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Thesen Island has many small shops, cottages and bistros. Many of the houses are located directly on a canal and are directly accessed by the guests by boat during the holiday season. On Thesen Island there is a small oyster farm and packaging plant, the Knysna Oyster Company, which also has a small tavern with lagoon garden attached. Excellent for an oyster snack for lunch whilst travelling in along the Garden Route!
Thesen Island is located in the middle of Knysna’s large lagoon and is known for its luxury villas, which have almost all private boat access. For those who can not even drive with their own boat to the front door, the small island is connected by a road with the mainland and can also be visited.
From here you can plan countless activities: rent mountain bikes, kayaking, paragliding, pontoon cruises, fishing, whale / dolphin cruises, sailing and catamaran tours in and around the Tsitsikamma area.
The Knysna Lagoon is shielded from the ocean by the so-called Knysna Heads, two sandstone formations. The eastern formation can be reached by own vehicle, it has a viewpoint here. At the western end is the private Featherbed Nature Reserve, accessible by daily boat trips from Knysna Waterfront.
The name of this place, which has about 23,000 inhabitants, comes from the Khoi language. Its meaning is not fully understood, but Knysna seems to be called “the place of wood”.
Today, Knysna is a thriving city that is still consumed by fishing, the timber industry and other small industries, but is increasingly dedicated to the tourist sector. Around the bustling centre of the city are developing more and more holiday homes and residences of wealthy South Africans and Europeans.
Latest achievement is an apartment residence right on the harbour near the city centre, where the bridge leads over to Thesen Island. A bit grandiloquent, it is called the Knysna Waterfront. Boat trips that sail from the port and from Thesen Iceland from the lagoon. Especially recommended is the boat trip to the private Featherhead Nature Reserve (reserve beforehand) on the Western Head. She leaves the John Benn Jetty.
The waterfront of Knynsa with many nice restaurants and boat trips If you choose Knysna as your base for exploring along the Garden Route, we advise you to stay outside the city centre, e.g. near Thesen Island or in the west of the town centre.
Shady Main Street (N2) and its back streets feature many Victorian and modern buildings, with many shops and restaurants. Worth mentioning are two festivals, the Timber Timber Festival around Easter and the very popular Oyster Festival at the beginning of July, which is all about the coveted oyster.
Even before you reach the city from the east, a road sign points to the cemetery, where the final resting place of George Rex (George Rex Grave) is announced as an attraction. Incidentally, rumours say that Rex is an illegitimate son of England’s King George III.
Attractions in and around Knysna
- Knysna Waterfront
- Knysna Lagoon and Knysna Forest
- Featherbed Nature Reserve Knysna Elephant Park Pezula Golf Course
- Knysna Museum
- Millwood Gold Fields
- Knysna steam train ride “Outeniqua Choo-Choo”
- Kaaimans River railroad track
- Noetzie Beach