Knysna Elephant Park is a unique place, you can walk with Elephants, feed Elephants,ride Elephants, and even sleep with them as well.
There are eleven African Elephants at Knysna at the time of writing, some of which are orphans rescued under various circumstances, but whatever the unhappy circumstances of their respective pasts, they are very happy and extremely well cared for at Knysna - go see for yourself - the happiness rubs off.
It really is a special place.
This is a relaxing activity for a few hours and an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the area and do some birdwatching. I went through my overland tour so unfortunately I can't advise on how to do so independently, sorry :(
Take a trip to the heads with your choice of one of five different boat tipes.
There is the Featherbed which is an 4 hour trip and includes a buffet lunch and leaves daily at 10h00, 11h15 and 12h30. Tickets cost more or less US$35 for adults.
With the Paddle cruiser a choice of a lunch cruise (leaves at 12h15 and tickets cost US$20 per adult) or the dinner cruise (leaves at 18h15 and adult tickets cost US$40).
Then there is the John Benn which is a 90 minute trip to the heads and it is a floating restaurant with full bar facilities. The boat leaves at 12h30 and 18h00 and during peak season there is an additional two trips.
Then there is the quick and fun ferry trip (which we did), this one actually goes INTO the heads and lasts about 75 minutes and there are 6 trips during the day, starting at 9h30 and the last trip at 17h00. Tickets cost US$10 per adult.
Then there is also Catamaran Yachting, with conditions permitting these boats can go beyond the heads and for a 90 minute fun sail tickets cost US$20 and for a 2 and a half hour sunset cruise tickets are priced at US$55.
The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe (pronounced Oat-a-nee-qua Choo-Choo) which opened in 1928, is South Africa’s only scheduled daily steam train service. The route which travels between George and Knysna takes about 2 and a half hours. This historic steam train meanders over estuaries and lakes, past wetlands and forests, alongside the dramatic coastline and over the Kaaiman’s River, the most photographed rail river bridge in the world.
The train has been preserved from the past and is only first-class.
On board the train you will be given a map showing all the places and points of interest to see on the trip. Light snacks, bar facilities and soft drinks are available.
April 2 2007 To 31 August 31 2007 - Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays
September 3 2007 To April 30 2008 - Daily except Sundays & Christmas Day
Noetzie is a small beach in the middle of the new developing Pezula estate, about a 20m minute drive from Knysna. It has been a favourite to visit as a family for a long time. The thing that makes Noetzie special (if the gorgeous beach isn't enough) is the castles. There are some beautiful old castles that are now mostly guest houses and the beach is usually very quiet and relaxing.
This is ideal for a family or anyone who just wants to relax or have fun in the sun. The best thing is that it won't cost you a thing (except tipping the car guard!).
If you fancy getting married in the area I can recommend a suitable marriage officiator/pastor who will respect your perspectives on marriage (religious or civil). We wanted something simple without any particular religious affiliation and were pleased with the outcome.
If you have a car or you fancy jumping on the bus and travelling 30mins or so down the Garden route you will come to the town of Plettenberg Bay, a beautiful town with stunning beaches and air it's safe to breath in!
As I have already stated, you can take a trip out to the Knysna Heads, however, it is expensive and the water I am told can be so very rough!
Instead get a street map and drive to the viewpoint yourself - it's not only cheaper, but warmer too!
We wandered around the shops around the waterfront, ate in a small cafe here and generally walked around chilling out.
There were boat rides you could take from here out to Knysna heads, but from memory the reason we left it is because they were expensive.
The waterfront complex looked relativley new, it was fresh air away from the fumes of the main street!
I think when in Knysna , going to see the Knysna heads is a must. When at the heads there is a trial there that you can walk which takes you to different view points of the heads and whats even better you have a very stunning view of Knysna itself. Definitely worth the visit.
Well I was driving from Beaufort Wes to Oudtshoorn. The road is all hot and dry bush with a couple of tortoses in the road and all of the sudden you see these stunning mountains ahead. This is really the most beautiful mountain pass road that I ever driven on. There is place on the mountain pass whereby you can stop as they have a waterfall there that you can go and have a look at or maybe go have a swim. Its the only place here with a new building there and place to stop. The temperature was nice and cool compared to the heat of the karoo. Its close to Oudtshoorn and definitely a mountain pass that you would wanna see.
Take a drive out to the heads. It is a wonderfull place with some lovely restaurants there. The water between the Heads can become very rough making entrance to the lagoon very tricky. This is one reason why Knysna did not develop into a larger commercial port
Currently (Sept 2006) the steam train is not running due to extensive flood damage caused to the Keimans river area. The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is the last steam hauled scheduled passenger train operating in South Africa taking in the scenery between George to Knysna. A single ticket would set you back R70 for adults & R50 for children with a return costing R80 & R60 respectively. During season 1/9 - 30/4 daily services except sunday Off Peak 1/5 - 31/8 service monday, wednesday & friday departs Knysna 9.45 arrives in George 12.30 so 2.5hrs journey Departs George 14.00 arrives back in Knysna 16.30 We did not do the train journey but did catch the train as it crossed our path in Brenton near Belvedere
If you have not done this before, then you must seize the moment and drive to the Elephant Sanctuary (not to be confused with the Elephant Park). The Elephant Sanctuary is situated approx 16km east of Plettenbergbay just before the turn-off to Nature's valley. at the moment they have 6 elephants there. Three from Botswana & three rescued from culling at the Kruger National Park.
The cost for 2 people to walk with the elephants thru the "forest" and then to ride the elephant for approx 40min is R990.
To be honest, I find even crossing the road a little daunting. So imagine my fear as I teetered on a tiny wooden platform 30m above the ground, the guide attaching me to the steel wire that stretched off into the distance. However, as soon as I persuade my shaking feet to step off the platform and I glided along the wire through the trees, my fear was replaced by a huge andrenalin rush!
The treetop canopy tours take place high up in the Tsisikamma Forest, and the wires are suspended between the 12 or so trees by tension alone. If you can stop worrying about falling, its an amazing feat of engineering to think about! You are always attached to either the wires themselves (2 attachments, a main and backup) or to the trees on the intermediary platforms.
This tour was an amazing experience, where else can you glide through the trees of a lush forest?! The tour is at once relaxing and thrilling, as you pull down on your wire to break before you reach the platform (break too soon, you're stuck in mid air, too late and you crash into your friends waiting for you!!).
As you need to get to the end to get down, this isn't a good idea if you think you might chicken out. There's only one exit slide about 2/3 way through, so you just have to keep going no matter how scared you are! But if you're in any way curious, DO IT! It's amazing!!
As it was raining on our trip I didn't see much in the way of wildlife, but once we'd come down from the treetops we saw a big group of baboons! Once you're back to Storms River Village you get lunch (included in price) and a certificate to prove you did it!