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We all aspire to travel and be tourists. As September is Tourism Month, an annual celebration focused on the importance of tourism in every economy, we can be a tourist in our own town and country. By being reminded to rediscover the environment within which we live, we encourage everyone to re-appreciate the reasons why we live here.

Visit Knysna, the Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) for Greater Knysna, is launching a treasure hunt-type initiative in celebration of Tourism Month 2019, encouraging locals and visitors to Discover Our World by following clues to various locations in and around our area. “With so much to see and do here in the heart of the Garden Route, we want people to rediscover the sights, experiences and spirit of our beautiful location”, says Visit Knysna General Manager, Colleen Durant.

This activation will launch on the 1 September with clue cards being available at the Visit Knysna office at 40 Main Road, Knysna, our information outlet at the Fijnbosch Coffee Shop, 31 Main Road, Sedgefield or downloadable from our website www.VisitKnysna.co.za .

Participation includes visiting at least 10 of the 18 clues on a clue card. There, take a selfie with the clue – be sure to include your clue card in your selfie – and tag @VisitKnysna and @VisitSedgefield with #DiscoverOurWorld. The initiative includes many local businesses and products who have offered specials and prizes to "discoverers" who are led by the clues to their establishments.

During the course of the month, there are prizes to be won or discounts to be issued by some of the participating products. On World Tourism Day, this being 27 September, we will end the fun with a few lucky draw prizes, hampers of locally made products, for participants that tagged correctly.

WESGRO, Cape Town and the Western Cape’s Destination Marketing Organisation, will also for the month of September be promoting special offers in the Western Cape area. Follow them on Social Media for more details: @discoverctwc

From 23 – 29 September 2019, South African Tourism will also be hosting a Sale Week with special offers from products and establishments from all over the country. Keep an eye on their website for more details: www.deals.southafrica.net .

We challenge everyone to get out, explore, have fun and even possibly win!

Enquiries :
Nadine Kidd
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+27 (0)44 382 5510

Published in Tourism Month

Below is a list of accommodation establishments offering specials or treasures valid for September 2019 to ‘discoverers’ with Clue Cards only.



Clue Card



Belvidere Manor


15% Discount on accommodation


Forest Valley Cottages


10% Discount on accommodation

15% Discount voucher

Jembo’s Lodge


10% Discount on accommodation


Knysna Belle


15% Discount on accommodation


Thesen Lifestyle


10% Discount on accommodation


Laguna Grove


15% Discount on accommodation


Rexford Manor


20% Discount on accommodation

30% Discount voucher

Knysna River Club


50% Discount on accommodation

Free Jacuzzi access voucher


Available to all participating ‘discoverers’ with clue cards containing the relevant product / establishment.

Available to ‘discoverers’ with clue cards, identified by the relevant products / establishments on specific dates as treasure winners.


Visit www.visitknysna.co.za for more details and remember to challenge your friends and family to Discover Our World!

Published in Tourism Month

One in four people are being diagnosed with ‘auto immune’ diseases. Depression, inflammation (pain), allergies are on the rise. Stress has become a serious problem for most of the population.

Is it true that if an organ isn’t functioning properly just remove it?

Is it true that your body is attacking itself?

How sure are you?

Wellness practitioners need to collaborate more for the highest good and ‘healing’ of the people they serve. No one person has all the answers.

There is a rise of Holistic Wellness businesses across the globe where a single space incorporates a variety of offerings to support clients in achieving mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellness and balance.

Holistic Wellness encompasses the food and beverages we eat and drink, how we move our body, how we keep our mind healthy, healthy thoughts, healthy spirit, healthy energy. Our wellness is influenced internally by our thoughts, metabolic processes and toxicity and externally by the air we breathe to the substances, stressors and people we are exposed to.

Gateway to Wellness is a collaboration launched in Knysna, for the Garden Route, which aspires to offer clients worldwide some of the smartest and all-round balanced assistance, support and solutions to their wellness.

Gillian O’Shea, Specialised Kinesiologist is spear heading this collaboration together with Melody Fourie, Doctor of Nutrition.

The Garden Route, especially Knysna, has amazing healing energy. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And its best kept secret – it houses many talented, connected holistic wellness practitioners, light workers and healers!

Getaway to Wellness 20192.jpg

Gillian O’ Shea (Specialised Kinesiologist) Mel Fourie (Doctor of Nutrition) Andre Slabbert (Naturologist) Vicky Booyens (Ozone & Cryo therapist) Marion Witte (Iyengar yoga)

“I have brought together a collaboration of like-minded professionals who share my vision and I offer this to clients in a programme called Gateway to Wellness.’ The current core team consists of five but it will be expanding to additional practitioners within the Garden Route who resonate with this concept.”

The programmes are available online, on a day to day basis at our various practises and through wellness retreats that we host along the Garden Route so anyone in the world can benefit.

