Horseback Riding Trails
Great Horses Knysna, the only beach riding stable in the area.
Equitrailing, Plettenberg Bay — Day, half–day, mini, moonlight and champagne breakfast trails are offered by various stables and riding schools in the area of Nature's Valley. The rides traverse mountainside and forests with fynbos and beginners are usually welcome.
Garden Route Horse Trails, 15 minutes from Wilderness
Black Horse Trails through the Wilderness Outeniqua Forest
Buffalo Bay Horse Rides
Hoekwil Horse Trails
Addo Horse Trails
Perdepoort Horse Trails through indigenous forest in Wilderness
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve Horse Safaris – there is no better way to view the game which, accustomed to the presence of the horses, will allow them within very close range.
Southern Comfort Horse Trails, 14km from Plettenberg Bay
Hog Hollow Horse Trails, Plettenberg Bay — experience the Tsitsikamma on horseback.
Fijnbosch Stud Riding School & Trail Rides, Plettenberg Bay
The Garden Route offers unique birding opportunities with approximately 300 species of birds and 30 endemic species in a diverse range of habitats. With a variety of scenic routes, formal bird hides, three National Parks and numerous Cape Nature reserves, you are able to traverse fynbos, Afromontane forest, Milkwood Forest, Dune fynbos, wetland, marshes and lakes, riverine systems and coastline. In Plettenberg Bay, the estuary of the Keurbooms River and tidal lagoon, the Bitou River and floodplain, and Robberg Nature Reserve. The lake system is the ideal location for waterfowl and waders, four species of Kingfishers, and easy viewing of resident African Fish Eagles.
Birds to see are: Forest Buzzard, Crowned Eagle, Knysna Lourie, Emerald Cuckoo, Half–collared Kingfisher, Narina Trogon, Knysna Woodpecker, Short–toed Rock Thrush, Chorister Robin, Cape Rockjumper, Knysna Warbler, Olive Bush Shrike, African Rock Pipit, Southern Tchagra, Protea Canary, Victorin's Warbler, Orange–breasted Sunbird, Baillon's Crake, African Crowned Eagle, Bar–tailed Godwit, Common Whimbrel, Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Greenshank, Purple Heron, African Fish–Eagle, Osprey, Caspian Tern, Swift Tern, Pied Avocet, African Spoonbill, South African Shelduck, Hottentot Teal, Red–billed Teal, Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, African Rail, Whiskered Tern and African Marsh-Harrier.
The entire Garden Route is a paradise for hiking and one of the best ways to explore and discover scenic places is on foot, through forest, fynbos and along the pristine coastline.
Dalene Matthee Trail / Circles in a Forest hiking trail, 3/9km
Kranshoek Coastal Day Walk, 9km
The Cape Dune Molerat Trail, Sedgefield, 8km
Sedgefield Country Walk, Goukamma Nature Reserve, 8/12km
Goukamma Beach Walk, 14km
Goukamma and Groenvlei Trail, Goukamma Nature Reserve, 13km
Fynboskruin Fynbos Walk, Swartvlei Beach Road, 10km
Brenton–on–Sea Beach Walk, 7km
Jubilee Creek Forest Walk, Knysna, 3.6km
Millwood Goldmine Trail, Knysna, 5.6km
Terblans Goldmine Trail, Knysna, 6.5km
The Elephant Trails, Knysna, 7/8/9km
Witels Forest Walk, Knysna, 2km
Woodcutters Trail, Knysna, 1.9/3km
Garden of Eden Forest Walk, Plett, 1km
Kranshoek Coastal Walk, Plett, 3/9km
Milkwood Scenis Trails, Plett, 3/5km
Wittedrif Nature Trails, Plett, 1.5/10km
Nature's Valley Network, 1/6km
Stinkhoutkloof Trail, Plett, 8.4km
Rugbos Forest Walk, Plett, 1km
Storms River Mouth Trails, Tsitsikamma National Park, 1/5.6km
The Big Tree and Ratel Trail, Plett, 4.2km
4 x 4 Trails
Doringkloof 4x4 Trails, 85km
Southern Comfort Ranch Obstacle Course, 17km
Burchell's track 4x4 Trail, 20km
Louvain Old Voortrekker Pass 4x4 Trail, Duiwelsberg, 45km
Kouga Wilderness 4x4 Route
Sukkelpoort 4x4 Trail, 82km
Soetensdal 4x4 Trail, 83km
Minwater 4x4 Trail, 100km
Knysna 4x4 Elephant Trail
Bhejane 4x4 Adventures' Secrets of the Knysna Forest takes you into parts of the forest where the public is not usually allowed. Highly recommended.
