This little hamlet is set in the heart of the Garden Route and is an ideal point from which to explore the greater area or to find a niche and settle in for a few days.  Surrounded by forests and a huge lagoon, Knysna is any traveller’s dream.   It’s a small town, so walking around is a great way to get the feel of local life or to poke around the curious little shops and corners.


Eating out in Knysna is a pleasure. The variety of cuisine is wide, with the most sort after delicacy being oysters, but all gastronomic tastes being catered for.  The Waterfront holds many of the eateries and is an atmospheric and enjoyable venue.  Watch the yachts and cruise boats docking or leaving the harbour, while buskers and artists keep you entertained with delights.  Centre of town has more restaurants to roam, as well as nightlife clubs and quieter bars to frequent.  Daytime coffee shops serve delectable breakfasts and midday snacks.


When in the mood for adventure, Knysna has a bevy to choose from.  Hikers can meander the many trails that zigzag the mountains or cross through the forests; water sport fanatics can canoe, ski, dive, paddle or surf; adrenalin pushers can quad bike, horse ride or sky dive.  When your activity plate is full and you are looking for a more sedate way to spend the day, visit our local Rastafarians who love to share their story and their peaceful lifestyle ways.  The brewery is an interesting place to learn about and taste locally crafted beer or head down to quays for oyster tasting.


Knysna enjoys hosting festivals, and the middle months of the year give a variety of these – March the Literary Festival, April the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras, May the Simola Hillclimb and in July both the Oyster and the Wine festivals.  Each of these attract large numbers of visitors so book ahead if your travel plans are include these months.

While this may not be the biggest backpackers in the "Island Vibe" group, it is by far the BEST! Located right on Main Street, it's right around the corner from the supermarket and about a 5-10 minute walk to the main shops and restaurants at the Quay. The staff is super friendly and the in-house tour guide Oren is knowledgeable and willing to arrange any excursions you might be interested in (when you first arrive, he invites you on a FREE tour up to the Knysna Heads-- just make sure you tip him!!) After Bev, Island Vibe Knysna's cool front desk clerk, checks you in, you get a quick tour of the place then hit the bar for some good cheap drinks. Come night time, Adiel (I'm pretty sure that's his name) gets the fire going for a great braai and he'll probably challenge you to do a cannonball into the pool-- DO IT!! All the rooms are clean, and I watched them strip the beds after each guest checked out (I can't say the same for some of the other backpackers I stayed in on this trip). The kitchen is small, but big enough for a backpackers of this size, and you can sit outside with your coffee if the weather is nice or enjoy your breakfast on a large family-style dining room table (just don't try and move it because it took six of us to get it down the stairs!!) Overall, I stayed at backpackers from Cape Town to Jeffrey's Bay and this was easily my favorite one. Hope to see you guys again some day!!