The wellness programmes address auto immune diseases, stress & adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance, weight management and recuperation after surgery and trauma.

Our clients get holistic, personalised, customised overall solutions to their wellbeing. There is a sense of community, collaboration for each person’s highest good, a safe place for sharing and growing and lots of support.

Regular monthly workshops

We also launch this month with wellness talks and workshops with the purpose of sharing and informing people on subjects concerning mind body balance and showcasing some of the wonderfully gifted practitioners in our area. This takes the form of Wellness Wednesdays, every last Wednesday of the month, hosted at the Knysna Theatre. Parts of the proceeds of these events will go to supporting the theatre as we believe this is an asset to Knysna and needs community support behind it.

If you seek a new way of living, a formula for wellness, guidance in undoing the harm from stress and lifestyles and a yearning to adopt a healthier and happier daily routine; we invite you to experience the healing, soul rejuvenating energy of these healing programmes, offered in the wonderful surroundings of Knysna which in itself is a healing and nurturing environment.

You can subscribe to our monthly mailers if you want to stay informed.




Published in Things to do

Visit Knysna is pleased to announce that Fijnbosch Coffee Shop has been awarded a contract to partner with us in providing local tourism information in Sedgefield.   Colleen Durant, General Manager of Visit Knysna said “we are extremely excited about this new contract to deliver local tourism information of the highest standard on behalf of the community”. The contract is initially for 12 months, and Visit Knysna will ensure the service levels required by the town, and by the municipality, are adhered to.

Fijnbosch Coffee Shop is located at 31 Main Service Road which is in the middle of the business area and an ideal location for foot traffic.

The contract was awarded following a rigorous process.

  • Initially, a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued for the Sedgefield Tourism Office, and a tender process followed. This was done as we believe it was the most transparent process to follow and in line with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act that needed to be adhered to.
  • Adverts were placed locally and local suppliers particularly were encouraged to apply. Two proposals were received but unfortunately neither proposal had the relevant compliance documents attached. Further requests were made to the applicants and an extended deadline given, but compliance could not be met.
  • In light of this, the evaluation committee stopped the process, and it was decided to change the scope of to a smaller and more manageable concept.
  • A Request for Quotations (RFQ) was therefore drafted, and the original applicants were encouraged to apply and for transparency, the RFQ was also published on the e-Tender platform. 
  • On 27 June, a bid committee made up of senior staff from Wesgro and Visit Knysna convened to review and discuss each of the proposals received. Their task was to:
    • Ensure that the correct information had been submitted in terms of the requirements of the PFMA process
    • Ensure that the requirements of the RFQ were properly understood and could be met by the bidders
    • Review and compare the proposed costs
  • The price was calculated according to the 80/20 BEE Level contribution.  The cost aspect was calculated for the full costs, which included the monthly cost for 12 months as well as start-up costs.
  • The points for each proposal were calculated and highest scorer was the proposal submitted by the Fijnbosch Coffee Shop.
  • The Committee agreed that not only was the proposal submitted by the local Coffee Shop the most cost effective, it also showed the best understanding of the requirements of the project and met all of the relevant requirements.
  • Fijnbosch Coffee Shop demonstrated that they have the required experience and space to be able to meet the need for the satellite tourism outlet at a very competitive monthly cost.

Durant commented further to say that she is “very happy to have finally reached this point of appointment for a satellite office is Sedgefield.  As we will work closely with the stakeholders in the Sedgefield community, tourism can now be the winner.  Fijnbosch will be an outlet for information on behalf of Visit Knysna and the products in the vicinity, whilst also being a platform for collating statistics.  The staff will be expected to work hand in hand with the main office and we welcome their interaction and support”.

Media Enquiries:

Colleen Durant

Visit Knysna :  General Manager
044 382 5510

083 786 7559

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Published in News snippets
Thursday, 25 July 2019 10:44

2019 Leisure Isle Festival dates announced.

The ever-popular annual Leisure Isle Festival will be held on the weekend of 9th and 10th November 2019. A week later than usual to avoid a clash with the Rugby World Cup Final, the organisers are looking to do even better than last year’s Festival which raised over R300,000 for 8 local charities. Booking of Festival sites opens on Thursday 1st August and can be done online from our website  www.leisureislefestival.co.za. Paper application forms will be available at Sotheby’s offices on Leisure Isle, Thesen Islands and at Woodmill Lane as well as at Sedgefield.