Elephant 4x4 Trail, through the Knysna Forest.
Tsitsikamma 4x4 Trails, Plettenberg Bay, traverses the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range
Williamsburg Farm, George, has several trails from one hour to three hours. The trails are interesting and varied and one must negotiate rocky slopes, river crossings, steep ascents and some really tough terrain. While certain parts of the trails are quite daunting and good off-road experience is necessary, there are alternatives for the less adventuresome. We also encourage you to stop en-route to enjoy the rugged beauty of the mountains.
Underwater Trails & diving
Knysna and environs offers a wide range of dive sites with lots of gullies and overhangs where sharks, eels and octopus abound as well as plenty of swim throughs and caves.
Underwater Trail at Storms River Mouth , Tsitsikamma
Knysna Heads' stunning reefs outside the lagoon
Cloud Nine, Gerrickes Point, Sedgefield
Groot Bank, Plettenberg Bay – the pinnacles, large amphitheatres and caves and tunnels make for very exciting diving.
Shallow Blinders – marine growth is abundant here, and the pinnacle and gullies make for interesting diving.
Deep Blinders – beautiful drop offs and sandy areas nearly always promising a glimpse of bull rays or stingrays.
Dolphin Column – interesting diving around the pinnacle and gullies, and as aptly named, dolphins can be spotted here too.
Playground – main features are the terraces going down which are quite interesting.
Virgin Reef – bursts with colour and invertebrate life.
Jacob's Point – sea fans, sponges, coral, urchins and very tame fish including the black parrotfish and dolphins that are often spotted here.
The MFV Athina – the wreck of the Greek trawler, the bottom is sandy and it is an interesting dive.
Whale Rock – a difficult site to dive as water conditions are not often favorable, but when it is calm, Ragged tooth sharks are abundant along with many soft corals, sea fans and sponges. Marine life is very abundant here.
Voorstraat – fantastic caves for exploration and a lot of color.
Knysna Oyster Festival
More than 100 exciting events ranging from cycling, running and adventure races, to wine and whisky tastings and gala evenings turn the annual Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival into the best 10 days of your winter!
The festival's two main sporting events, the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour, will give participants the unique opportunity to run and cycle through the ancient indigenous forests of Knysna and experience the scenic beauty of the area. And if marathons are not your style, there's a full programme of adventure and soft sports for the whole family to participate in, including paddling, golf, bowls, soccer, night biking and angling.
Oyster–related events include the annual oyster-shucking competition, the oyster eating competition and the Pick n Pay Oyster & Wine Mardi Gras – a fabulous evening of oysters and wine tasting. Oyster Hotspots will be selling oysters in a variety of tastes and flavours at give–away prices!
The South African Navy, which always plays a huge part in the success of the Festival, will once again be visiting Knysna, making a grand entrance through the Knysna Heads in their huge minesweepers. And the Navy's internationally acclaimed band will entertain festival–goers during the street parade and live concert at the Waterfront.
The Pick n Pay Young Oyster Festival includes youth theatre, puppet shows, creative art workshops and cooking courses. The Knysna Sport School Sports Fair will give kids the opportunity to try their hand at a variety of sports, free of charge.
Featherbed's John Benn is Knysna's only luxury pleasure cruiser, beautifully appointed with her upper and lower decks constructed from Yellowwood sourced from the Knysna Forest. This unique vessel offers daily lunch time or sunset cruises to the Knysna Heads, a legendary floating restaurant for eating, drinking and having fun!
