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Africa Tours and Safaris
Knysna National Lakes Area

The Knysna National Lake Area is situated near the South Africa's famous Garden Route. Knysna is an area known for its forests, lagoon and friendly people. Traveling the 500km from Cape Town along the scenic Garden Route is a pleasure in itself. A temperate coastal climate gives Knysna a reputation as an excellent place to unwind.

Those visiting the Knysna National Lake Area can look forward to an unforgettable experience, dining on fresh seafood dishes and camping under the open African sky. The summer months are ideal for visitors to enjoy idyllic conditions with warm sunshine being the order of the day on the waters of the tidal lagoon. This setting is great for experiencing the fun activities available in the area, but also provides a wonderful opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the Knysna National Lake Area.

Indeed the lagoon and the Knysna River estuary are perfect locations for observing the colourful wildlife on display in the area. The Knysna National Lake Area, boasting a wide variety of sea creatures, also has the honor to be home to the endangered Knysna Seahorse, which drifts in a carefree manner amongst seaweed clusters, enjoying the calm conditions of the lagoon. During the summertime, Grey Plovers, Greenshanks and Sandpipers are amongst the birds which can be spotted, while the winter season sees Egrets, Cormorants, Ibises and Gulls taking sanctuary in the lagoon. Also on show for bird watchers are the Cape Shoveller, Blackwinged Stilt, Avocet and the endangered African Black Oystercatcher. This wonderful assortment of bird life, and the beauty of the surrounding forests, provides visitors with stunning bird watching and photo opportunities. There are bird hides located at Langvlei and Rondevlei.

Although the lagoon is classified as a nationally protected area, there is no National Park infrastructure worthy of mention and the lagoon can be accessed from various points in Knysna. There are a variety of activities available to visitors and locals in the town of Knysna, including water sports, hiking, picnicking in quiet and secluded spots, and forest trails which allow for hours of exploration on foot or mountain bike. Water sports include fishing, sailing, windsurfing and powerboats are also permitted in some areas. Water-skiing is only allowed in Swartvlei and at the Island Lake.

How to get there

Knysna lies on the scenic Garden Route, some 500 km from Cape Town and approximately 300 km from Port Elizabeth. Rental facilities and a national airport can also be found at George, some 70 km from Knysna.


1. Royal Hotel Knysna is situated on the corner of Main and Queen Street in the heart of Knysna, across the road from a beautifull old stone church and gardens, in walking distance to restaurants, shops and the Knysna waterfront.

2. Paradise House is situated in the beautiful town of Knysna and is the perfect get-away for the discerning traveler.

3. Kanonkop Guest House is situated on the edge of Kanonkop hill with uinterrupted views of the Knysna Lagoon and Heads.

4. Protea Guest House is set in a large tropical garden in a quiet lane.

5. Salt River Lodge is situated on the northern side of the lagoon with its natural ebb and flow of the tide.

6. Bayhouse is situated on a picturesque lagoon beach on Leisure Island in Knysna.

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