The Festival will be held on the ‘village-green’ atmosphere of Kingsway Park on Leisure Isle. This is the 17th Festival which has raised a total of nearly R2.0M for charities since its very small beginnings in 2003. The event, organised by a group of volunteers, aims to provide opportunities for local charities to participate and raise funds to benefit the wider Knysna community and to provide local crafters and small businesses with a market-place for their high quality products. Once again special efforts will be made to provide local emerging crafters with an opportunity to showcase their products. This year there will be 9 beneficiary charities - Knysna Animal Welfare, e’Pap Children Feeding Scheme, Hospice, Steenbok Nature Reserve, Vermont Old Age Home, LoerieHof, Die Werkswinkel and Ithemba

There will be a mouth-watering array of food and drink, as well as art and crafts, toys, a huge array of books, indigenous and other plants and many other delights. A number of the stalls including book sales, pancake stalls, the wine and beer bar and tea garden will be run by participating charities. A strong focus this year will be on the provision of learning activities for children. Queen Bee, Knysna Basin Project and Steenbok Nature Reserve stalls will provide environmental displays, face painting, colouring competitions and treasure hunts in addition to more energetic activities such as a jumping castle.

The organising committee convenor, Niall Johnston, said he was delighted that the Festival’s founding sponsor, Sotheby’s International Realty Knysna, is continuing its vital support and wished to thank them and all the other sponsors and supporters. Without their help, said Johnston, there would be no Festival. Leisure Isle Residents Association have again endorsed and facilitated the event. Each year the Festival becomes more costly and complex to stage -if other organisations or businesses would like to support the Festival in some way please contact Niall Johnston – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Peter Smith - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The organising committee this year comprises: Niall Johnston (convenor), Peter Smith, Bob Hunt, Chris Kay, Sheena Mare, Natalie Scanlen, Libby Gibb and Iain Butchart.

For further information please contact:

Niall Johnston - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Peter Smith - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events

There will be lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family at this year’s SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour at the SPUR Race Village where families are invited to spend time before, during and after the events.

The cycle tour takes place on Sunday 23 June at the Knysna High School Sports Field with three different routes and distances for different age groups:

2-4 years – 400 m:
A circular loop on the field. The ride is open to anything on wheels including prams, pushbikes, tricycles, small bicycles with training wheels and scooters. Helmets are recommended. All accompanying adults must be on foot.

5-7 years – 1,5 km:
From the field to Hedge Street, then Waterfront Drive, onto the old railway line, past the station to turn at the turntable, then back to Hedge Street and onto the field for the finish. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.

8-10 years – 2,5 km:
As per the 1,5 km race, but riders will continue along the railway track to Long Street, turn into Waterfront Drive and then back to field. This ride is small bicycle-friendly, and helmets are compulsory. Accompanying adults may be on foot or bicycle.

Entry fees are R100 for the first rider and R50 per child for additional family members. Registration will be from 07h30 – 08h30 and the first start is at 09h00. There will be medals and goodie bags for every participant. Parents and guardians should wear flat, comfortable shoes if they want to follow their younger children on foot!

Don’t forget to dress up because there are great prizes for the best dressed participant, parent and ride! So, make sure you pimp your ride before the start!

Ongoing entertainment at the SPUR Race Village will include face painters and cheerleaders.

The SPUR Children’s Cycle Tour forms part of the annual Knysna Cycle Tour. The event is all about fitness and fun and is a great way to entertain the kids and family. You can enter your children online before 14 June at www.knysnacycle.co.za.

Published in Festivals & events

Route Manager Andrew Finn said that there is an exciting new route for the longer road race, which is now a 104 km ride. Says Finn: “The route will take riders on a thrilling, scenic adventure through one of the most picturesque sections of the Garden Route, revealing stunning views of ocean and beach, mountains and pristine forest along the way.

“Leaving and returning to Knysna along the N2, cyclists will experience the Knysna Lagoon then, after the first big climb up Kytersnek they will turn off to Buffalo Bay with all its beautiful views of the sea en route to what is arguably the best beach and surfing spot in the Knysna area. Then, after another stretch along the N2, there will be some great climbs through natural forests and farmlands on the way up to Barrington.

“The most interesting addition to this race is a brief 2,1 km gravel pass along the Seven Passes Road between Barrington and Karatara. From Karatara, it’s fast downhill all the way back to the N2.”

The tour’s MTB routes have been designed and are being maintained by a group of keen local cyclists led by Stuart Lightley, Greg Penrith and David Correia who volunteer their time and promote the beautiful tracks available in Knysna’s backyard at every opportunity.

Lightley explains: “I was asked to contribute to a route redesign for the 30 and 50 km MTB routes and to incorporate more single track, making the routes more fun and technically challenging. The idea with both the mountain and road events is to show off some of the areas where the Knysna locals ride.

“I’ve been riding mountain bikes and exploring the Knysna forests for almost 30 years and know the forest quite well. I enjoy the more technical type of riding, and actively help and encourage others to improve their technical skills. With this in mind, I have built tens of kilometres of single track, mostly in the Concordia Contours Trails area, to the north of Knysna, near Simola. We have selected a number of these trails for the mountain bike events.”

