20 Reasons to Visit Knysna in 2020


The Greater Knysna region is often dubbed  ‘Nature’s Playground’ and this popular coastal region is celebrated for many things: festivals, ancient forests, whales, beaches, lakes, rivers, oysters and seahorses. It is all of these and so much more. Whatever your interests, Knysna offers something for everyone, here are 20 Reasons to Visit Knysna in 2020


  1. Summertime in the Greater Knysna area is a sublime affair. One of our region’s most enticing natural assets is its extensive stretches of sand and sea. These long, hot days call for salty pursuits, such as surfing, kitesurfing, SUP, swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, boating …this my friends, is what summer in Knysna is all about.
  1. Jungle Rush is 2-day trail running event held on the 22 and 23rd February at the Garden Route Trail Park, a farm nestled at the foot of the Outeniqua mountains in Barrington. Treat yourself to a weekend of lush single-track trails, relaxation, magnificent mountains, scrumptious food and campfire nights. For more info: hello@junglerushtrailrun.com
  2. Summer sunset cruises with Springtide Charters  is a must! Gliding across a body of water powered by nothing but the wind is a soul soothing experience like no other. The ‘Outeniqua’ – a sleek and sexy 50ft mono-hull yacht – carves the waters of the Knysna Estuary with ease and is perfectly suited to handle the dynamic waters of the Indian Ocean and the aesthetic character of the Knysna Estuary and adjacent coastline provides the perfect backdrop for sailing.
  3. Take to the skies on a tandem paragliding flight. Have you ever dreamt of soaring on coastal thermals? Well, the Greater Knysna area is a hotspot for paragliding and our warmer months deliver the ultimate thermal conditions necessary for this fast growing adventure sport. At such a lofty elevation, you will able to quietly grasp the absolute loveliness of this part of the world; a extensive coastline fringed by forested dunes, mountains, lakes and estuaries. 
  4. On the 19th – 22nd February 2020, both pro and amateur mountain bikers will be heading #totheforest for this year’s Knysna Bull! And not just any forest, but the verdant tracts of Knysna’s ancient indigenous forests. Knysna Bull is SA’s 1st ‘Individual-Only Mountain Bike Multi- Day Stage Race’, providing a unique opportunity for mountain bikers to test their individual mettle.
  5. Literary junkies should not miss the Knysna Literary Festival on the 6th – 8th March 2020. Now in its 11th year, this annual bookish affair hosts an exclusive line-up of trending South African authors. Events are held at various venues on Thesen Island’s trendy Harbour Town and offers an eclectic itinerary of diverse literary offerings, from politics to history, adventure, conservation, cuisine and fiction! info@knysnaliteraryfestival.co.za 
  6. Lace up for the Tortoise Tuff! This popular race in Sedgefield will be held on the 14th March, hosted by the Sedgefield Striders. The event comprises of a 2,5km Fun Run, 10km walk/run, the beautiful 21km Goukamma Trail Run, and the 30km ‘Big Tuff’, which comprises a 30km route of varied terrain. From tarred and gravel roads, to single track trails and beaches, this route, which is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and most challenging trail races in the region, takes runners through the spectacular and diverse topography of the area.
  7. Knysna’s history is deeply rooted in timber and the Knysna Timber Festival,  held on the 12th – 15th March 2020, is a celebration of this rich heritage. A Knysna Timber Initiative, the goal of the festival is to rejuvenate the entire timber industry for the economic benefit of the area.  Now in its 8th year, it showcases the diverse talents of numerous artisans – from carvers to cabinetmakers – all bringing a wealth of in-depth knowledge and skill to the table.
  8. This year’s Sedgefield Slow Festival is scheduled to take place this year over the weekend of 27th– 29th March. This annual festival has become a much-loved event on the Garden Route calendar and each year it manages to capture the incredible spirit of the Sedgefield’s close-knit and charitable community, celebrating family values, natural pursuits and the outdoor way of life for which Sedgefield has become known. All the proceeds generated from each event directed towards important local charities. 
  9. From Thu 30 April Sun 03 May, it’s time to paint the town pink for this year’s Pink Loerie Festival, an exciting spectacle of street parades, pageantry, theatre, creativity, recreation, music, design, multi-media, and other forms of artistic expression all focused on the LGBTQ+ community. The festival serves to create awareness while celebrating individual lifestyle choices.
  10. Mark off the 7 -10 May 2020 on your calendar for this year’s Simola Hill Climb, a festival geared towards speed freaks and car-loving, champagne quaffing hedonists. Now in its second decade, it promises as many revs and thrills as ever before!
  11. It all about cars at the 8th Knysna Motor Show held on Sunday, 3 May 2020. Sponsored by Sanlam Private Wealth and hosted by the Garden Route Motor Club (GRMC), the show will once again showcase some of the most collectable cars on the African continent. https://grmc.co.za/knysna-motor-show/
  12. Explore Gericke’s Point on Moonlight Meander or Starlight Trail! This popular stretch of coastline is characterised by steep cappuccino-coloured fossilised dunes, a long, curved beach and the landmark sandstone boulder called Gericke’s Point and a remarkable intertidal wonderland. Judy and Mark Dixon will reveal the wonders of this marine realm during this 3hr tour.
  13. Close Encounter Whale Watching Season 2020 June onwards. The 1st of June marks the beginning of whale season!! Every year we have the privilege to show our visitors the wonders of one of the greatest mammal migrations on planet Earth. This should be on everyone’s bucket list.
  14. Knysna Oyster Festival (26th June – 5th July 2020) – The annual Knysna Oyster Festival is one of South Africa’s most popular festivals, attracting sports lovers, families and foodies from far and wide. The festival includes:  Knysna Forest Marathon (4th July 2020) & the Knysna Cycle Tour (27th & 28th June 2020) enquiries@knysnacycle.co.za
  15. Take a walk through an ancient forest. Knysna is best known for its extensive tracts of indigenous forest and there are few things in life as rewarding as being in the heart of one. These verdant realms cloak such a wide variety of life and there is always something interesting to see, touch, smell and hear. There are plenty of well-blazed trails from which to choose throughout the Greater Knysna region, all them flanked by beautiful tree specimens that rise up in unison from leaf-littered floors. If you wish to do a guided trail, look no further than Mark Dixon of Garden Route Trails
  16. Take a Marine Eco Tour with Ocean Odyssey which serves to highlight the various geological wonders of our coastline and the year-round marine life which can be found in our waters, including bottlenose dolphin, the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, common dolphin, Bryde’s whales, seals and a host of sea birds!
  17. Calling all mountain bikers! The Buco Lions Karoo to Coast Mountain Bike Challenge takes place this year on the 21st This legendary 100km off-road race from UNIONDALE to KNYSNA via the Prince Alfred’s Pass is scenic and challenging and all proceeds from entries go to the Lions of Knysna and Uniondale.
  18.  For years this slowtown has been synonymous with its Farmers & Craft Markets. Every Saturday there are three amazing markets side by side in Sedgefield: The famous Wild Oats, the Mosaic Market and the Scarab Market – selling everything from fresh farm produce, art, crafts and much more!
  19. Eat, Drink & Be Merry at one of many diverse eating establishments. Food fare to suit all taste buds, from seafood to vegetarian, Knysna has it all!!


PHOTOS AND IMAGES BY Lisa Leslie Photography & Media/ @lisalesliephoto / www.lisalesliephotography.com