7 Things You Can Strike Off Your Bucket List by Visiting Knysna

Written by Neil Kleise

Knysna is the best-known town on the Garden Route, and it’s the perfect place for a vacation. But what exactly is there to do in Knysna? Well, it depends on what you want from a holiday. Because it really does offer everything! You’ll have the chance to see incredible animals both on land and at sea. Or, you could learn a new adrenaline sport on the water… If all that sounds a bit too hectic, we’re sure you won’t turn down a luxurious cruise! And for you to have a place to stay and relax after a day’s adventure, you can choose to stay to some of the best vacation rentals in Knysna, South Africa.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 7 of the best things to do in Knysna. Hopefully, it’ll help you to plan out your holiday and really make the most of your trip to South Africa!

 Get up close and personal with whales



An activity worthy of any bucket list, whale watching is definitely the top thing to do in Knysna! On a trip like this, you’ll have the opportunity to head out into the Indian Ocean and get up close and personal with nature’s gentlest and biggest giants! Between June and November, migratory Humpback and Southern Right whales grace the Garden Route’s waters with their presence, not only nurturing their young but showing off their acrobatic skills too! Just imagine how it would feel to see an adult Humpback whale jumping out of the waves just metres away from you! Should you have any trouble seeing the whales, there’s an expert spotter on board with you! Whale watching is definitely one of the best things to do in Knysna!


View dolphins, seals, penguins and other animals



Of course, whales aren’t the only marine life off the South African coast. If you’re visiting between December and May, a marine eco tour is another of the best things to do in Knysna. While different from a close encounter whale tour, you’ll still have the chance to see other marine life including dolphins, seals, and penguins. Birdwatchers get your binoculars at the ready too, as there are several species of aquatic bird in the area around Knysna heads! Even without the bonus of seeing marine and avian life, the landscapes in the area are pretty spectacular. For those travelling with the family, this is an unforgettable activity that everyone can enjoy!


Learn how to stand up paddle board




A change of direction now… boats and yachts aren’t the only way to travel around Knysna heads! Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world, and it provides a tantalising combination of a new challenge, a workout, and a chance for relaxation. No wonder so many people love it! This is the perfect way to see the scenery and the waterways of Knysna’s lagoon. You’ve never tried it before? Don’t worry – it’s easy enough to get lessons if you’re completely new to the sport! Who knows, you might end up returning home with a new hobby!


Get close to one of nature’s gentle giants – the elephant


Knysna is extremely popular for its water-based activities, but you might want to spend some time on land – especially if you get seasick! If that’s the case, why not get up close and personal with another of nature’s gentle giants! The African bush animal is the largest land animal in the world, and visiting Knysna Elephant Park will let you experience, learn, and interact with these incredible creatures! The centre has rescued and relocated animals from circuses and culls the world over and given them a better life. There are a number of activities you can do here, including breakfast elephant walks or a daily elephant tour. An unforgettable Knysna experience!


Head off the beaten track in Garden Route National Park


Between the Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa, you’ll find the Garden Route National Park. Covering over 1,200 square kilometres of land, it’s your chance to see the area’s famous indigenous forests and yet more of that gorgeous coastline! And the best way to see it? Well, the park boasts several hiking trails that match all levels of experience – whether you’re a beginner or an expert! For a short and easy trail (perhaps if you’re travelling with kids or elderly relatives), the Woodville Big Tree Trail is a great option. However, if you want a piece of South African folklore, try the Otter Trail. This five day trek is the oldest official hiking trail in the country and it covers 43km. You’ll need a decent level of fitness for this one!


Explore the town by electric bike


What if you want to stay in land on Knysna and just stay around town for a bit? Well, that’s possible too. When you’ve done everything there is to do and you’re hoping for a semi-lazy day, why not rent an electric bike? It’s a great activity for families or couples – and you don’t need to have much previous experience of cycling! It also means you can avoid having to pay for parking and dodging your way through traffic. It may not be the most exciting activity on our list, but every so often you need to chill, right?!


Relax on an Indian Ocean Cruise


Speaking of chilling out, there’s one Knysna activity that you absolutely can’t miss during your stay in South Africa. The lagoon is gorgeous and the sunsets are magical, so make the most of these by taking on a cruise, accompanied by the finest bubbly! Ocean Odyssey’s sister company Springtide Charters offers a number of cruises, including sunset, lunchtime, and private charters. They’ll be an unforgettable part of your vacation in Knysna, and it’s sure to have you relaxed and chilled out – exactly what you need from a holiday!


So, now that you know what to do in Knysna…


You’ll want to get booking your trip. If you’re unsure of the best way to see Knysna, check out Ocean Odyssey. Their yachts have shown hundreds of thousands of tourists Knysna over the years – no one knows the coastline better! The beautiful South African coastline is waiting for you!