Interactive Map of Knysna / Plettenberg Bay region, Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa
Knysna and Plettenberg Bay region
The name Knysna is a Khoi word but it's uncertain
as to its exact meaning. It could mean 'place of wood', or it could
mean 'fern leaves', but its most probable meaning is straight down'
- an obvious reference to the Heads. Knysna Heads must be the most
striking geological features along the entire southern African coastline.
They flank a deep but potentially treacherous channel through which
the sea pours in to flood the wide and breathtakingly pretty lagoon
at the mouth of the Knysna River. Knysna's history began in the year
1804, the year that saw the arrival of George Rex, rumored to be the
illegitimate son of King George lll. He purchased the estate known
as Melkhoutkraal on the shores of the lagoon and moved his entire family
and considerable entourage down to Knysna to settle.
Knysna is one of the Southern Cape coast's best known holiday destinations,
situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful lagoon -
it offers many activities and attractions of a wide variety. The most
well known attraction being the heads - two great sandstone cliffs guarding
the mouth of the lagoon which connects the estuary with the sea. A lookout
has been erected on the Eastern Head, commanding spectacular views of
the lagoon, Leisure Isle and Knysna. The Western Head is a privately
owned nature Reserve - Featherbed Bay. The Knysna Lagoon is one of the
few places along the coast and in the world that supports a oyster hatchery.
And the Knysna oysters are reputedly among the tastiest in the world.
Originally christened "Bahia Formosa" (beautiful
bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay can now be accessed
first class national roads, by sea or by scheduled air flights.
The great forests lying at the feet of
the fabled Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains are the gateway to the
incredible indigenous African wealth
of Plettenberg Bay, which lies on South Africa's spectacular south coast
210 kms from Port Elizabeth and +/- 600 km from Cape Town. The Outeniqua-Tsitsikamma
indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape Fynbos and temperate
forest and offer the nature lover world-renowned hiking trails and an
exciting opportunity to see the last remaining forest elephants of South
Africa. The entire area teems with birdlife. Nearly 300 species are to
be found in the great variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest
No less than ten important nature reserves
embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine
reserves, home to soft
dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. The bay itself is
Nursery to the endangered Southern Right Whale which come here to calve
winter and spring (July to December).
The area is of course a sports paradise
and boasts fabulous trails for hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders
and canoeists. The highlight
of the area is undoubtedly the rivers, beaches and the bay with its ideal
conditions for all facets of watersports, including sailing in the safe
waters of the Bay, superb rock and surf fishing and scuba diving spots.
Alternately one can simply stroll along its clean, sandy beaches stretching
for miles along the Indian Ocean or enjoy its safe swimming areas. At
night, Plettenberg Bay is alive with pubs, night-spots and fine restaurants.
A wide range of accommodation offers luxury hotels, exclusive country
retreats, cosy bed and breakfasts, self-catering chalets and excellent
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