The Perfect Knysna Travel Guide, Garden Route, SA

When it comes to my hometown of Knysna, often referred to as the 8th wonder of the world, it stole my heart years ago, so excuse me if i’m terribly biased in my description of it as I whole-heartedly believe its the prettiest and most special place in South Africa! 🙂

Knysna offers all of of the adventure and abandon of a luxury beach holiday from long days lazing at the white beaches or pool, to sunset cruses, leisurely strolls and adrenaline activities for the more adventurous.


Where to stay:

When it comes to picking the perfect place to stay – this is the number one place I would recommend – partially because it belongs to my clever mom but also because it is a multiple award winning luxury lodge located at a prime location of bollard bay on Leisure Island. It is an exceptional boutique hotel offering superb accommodation and brilliant service.

“Wake up to an orchestra of exotic birds, the slow and steady roll of waves and our delicious breakfasts served on the deck overlooking the lagoon. Take in one of the magnificent sunsets while sipping on a sun downer. Enjoy exciting contemporary cuisine, complimented by quality wines, in the elegant and intimate restaurant. Convivial evenings in the lounges and bar.”

If you enjoy luxury and sophisticated elegance, Leisure Island will delight you. It is an wonderfully stylish island perfect for a family vacation or a romantic gettaway with majestic views of the Knysna Heads. It is easy to explore the many attractions offered by Knysna and the rest of the Garden Route from Leisure Isle Lodge.

  • Leisure Isle Lodge ***** – A completely biased opinion as it belongs to my mommy 🙂 !


Where to eat:

Knysna and its surrounding areas have so much to offer when it comes to dining out you may not even have enough time to fit it all in.

  • Daniela’s @ Leisure Isle lodge, Knysna 

Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Daniela’s is an award winning restaurant at Leisure Isle Lodge. Tranquil lagoon views, soft music and candlelight create an unquestionable sense of style at Daniela’s, where fine dining and relaxed surrounds are served in equal measures.


  • Il de Pain, Theasen Island, Knysna  

Breakfast / Coffee / Lunch

Il de pain is by far the most popular and uniquely stylish artisian bakery and breakfast/lunch destination in Knysna. in fact there is alway, always a queue in season! But totally worth the wait. If you are a real foodie, this is the place for you!

“We are Ă®le de paĂŻn, a team of devoted indivduals; foodies, fundis, artisans, professionals + dreamers all waiting to welcome you to our magical cafĂ©. we are committed to honest food and superlative service, upholding heritage and embracing evolution, supporting traditional farmers + local suppliers, developing people and creating communityLe Petit Pain, Knynsa Town”


  • Mon Petit Pain, Knysna 

Breakfast /  Coffee / Lunch

Fresh breads and pastries are delivered from Ile de Pain every morning and menu items vary from freshly baked bread with butter, to gourmet BLTs with the works. Its a smaller version of Il de Pain but no longer run by them.


  • East Head Cafe, Knysna Heads


Breakfast / Coffee / Lunch

If you are looking for exceptional views East Head Cafe looks straight through the Knysna Head’s. The food is simple and fresh and well made and the location is simply spectacular!


  • CafĂ© Throbb, Knysna Town


Breakfast / lunch

CafĂ© Throbb is a cute industrial/vintage styled cafĂ©/restaurant in the heart of Knysna with a slant towards local and health foods. Rustic tables, minute herb pot plants on the table settings and the natural furnishings all set the tone for a warm and organic ambience. Throbb serves everything from sandwiches to burgers and pizza’s.


  • Marios, Knysna Waterfont 

Lunch / Dinner

Cafe Mario’s is a well-loved local authentic Italian cafĂ© that serves all the classic Italian dishes and is perfect for a casual meal.


  • Fresh Line Fishery

Lunch / Dinner

This is one of my absolute favourites restaurants in the area! The food is magnificently fresh and full of flavour! If you are a foodie this fish restaurant is amazing, the setting and atmosphere are great and the staff are very friendly!

P.S – Remember to bring your own wine 🙂


  • Tapas, Thesean Island

Lunch / Dinner

If you are looking for a fun and festive night out Tapa’s is the place. They have great live music every night during season that guests can enjoy whist enjoying various tapas options from sushi to chicken wings and pizza’s. The food is good, the vibe is electric and the setting is on the water and truly beautiful. For the real party animals they have a Battle Shots game that guests can request as well as a beer funnel.


  • Dirt Therapy, Plett

Coffee / Lunch

Dirt Therapy is an indigenous plant nursery located on the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay.

“Our bespoke nursery is small, but the plants are well chosen and the collection of gifts, books and accessories delightful. If you’re after an unusual plant, large tree or a delicious cup of coffee, Dirt Therapy is your perfect destination.”

*See post about Dirt Therapy


  • Enrico’s, Plett

Lunch / Dinner

Enrico’s is a great Italian restaurant in Plettenberg Bay overlooking the sea and at a prime location for spotting dolphins and whales. This is a wonderful place for a late lunch or early dinner with dramatic views and a fantastic family night out.


  • Newstead Lund Family Vineyard, The Cragg’s, Plettenberg Bay


An absolute  favourite of mine! Newstead is a fantastic day out for lunch, overlooking the mountains in Plett guests enjoy freshly cooked picnic type meals while enjoying amazing wines from the Vineyard.


  • Phantom Forrest Eco Reserve, Knysna


Dinner at the Boma is international cuisine with local colour was served in the classic style.


  • Emily Moon’s,  Plett


Set on the banks of the Bitou River in Plettenberg Bay, Emily Moon River Lodge is an exclusive boutique hotel and restuarant and curio shop with a quirky attitude and a distinctly African air.

“Emily’s boasts the most exquisite of dining halls. The spirit of Africa is in every archway, every antique table and in the collectors’ items which adorn every nook and cranny. Feast your eyes on Kelims, Samburu spears, sculptures, old photographs, maps, paintings and everything else that breathes the rich textures of Africa. Lunch by the pool or dine by candlelight and remember the experience for the rest of your life.”


What to do:

  • Visit the Knynsa View Points
  • Bollard Bay,Leisure Isle, Knynsa
  • Coney Glen, The Heads, Knynsa
  • Brenton-on-sea
  • Buffalo Bay
  • Robberg, Plettenberg Bay
  • Main Beach, Plettenberg Bay


Adventure Activities:

Forest Activities:
  • Tsitsikamma Forest Tours
  • Tsitsikamma Segway Tours
  • Tsitsikamma Forest Hike
  • Knynsa Hike and Bike
  • Eden Adventures
Wild Life:
  • Cango Caves
  • Monkeyland
  • The Elephant Sanctuary, The Craggs
  • Safari Ostrich Show Farm
  • Trip Out
Sky Diving:
  • Sky Diving Plettenberg Bay
  • Pezula, Knysna
  • Simola, Knynsa
  • Fancourt Championship Golf Course, George







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *