Knysna travel guide

Knysna Tourism | Knysna Guide

You're Going to Love Knysna

With its shimmering lagoon waters, beautiful nature reserves, incredibly fresh seafood cuisine, and thriving festivals as well as pleasurable climate year-round, it's easy to see why Knysna draws scores of South African and international tourists!

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Knysna

1. Spend Time on the Lagoon

Whether you book a houseboat or a spot on the organized tour run by Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Heads, plan to spend time taking in the stunning blue lagoon and its nearly 200 species of fish.

2. Head to the Knysna Elephant Park

You can observe these glorious creatures in their daily life or grab a bucket of fruit and make friends by feeding them!

3. Embark on a Mountaineering Adventure

For those who love an adrenaline rush, there is the GoVertical Mountaineering Adventures tour that features activities like rock climbing, hiking, and "slackpacking".

4. Don't Miss the Gastronomica Festival Knysna

If you come around the end of September, your stomach (and your eyes!) will surely thank you. This festival celebrates locally crafted wines, scrumptious South African cuisine, and features smaller live shows.

5. Visit the Millwood Goldfields

Take a tour through the old gold digging spots, browse through the Millwood Museum and relive South Africa's gold rush.

Where to Eat in Knysna

With its fresh and local menu, the Drydock Food Co attracts hungry foodies from all around. Tuck into fresh coastal oysters, Queen prawns, or sizzling sirloin steaks. Two can dine comfortably for R500.

When to visit Knysna

Knysna in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 68
1 night at 3-star hotel
Knysna in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 68
1 night at 3-star hotel

Perfect at any time of year sums up the weather in Knysna. It rains on and off throughout and the best time to travel is February to April. Temperatures hover between 60 to 73.

Data provided by weatherbase
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Knysna


International flights land at Cape Town International Airport (CPT). From here, you can take a bus to Knysna, about six hours away.


Traveling from Johannesburg to Knysna, head south using the N1 and N9; it's a 12-hour journey. From Cape Town, head east using the N2. This trip is much shorter, around six hours.


DMJ Transport offers a ride from Cape Town to Knysna for R210. Traveling from Pretoria to Knysna, book a seat on the Intercape for R569.

Airports near Knysna

Airlines serving Knysna

Qatar Airways
Good (849 reviews)
Excellent (584 reviews)
Excellent (30 reviews)

Where to stay in Knysna

Those who want to live in style should book one of the cottages at the Eastford Country Estate. If you don't mind being located on the lagoon and want to experience variety, book one of the Knysna houseboats. Budget travelers will appreciate the central accommodations at Jembjo's Knysna Lodge & Backpackers.

Popular neighbourhoods in Knysna

Old Place - located right on the coast, Old Place has plenty of hotels, vacation residences, and quite a few tour operators that run expeditions like whale watching.

Knysna Central - the main hub, this is Knysna's downtown area, where you can find great little cafes, restaurants, and all the best shopping spots.

Rexford - perhaps the most well-known aspect of this neighborhood is the Eastford Private Nature Reserve, where you can take in more than just scenic views of the stunning Knysna lagoon. Watch for various rare and local birds, go on scheduled tours of the elephant park, and observe lemurs and capuchins.

Where to stay in popular areas of Knysna

Most booked hotels in Knysna

St. James of Knysna
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 99+
Villa Castollini
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 105+
aha The Rex Hotel
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
C$ 76+
Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays
Excellent (8.4, Excellent reviews)
C$ 104+
Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa
Excellent (8.2, Excellent reviews)
C$ 149+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Knysna

Public Transportation

Knysna is small enough, locally, to get around on foot. There is no public transport.


Taxis are the most popular (and only) option to get around with a vehicle. These are metered and start at a flat rate of R10, and it's R7 per mile thereafter.


You can either rent a car with driver or get a self-driven car. If the latter, there are plenty of well-known companies like Europcar, Avis, and Budget. Fares start at R334, for a standard 4-door car.

The Cost of Living in Knysna

Shopping Streets

Knysna has a large area of shops located at the Waterfront and along Gray Street. Knysna Mall, with international brands, is just off Main Road (the N2).

Groceries and Other

Local supermarkets include Shoprite and Kwikspar. A quart of milk costs R12 and a dozen eggs costs around R25.

Cheap meal
C$ 7.53
A pair of jeans
C$ 74.54
Single public transport ticket
C$ 0.80
C$ 2.15