Our Knysna holiday

Last week Lené and I had our first decent holiday in 18 months. We took a four-day trip to Knysna. We asked Lené’s parents to look after Elke and predictably they were more than happy to oblige.

We stayed at the 4-star Knysna Quays hotel. I would say the Hotel is OK. The ground staff were friendly, but the receptionist wasn’t. I don’t know if it was because we spoke Afrikaans or because we’re South-African (maybe they’re more used to foreign tourists). The rooms are nice, but other 4-star hotels I stayed in had much bigger rooms. The best thing about the hotel was its proximity to the Knysna Waterfront. It really is a 2-minute walk.

Places we visited were:

Knysna Heads
Knysna Heads

The famous Knysna Heads. It is really beautiful area, but I find it depressing that the whole Eastern side is so built up. There are these ugly jutting mansions all over the stunning rocks. I wouldn’t want to live there and I probably won’t go there again. I think this demonstrates pretty well where we are going wrong with residential developments.

Leisure Island. A very pleasant place. Large properties with really classy houses and big lawns. Also very close to the water. And a nice art gallery as well.

Knysna Waterfront
Knysna Waterfront

Knysna Waterfront. Nice vibe, but surprisingly quiet. The eateries were good. The shopping was very touristy. Not the way I like to shop. I don’t think the area works as well out of season as anticipated. In season I’m sure it goes nuts.

Knysna Town Centre & Information Office. Very impressive. The centre feels alive even in the middle of week. There is much to do and to see. The shopping is excellent and the well-looked after displays make you feel as if people care about the environment. The Knysna tourism office is the benchmark. The location is excellent and the office itself has strong branding and a good layout. It works! People meander in and out as if its another shop. It makes me green with envy.

Thesen Island. I wouldn’t live here in a million years! Not a blade of grass to be seen and no swimming access to the water (even if you did want to swim in the dirty water). The flats are one on top of the other with no character. The mind boggles as to why someone would want to live there. The only good thing is the shopping and the eating. They have some impressive but expensive shops. The restaurants are the same. We ate at the famous Ile de Pain (means Bread Island). Food was awesome, but outrageously expensive.

Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant

Knysna Meuseum. Not that much to see, but still worth a visit. It used to be the old gaol and they have restored one of the cells. This and the plan of the original goal gives you a real sense of what it used to be like. There is also some interesting stuff about Knysna, George Rex & The Thesens. The old photographs are also worth a look.

Belvidere. Beautiful place next to the lagoon on the Western side. Not much to do, but I expect that is what the locals want. There are some stunning houses on huge properties.

Lake Brenton. A very nice campsite on the shores of the Knysna Lagoon. We might visit this again with the kids and family in future.

Brenton-on-Sea. Reminds me of Cape St. Francis, one of my favourite places. Also the signage is Afrikaans; which warms my heart right up. 🙂 Only negative is how far away from the beach you are. Because of this Cape St. Francis still wins hands down.

Attie in Millwood

Sedgefield & Lake Pleasant. A nice place with a fantastic beach. Quiet when we were there. The Lake Pleasant Bistro was recommended to us by a friend. It turned out to be a winner. The food was outstanding; the staff was friendly and the view was unbeatable. I can definitely recommend it.

George Pro Shop. A strange place for a holiday I know! But I needed some gear and well… we were in the vicinity. 😉 The staff were great – much better than Port Elizabeth’s Pro Shop – and they allowed me to test out some equipment on their driving range before I bought. I ended up buying a whole lot.

Millwood. I did the Outeniqua Hiking Trail 15 years ago so I was really keen to see if it was still the same. To me the Knysna Bush, as written about by Dalene Mathee, is one of the most beautiful parts of the world so I love it here. Millwood now has a charming coffee shop combined with a museum that is definitely worth a visit.

All in all it was a very rewarding trip. I will visit the area again, but next time I’ll give Thesen Island and the Waterfront a skip. The one disappointment was that the Knysna Choo-Choo (a scenic train troute) was out of action. Hopefully next time that will work again.

3 thoughts on “Our Knysna holiday

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  1. So reg in die deel van die wereld waar ek gebly het voor ek hier na die Moddereiland toe getrek het ! (Fran kon van George af – so my skoonmense bly daar – nog n rede hoekom ek nie eintlik George toe gaan nie – Pro Shop of nie !!)

    Klink dit vir my na n 2de honeymoon dan 😉

  2. Ek stem saam oor die Knysna info office. Hulle is ons beste bron van info in ons toer operateur onderneming as ons nie reeds self die inligting het nie. Hulle het ook ‘n baie sterk bespreking (verblyf, ens.) diens wat baie min ander soortgelyke kantore bied.

    Ek stem ook saam oor die hotel – die negatiewe sowel as die positiewe. Vir besigheids trippies is dit nogal nice, vir oorslaap goed, maar vir ‘n paar dae se bly ‘it doesn’t really cut it’. Die probleem met enige groter hotel op toerisme roetes in Suid-Afrika is dat hulle nogal in ‘n massa toerisme ‘mode’ kan beland. Toerbus arriveer, welcome drinks, proseseer 40 mense en hul bagasie en die toergids sien om na die res. Vir dié rede is boutique hotelle en gastehuise nogal ‘n goeie bet – as mens dit kan bekostig.

    Knysna Quays se ligging maak dit baie gewild met operateurs (vra my…), geen van die ander hotelle kan vir groepe dieselfde bied nie. Saam met goeie occupancy vlakke, en die nie-ofhanklike status van die hotel (deel van reuse Protea groep) maak waarskynlik dat hul maklik complacent raak. Operateurs wat honderde of duisende kamernagte per jaar bespreek dra ook (verkeerdelik) meer gewig by die bestuur as FIT’s (nie-groep kliënte) wat ‘n paar aande bespreek.

    Een aspek wat julle nie gecover het nie (kort verblyf ek weet) is avontuur. Knysna en die Tuinroete blink absoluut uit in die verband. Daar is die ongelooflike staproetes – jy verwys na die Outeniqua – bungee jumping, stunning mountainbike roetes, kayaking, ens, ens.

    So kan mens aanhou! Is in elk geval jaloers op julle lekker break. Ek is te veel keer in ‘business mode’ as ek die tipe plekke besoek en dis lekker om ‘n suiwer ‘toeriste’ perspektief te kry.

    Ek ‘comment’ gewoonlik in Engels, maar het nadat ek Johan se kommentaar gelees het ingedagte Afrikaans gebruik :-).

  3. Hoop jy kan my help dit pla my baie ek het gedroom ek is by n troue en is n strooi meisie maar ken nie die 2 bruide of bruidegom nie wat is die betekenis

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