Every year, Knysna lures thousands of visitors in search of soul food. A veritable nature’s playground, lovers of the great outdoors are utterly spoilt for choice when they visit our area. If you cast your gaze northward, you will see the sinuous outline of the Outeniqua Mountain range standing sentinel over the Greater Knysna region. It is the lofty source of several local rivers, some of which carve their way slowly through ancient Afromontane indigenous forests, eventually uniting with the Knysna Estuary, the sweeping body of water around which the town of Knysna was built.
The estuary is permanently open to the sea and the twice daily tidal surge that plays out between the striking sandstone cliffs of the estuary mouth has resulted in a dynamic environment of spectacular biodiversity. In fact, it is considered the most important estuary in the country in terms of species diversity. This estuary and the Indian Ocean beyond are both our passion and our playground and we have made it our mission to celebrate and showcase the rich aquatic wonders which are sustained here.
Ocean Odyssey is the only permitted close-encounter marine wildlife company in Knysna and every day, weather and sea conditions permitting, our 25-seater vessel sets off from the trendy Thesen Harbour Town jetty, navigates several kilometres of the estuary, exits the mouth and ventures out into the ocean in search of marine wildlife.
We enjoy close encounters with marine mammals throughout the year, but certainly the most exciting time of the year for us is wintertime, when our migratory whale species visit our coastline. The sheer numbers of southern right and humpback whales that can be seen moving past Knysna are so astounding that we often refer to our waters as a whale highway. Each and every whale encounter is different and quite often we are treated to above-the-surface acrobatic displays that defy imagination. It is the kind of experience that imprints on your soul.
Throughout the year we have frequent encounters with Cape fur seals, sharks and three different dolphin species, namely bottlenose, common and the rare Indian Ocean humpback dolphin. We also see an incredible diversity of seabirds, a constant reminder of the riches of our ocean. A trip out the Knysna Heads and out to sea is an experience in itself, because visitors get to witness the pure loveliness of our extensive coastline from a different vantage point.
Marine tours are not all we offer. For those in search of summer pursuits of a more active nature, we also rent out SUP’s (Stand up Paddle boards) as well as Electric Bikes; the latest in contemporary (and Eco-friendly) urban travel.
Knysna’s balmy summer days are also perfect for a sunset cruise onboard our sleek monohull yacht with Springtide Charters which is coupled with champers and delish snacks!
[Looking for a marine or African inspired gift for your loved ones this festive season? Look no further, our Ocean Journey retail store is packed with a range of clothing apparel, jewellery, toys and other fab merchandise!}
Visit www.oceanodyssey.co.za for more info.
PHOTOS AND IMAGES BY Lisa Leslie Photography & Media/ @lisalesliephoto / www.lisalesliephotography.com