If time is limited, join Three Legs for a 75 minute cruise with a difference! This Rivercat was featured on television's 'Beyond 2000' as one of the most advanced ferries ever built. This is a fun and adventurous cruise to and into the Knysna Heads, weather conditions permitting, between the cliffs, visiting Otter Cove, Island Rock and passing the beachcomber caves. This unequalled experience takes visitors back in time to the days when Knysna was a port and shares with those on board the thrills and spills of Knysna and its past. Three Legs is an open ferry with a sun-deck or shaded seating. There are roll–down weather blinds, fold–away tables and cushioned seats, a cash bar and snack menu.
With Knysna Charters' Knysna River Safari you can explore the second largest lagoon and river mouth in southern Africa with 2.5 hrs of cruising down the river, wild life sightings guaranteed!
Stanley Island River Cruises in the Keurbooms river, 5km upriver from Plettenberg Bay, provides a wonderfull boating destination. The Keurbooms river is a very scenic and diverse river system to do river cruises on.
In addition to the Knysna, Goukamma, Swartvlei and Keurbooms Rivers, there are magnificent canoe trails through indigenous forests and the lakes at Wilderness and Sedgfield, not to mention the numerous other trails on some of the other off the beaten track rivers. Many waterways in the area are restricted to non –motorized craft, which ensures peaceful paddling conditions.
Eden Adventures can show you the best that the area has to offer. Their main tours include canoeing, kloofing and abseiling, but for those who would like to explore the area in their own time, Eden Adventures has an affordable range of single, double and triple canoes for hire, equipped with paddles, buoyancy aids and waterproof containers for picnics, cameras etc, and a map to assist you in your decision making.
Canoeing up the 7 kilometers of the Keurbooms river, you will often hear the splash of a fish landing in the water and you may be lucky enough to see the brilliantly coloured red wings of the Knysna Turaco, quietly flitting in the forest or be beckoned by the call of the Fish Eagle, looking to catch a fish in the river.
Stop at any one of the small white beaches and settle down with your picnic basket, a bottle of wine and good book. If you have children they can amuse themselves in the water, swimming, or by exploring the safe natural environment. Most of the beaches have ablution facilities and picnic tables.
Elephant Ride Experience
Knysna Elephant Park's guided Daily Tours take you to the elephants and give you the opportunity to touch, feed and photograph the gentle giants. There are no barriers or fences and when the elephants choose to wander off into the field, you are welcome to walk with them and watch them for as long as you wish. The Elephant Back Rides offer the once in a lifetime opportunity to ride these incredible creatures through indigenous Cape fynbos enjoying spectacular views of the Outeniqua mountain range.
At the Elephant Sanctuary, The Crags, Plettenbeg Bay, an experienced guide will introduce you to the elephants, and you will learn about their backgrounds, behavior and characters while being able to touch, feed, interact and walk trunk–in–hand with them. You can also have a ten minute ride and take part in the morning or afternoon grooming and brushing down of the elephants.
With several lagoons in the area, the Garden Route will not let you down if you are looking for kitesurfing lessons – with several lagoons in the area, Knysna Lagoon being the largest with warm shallow waters, it is a great place to learn with Kitesurf Knysna.
The lakes, estuaries and pristine beaches of Sedgefield is suitable for beginners through to expert kiters and Elemental Sport offers introductory lessons, equipment sales and advice on local spots and conditions.
Life Kite Surfing Summer School's lessons mostly take place on the beach between Myoli and Cola. The school is situated on one of the wildest, windiest beaches in the Southern Cape. It has great exposure to open Atlantic and Indian Ocean swells. Their flat water training runs on the beautiful and uncrowded neighboring lakes and lagoons.
Tree Top Canopy Zipline Tour
The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour is a unique eco–wilderness adventure that takes place in the magnificent Tsitsikamma rainforest. The first of its kind in Africa, the canopy tour involves a gentle glide from one platform to another along a steel cable suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor, allowing you to enter and experience a previously inaccessible natural environment. Most platforms are located in giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. The scenery and bird life is spectacular and professional guides provide interesting facts about the forest ecology during the 2½ to 3 hour experience.
