When you first set eyes on Knysna, it will take your breath away. Mind you, after the drive from Wilderness, you might be expecting to see something spectacular any time soon. The road is never far from the sea, with the majestic Outeniqua mountains to the North and a high ridge to the South and every bend promises something new. You may not have realised it but the “ridge” is in fact a giant sand dune, swept up over the millennia from the sea beyond. In the late 19th Century, it was difficult to get far to the East of George due to the high mountains and deep gorges, so the area was virtually inaccessible to European travellers. That was until the arrival of Thomas Bain, who built most of the original roads across this challenging terrain. But in the days of the ox-cart, it was quite a journey.

Eventually the road starts to descend and after a fairly long downhill run, it curves to the right across a bridge and all of a sudden, the splendour of the Knysna Lagoon starts to open up beyond. Head on into town and gaze across the peaceful water towards the Heads and across the opposite side of the Lagoon, which is the road to Brenton.

Drive on into town and head down towards the Waterfront and Thesen Island, which is admittedly where the Tourists go, but it is as good a place as any to get to know what has become probably the most popular destination in South Africa. After a coffee or a meal, we’ll tell you a bit more about the place.

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