5 Hour Activities


FEATHERBED NATURE RESERVE
Featherbed Ferry Terminus, off Waterfront Drive, Knysna
+27-(0)44-382-1693
knysnafeatherbed.com

34 DEGREES SOUTH
Shop 19, Knysna Waterfront, Knysna
+27-(0)44-382-7331

CAST OFF TO A NATURE RESERVE

  • Hop a ferry across a lagoon
  • Rumble up a mountain in a 4×4
  • Eat shucked-to-order oysters

Two seaside cliffs—the Heads— carpeted in green dominate the views (and photos) of Knysna. The Eastern Head is an open park, but the Western Head is in a private reserve and off limits to the general public. Don’t let that stop you—nature lovers in-the-know book one of two daily ferries and cross the Knysna Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Once there, you’ll rumble in a 4×4 up through a dense forest of fynbos shrubs to the top. Knysna means “place of trees” in the native bushman language, and it’s easy to see why as you hike your way back down through the brush. Once docked back at the Knysna Waterfront, skip past the tacky shops and chain restaurants and head straight to 34 Degrees South for a platter of world-renowned Knysna oysters, best matched with a flinty glass of white wine. (Heads up bivalve fans: The annual 10-day long Knysna Oyster Festival kicks off the first week of July.)
Board the ferry bound for the Featherbed Nature Reserve at the Knysna Waterfront.

FEATHERBED NATURE RESERVE
Featherbed Ferry Terminus, off Waterfront Drive, Knysna
+27-(0)44-382-1693
knysnafeatherbed.com

34 DEGREES SOUTH
Shop 19, Knysna Waterfront, Knysna
+27-(0)44-382-7331

TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
tsitsikamma.info

BLOUKRANS BUNGY
Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma
+27-(0)42-281-1458
faceadrenalin.com

TSITSIKAMMA CANOPY TOURS
101 Darnell Street, Storms River
+27-(0)42-281-1836
canopytour.co.za/locations/tsitsikamma

FIND HIGH FLYING THRILLS

  • Leap from the world’s highest bungee bridge jump
  • Zip through a canopy of trees

Tsitsikamma National Park, an hour east of Knysna, is known for its extensive backcountry hiking trails, but even if you only have an afternoon to spare, there are plenty of can’t-miss highlights. Adrenaline junkies will check off a bucket-list wish when they strap in for a jump at the Bloukrans Bungy, the world’s highest bungee leap from a bridge (this is a hot one, so get a, err, jump on it and reserve ahead). A tad too adventurous? You’ll still get plenty of thrills whizzing through a forest of ancient Oteniqua yellowwood trees on a ziplining canopy tour. Back on terra firma, drive to the Storms River Mouth section of the park, which marks the beginning of the popular Otter Trail, a five-day hike. Even if you’re not heading out on the trail, it’s still worth taking a half-mile stroll from the parking lot down a steep flight of stairs to cross the shaky suspension bridges hovering over the water.
Tsitsikamma National Park is a little over an hour’s drive east of Knysna.

TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
tsitsikamma.info

BLOUKRANS BUNGY
Bloukrans River Bridge, Tsitsikamma
+27-(0)42-281-1458
faceadrenalin.com

TSITSIKAMMA CANOPY TOURS
101 Darnell Street, Storms River
+27-(0)42-281-1836
canopytour.co.za/locations/tsitsikamma

OTENIQUA TRANSPORT MUSEUM
Transnet Transport Museum, 2 Mission road, George
+(0) 44-8018-289
outeniquachootjoe.co.za

DUTTON’S COVE RESTAURANT
21 Rooidraai Rd, George
+27-(0)44-851-0155

DO THE LOCOMOTION

  • Check out vintage trains and cars
  • Ride the rails up a mountain
  • Feast on fish and chips at the beach

Rail fans will want to get on board for a trip to the Oteniqua Transport Museum in George, the commercial hub of the Garden Route. Inside the cavernous warehouse is an impressive collection of full-size steam locomotives dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a stable of exotic vintage cars. For more action, book a seat for the two and a half hour power van rail ride and chug up into the Oteniqua Mountains. Tempting as it might be to nab a seat in the Victorian-era-dining-car-turned-café, hold off on eating there. Instead, cruise 20 minutes up the coast to Dutton’s Cove restaurant for fresh hake and chips and postcard-perfect views of Herolds Bay beach.
George is an hour drive from Knysna along the Garden Route.

OTENIQUA TRANSPORT MUSEUM
Transnet Transport Museum, 2 Mission road, George
+(0) 44-8018-289
outeniquachootjoe.co.za

DUTTON’S COVE RESTAURANT
21 Rooidraai Rd, George
+27-(0)44-851-0155

CANGO CAVES
R328 North, Oudtshoorn
+27-(0)44-272-7410
cango-caves.co.za
Open every day, except 25 December.
Tours are from 09:00-16:00

EXPLORE ANCIENT CAVES

  • Go deep in a Stone Age-era cave
  • Try ostrich meat on salad or baked in a savory pie

The Karoo town of Oudtshoorn is the erstwhile hub of a booming late 19th- and early-20th-century ostrich-feather industry. Bypass the hordes headed for the ostrich farms promising the challenge of riding the massive birds. For a real adventure sans a gimmick, book a 90-minute climbing tour in the Stone Age-era Cango Caves. Clamber down steep steps and ladders, shimmy through the Tunnel of Love (it’s so narrow at points it feels like a stone hug), and scramble through tight spaces with sinister names like the Devil’s Kitchen and Devil’s Post Box. Be warned: if claustrophobic, skip this and opt for the hour-long heritage tour, which sticks to more open areas. Once you’ve emerged from the subterranean labyrinth, get your ostrich fix at the old-world-inspired Nostalgie on Oudtshoorn’s main road. This bird-centric restaurant serves up ostrich kebabs, smoked-ostrich salad, and baked ostrich pie.
Oudtshoorn is a two-hour drive from Knysna.

CANGO CAVES
R328 North, Oudtshoorn
+27-(0)44-272-7410
cango-caves.co.za
Open every day, except 25 December.
Tours are from 09:00-16:00