The Tsitsikamma Falls Adventure tour takes you on 8 cable rides over the Kruis River and down a ravine over three waterfalls. Each section has its own surprises, wonders and beautiful views over the fauna and flora. The river can be seen and heard throughout the whole tour. Their longest slide is 211m and is 50m above ground.
You can pick strawberries, eat them and drink them all day long at Redberry Farm just outside George. The farm lies in a spectacular setting with views of the majestic Outeniqua Mountains where you can enjoy a light lunch – the tea and scones are an experience not to be missed – oven-fresh scones topped with farm butter, home made strawberry preserve and fresh clotted cream, while you sit in the tea garden under the huge umbrellas.
At the deli you can buy strawberry punnets at bargain prices, strawberry liqueur, strawberry jam, strawberry syrup, and other strawberry themed goodies while the kids play ouside. They can ride on the miniature train winding around the strawberry fields, walk across the dam in the bubble ball or zip around in the motorised bumper boats.
Forest Night Game Drive
Eco Afrika Tours' Knysna Forest Night Drive offers the unique opportunity to spot indigenous mammals, not only the more common monkeys, bushbuck and baboon that wander out of the forest to look for food at the forest's edge, but also the nocturnal porcupine, bushpig, honey badger, caracul, wild boar, blue duiker, bush baby, sunset bats and fieldmouse families, the Cape Clawless Otter that visitors and scientists come from far and wide to try and see and on rare occasions you may get a fleeting glimpse of the Cape mountain leopard.
Tsitsikamma Segway Ride
During Eco-Discovery's Tsitsikamma Village & Township experience you take a journey through the quaint Stormsriver Village and into the cool pine forests, ride over the old historical Witteklip bridge and through the West side of Stormsriver, now known as the township.
The Tsitsikamma Forest & Big Tree segway ride is also through Stormsriver Village and the pine forest, but then you enter the ancient indigenous Tsitsikamma Forests along the paths to the famous and majestic Tsitsikamma Big Tree and back to the village.
There is bungy jumping at Gouritz River Bridge as wells as the Bloukrans Bridge – the world's highest bungy jump, 216m of pure adrenalin! This is the ultimate thrill, the highest commercially operated Bungy Jump in the world. They secure you in a full body harness and you proceed to walk along a specially designed, 216m long catwalk suspended beneath the road surface, leading to the top of the arch, 216 meters above the Bloukrans River. Here you will be given final instructions by highly experienced staff, a countdown and off you go! Bloukrans uses pendulum bungy technology for the smoothest, most comfortable bungy jump possible.
Tandem skydive over one of the most scenic drop zones in Africa, if not the world. Few experiences beat the thrill and adrenaline rush of human flight, especially during the 35 seconds of free fall!
Skydive Plett starts the experience with a short briefing. Then you enjoy a 20 minute plane flight to 10,000 feet over the Knysna forests and Plettenberg Bay coastline. Now the leisurely, scenic plane flight stops and the adrenaline starts to pump as you exit the plane with your Tandem Master and experience the rush of a 35 second free fall at 200KPH! Once the canopy opens, your instructor will glide you down for a safe landing.
Beer Tasting & Tour
The Beer Tasting & Tour at Mitchells Brewery in Knysna will lead you into the heart of the little brewery to share the secret of brewing fine natural ales. From the grist hopper to the mash tun, from the kettle to the whirlpool in the chill of the first and secondary fermentation cellars. Then back to the sales office to do the tasting and experience the natural goodness whilst contemplating the reasons for not ever wanting to leave.
Misty Meadows Microbrewery just outside George serves your pint with a side of rustic solitude. The cavernous bar/restaurant sits under a huge, partially open farm building with views over the Outeniqua Mountains that live up to the brewery's misty moniker. There's just one beer on tap, Buzzard Country Ale, and a minimal menu featuring home–cooked fare with locally grown produce.The beer is mildly fruity with lots of malt aromas and on weekends there's a beer and pizza special and there's an artisanal cheese shop and speciality butcher on the property. Just 10 minutes from the N2, Misty Meadows makes an excellent lunch stop if you're touring the Garden Route.
