Where To Go (Grilled): Knysna

By Joshua

The second in a series of articles featuring cities and towns across South Africa, this edition focuses on the Garden Route town of Knysna.
Let’s begin by saying this, Knysna is a stoner’s paradise. One of the most beautiful places in the country, Knysna has it all. Rivers, estuaries, mountains (nearby), the ocean, and some of the most stunning forests in the world.
There are a couple of spots that you absolutely must visit when travelling to or through Knysna.
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The Knysna Heads
The entrance to Knysna from the ocean, the Knysna Heads is one of the 10 most dangerous passages in the world, and Lloyds of London refused to insure ships entering through the narrow gap. It is also one of the most picturesque places to be while grilled, with loads of trails to walk, as well as a shipwreck that you can snorkel and see.
It is even possible to surf in the heads, but the wave is very fickle, so you have to time your trip just right to catch it breaking.
Buffalo Bay
Buffalo Bay is a small seaside village about 20 kilometres away from Knysna, and is the most popular beach in the area. It is one of the best surf spots in the region, with waves ranging from foamies perfect to learn on, to big ol’ rippable walls.
Summer in Buffalo Bay is idyllic as the water warms up, and there is also a nearby river to explore if the ocean doesn’t do it for you. Take an edible and go spend the day, you will not be disappointed.
Jubilee Creek & Drupkelders
Located deep in the Knysna forest, near the small woodcutter village of Bibby’s Hoek, is a stunning picnic spot known as Jubilee Creek. It is the perfect spot to just chill out and spend a day suntanning and swimming in the Millwood Creek, a cool forest stream that runs through the picnic area. There is also a short hike to do, which takes you to another lovely swimming spot.
An open secret, Noetzie is a private beach with several “castles” built almost on the sand. It is hidden in the Sinclair Nature reserve, and although not necessary, it is advised to drive in a car with a bit of ground clearance. It was called “Noetziekamma” by the local Khoi people who used to live here, due to the dark waters of the Noetzie river.
You will feel like you are in another world here, especially if you’ve just smoked an indoor blunt.
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The Waterfront
A classic Knysna activity is to go and visit the Waterfront, which is filled with lovely restaurants and interesting shops. There is also a double-decker bridge that lifts up for boats to pass under, which is quite the sight to see. If you have the munchies, definitely pop by.
Knysna Friday Market
A quirky market located at the Knysna Montessori School, The Friday Market happens in the early evenings most Friday nights through the summer. There are a variety of different styles of cuisines to choose from, as well as a fully stocked bar. You definitely won’t be bored.
Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve
Home to one of the rarest butterflies in the world, this reserve is located just outside Brenton, which is itself just outside of Knysna, across the estuary. The Brenton Blue Butterfly lives within one hectare in the reserve, as is found nowhere else on earth. To catch a glimpse of these enigmatic creatures, time your visit to be there between October and December.
There are a host of other things to do in Knysna, including playing golf at some of South Africa’s best courses, and traversing the complex maze of rivers that can be found in the greater Knysna area.
Get out there and explore (especially if you’ve just smoked)!