Knysna is situated in Western Cape, South Africa. The town surrounds the extensive Lagoon of the same name and can be found along the famous Garden Route.
Knysna boasts breathtaking natural scenery complete with golden beaches, tranquil lakes, indigenous forests and of course the lagoon. The town is most famous for its’ Oyster Festival and the Knysna Heads, a striking geological feature made up of huge cliffs, flanking the treacherous waters at the entry point into the lagoon. From the eastern head there is a lookout with spectacular views of the Lagoon, Knysna and Leisure Isle, while the western head is a privately owned nature known as Featherbed Nature Reserve.
The Lagoon is a protected marine reserve and is home to an extraordinary Seahorse, Hippocampus Capersis as well as over 200 species of fish. The area is home to the only forest elephants in South Africa, the Knysna Loerie, the rare Pansy Shell, dolphins and visiting whales all providing an endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.
The town offers craft shops, flea markets, boutiques, curios, art galleries and a few cosy cafés calling out to any visitor requiring some retail therapy. The Knysna Waterfront and harbor area will provide ample nightlife with restaurants, clubs and several bars all open until late.
There is an abundance of accommodation to suit all types of pockets. Visitors can stay on a houseboat on the lagoon, a log cabin in the forest, a forest lodge near the beach, a bustling hotel in the main street or one of the numerous guest houses or B & B’s.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 28˚C with high rainfall in October.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June.
July – Oyster Festival: More than 100 lifestyle and sporting events spread over 10 days. Sport, gourmet offerings and family activities attracting over 50 000 visitors on average each year.
October – Knysna Colour Festival: Fundraising event for the local schools. An untimed 5 km run / walk where those taking part are doused from head to toe in different colours every kilometer. Music, dancing, art and colour throw events after at the end of the run / walk event.
The first Europeans arrived in the area in 1760 and a name sounding like Knysna to them was given to the river by the Hottentots. Scholars offer several translations of the Hottentot term - 'Place of wood', 'fern leaves' or simply 'straight down', which would presumably refer to the two steep sandstone cliffs, known as The Heads, which guard the Harbour.
The town's most distinguished resident was George Rex, reputed son of George III and the local museum contains many items connected to the Rex family. George Bernard Shaw lived here during 1932 while writingThe Black Girl in Search of God.
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