Tsitsikamma in the Garden Route is one of the most beautiful places to try abseiling.The Tsitsikamma Falls Adventure Park, offers abseiling opportunities where you can abseil 30 metres down between cliffs and land on a raft waiting in the river at the bottom for you. The scenery is so lush in this area, you will simply forget about the outside world and want to stay here forever amongst the multitude of ferns, flowers and trees.
On the magnificent Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay, you can abseil the massive cliffs in the Robberg Nature Reserve with spectacular views of the wild ocean below you as you go vertical. You can abseil as often as the time permits, practicing your technique and riding out the adrenalin.
The serene Kaaimans Gorge in the Wilderness National Park holds one of the most beautiful abseil sights you will find. You have a chance to do two 45m abseils right next to a magnificent waterfall. The first abseil is an easy one to get you used to the idea of trusting the ropes and the second one is slightly more technical, however just as exhilarating.You need not have abseiled before.
Aerial whale and dolphin spotting is becoming increasingly popular. You can also do a low-level coastal flight from Plettenberg Bay, entering the Knysna estuary through the Heads. Having traversed the estuary, you fly inland to explore huge tracts of indigenous forest.
With Capri Scenic Helicopter Flights you can experience a breathtaking birds–eye–view of the Garden Route, from short helicopter flights to all day charters, tailor made tours and transfers with many more options like viewing whales, great white sharks and frolicking dolphins as you fly along the Garden Route´s beautiful coastline.These exhilarating helicopter flights have carefully been selected to show you the absolute best of the Garden Route, including the coastal plateau, rivers and ocean.
With African Ramble all the passengers have a window seat for seasonal Whale Watching, Natures Valley, Storms River, Knysna Heads, indigenous Knysna Forests and of course the beautiful coastline from a new perspective and an uninterrupted view with the experienced pilots providing informative commentary and highlighting points of interest along the way.
The meeting place between land, two rivers and the sea, the Bitou, the Keurbooms and the Indian Ocean – this is fishing in the Garden Route.
Great catches of Grunter, Kabeljou, Steenbras and occational Elf has been made in the Keurbooms River and the estaury is a feeding system for juvenile Leerfish [Garrick], like the spotted grunter, a worthy quarry for fly–fishing enthusiasts and the adjacent Bitou river is also popular for fly–fishing.
Experience an awesome five hour fishing adventure in Plettenberg Bay with Plett Fishing Charters. You can keep your catch, within bag limitations, no experience needed and the minimum age is 7 years.
SA Deep Sea Fishing launches from Knysna, Plett or Gouritz Mouth and in the 25 minutes it takes to reach the fishing grounds you might see whales, dolphins, seals and penguins in their natural habitat. The species of fish you can catch vary, depending on the season – in summer, fish such as Cape Salmon and Cob and in winter, Hake and Red Roman amongst others. Some species like sharks are caught all year round.
Black Water Tubing
Storms River Tubing is the perfect addition to the many adventure activities on offer in Stormsriver. Mild2Wild Adventures provides the ultimate combination of River Tubing, Rock Hopping & Kloofing.
The Adventure begins at Tube 'n Axe where you will be given an orientation briefing and get kitted up. The tubing group then jumps into the pickup and drives through the majestic Tsitsikamma forest to the drop off point on the edge of Storms River Gorge. From there it's a 10 min steep walk down to the rivers edge. The Black water Tubing trip is a day filled with swimming, splashing, jumping, hiking and rapid shooting fun, a must for any fun loving adventurer.
The Garden Route has varied options for sea kayaking, from open sea along Robberg near Plettenberg Bay to the protected waters of the numerous lagoons and rivers.
Kayak with an experienced guide from Central Beach to Robberg Nature Reserve at Plettenberg Bay, an amazing experience and often you will kayak with dolphins right next to you. When you reach Robberg Nature Reserve you will kayak amongst the seals at the seal colony. Your guide will introduce you to Robberg Nature Reserve and the wonderful marine life in the bay. In whale season you will encounter these majestic mammals on your tour.