oudtshoorn is also big on nature sports such as quad biking and hiking through the lush forests with dense trees and cascading waterfalls. After exploring the wilderness visit one of the 400 ostrich farms in the area or stare down a hungry crocodile in one of the reptile reservations.

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