Says Finn: “The end result is that this year, for the first time, our 50 km and 30 km MTB events will take participants along routes created by locals.  After the climb up the Simola hill both routes will use single track sections designed and built by these local track designers and builders which will add a new dimension to both events.

“Our official route managers, Corne Botha and Pat October from Jakhals Events in Oudtshoorn will oversee safety, the marshals, and all signage on these routes amongst other things.”

The MTB races have all had exciting single track added to the first sections of the route, including a lap of the stunning Oakhill School purpose-designed track, the Life of Brian single track link to Narnia Village, the Knysna Montessori single track to the drop-off onto the Salt River farm track, and the iconic SANParks single-track Petrus Se Brand through to Harkerville.

Once back at the finish on the Knysna High School sports field there’ll be plenty of entertainment for the whole family and time for cyclists to relax with food from local food stalls, listen to some music and enjoy a beer or two.

Online entries for the Knysna Cycle Tour races close on 14 June. For more information and to enter go to the website: www.knysnacycle.co.za.

Published in Festivals & events

When was the last time you hiked through the beautiful Knysna Forests, swam in the magnificent Knysna Estuary or had Sunday Lunch at one of our great local restaurants?

The 2019 Knysna Oyster Festival is arranged and hosted by locals and we are proud to announce that it will be one of the best yet! We always say “support local”, so why not get out there and enjoy our beautiful area, with drinks at The Turbine Hotel (22 & 28 June), Burgers at the Burger Exchange (22 June), Forest Hikes with the family, Live music with friends (27 June) and a round of golf at the Pezula Golf Course (27, 28 & 29 June).

Get out your camera for the Woodcutter’s Trail (25 June) and River of Gold Forest Walk (27 June), tie your shoes laces for the FNB family hike or trail run (24, 26 & 28 June), hold your breath for the Lagoon Mile Swim (28 June) or get involved in one of the sport tournaments, many of these being hosted by the ever-friendly Hornlee community.

Not the outdoor type? Enjoy a Murder Mystery Dinner (28 June), book a babysitter for the Not So Secret Something (adult only) Comedy Show (23 June) or attend the Flavours of Knysna (26 June) for some really good food!

We have something for everyone and invite, encourage and challenge you to make the most of this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival!

Visit the website www.KnysnaOysterFestival.co.za for more details of our fully packed programme and regularly updated eatery and activity specials.

Enquiries :
Nadine Kidd
Visit Knysna Information & Promotion Office
40 Main Road, Knysna
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events

There’ll be oysters (of course there will!) at this year’s ‘Flavours of Knysna’ - the Knysna Oyster Festival’s annual cooking competition - but they won’t be the subject of the competition itself.

Instead, that honour will go to the versatile canapé when local chefs come out to play on Wednesday, 26 June.
“The idea is to highlight the many talents of the chefs by allowing them to cast their nets more widely than they could when we limited entries to oysters alone,” said the event’s organiser, Picca de Bruin. “Now they can make any kind of canapés they like - sweet or savoury, meat or vegan - and the guests will judge them, and vote on them, accordingly.”
Ms. de Bruin said that opening the competition means that restaurants and chefs who don’t normally serve oysters will now be able to show off their own, unique culinary skills and styles.

Prizes will be awarded for the best canapé, as well as for the best stand.

“We’ll be bringing everything about the evening back to Knysna this year in order to make a real local meal of it, and to shine the spotlight on our local chefs and their restaurants,” said Ms. de Bruin.

This, she explained, covers everything from sponsorships to entertainment. Music for the evening, for example, will be provided by Knysna’s stalwart DJ, Alan Sass - remember Al's Dance Club? - while the oysters will be supplied by the home of the Knysna Oyster, 34 South. Drinks at the cash bar will come from local breweries and Knysna’s own gin distillery, and gifts in the guests’ goodie bags will be locally sourced wherever possible.

“Sponsors this year include the Knysna Mall, Metelerkamps, Bosch, 34 South, Acton Signs, and Blitsdruk, and we’ve also received unstinting cooperation from the Knysna Municipality, which will provide us with logistical assistance,” said Ms. de Bruin.

Having organised events in Knysna over a period of nearly two decades - more often than not on limited budgets - Ms. de Bruin is keen to encourage new and emerging event organisers to work with local businesses, rather than hoping only for large corporate sponsorships.

“It’s important for the Knysna Oyster Festival to have strong, popular, midweek events, which shore up confidence in the festival, and which inevitably become important showcases when you’re out looking for sponsorships in the future,” she said.

“Producing an event without major corporate sponsorship is a major challenge, but you have to understand that every little bit helps - and that many small local businesses would be happy to come on board, if only you ask them to. This is how we’re doing it this year - with no naming sponsor, but with the generous help of many, many local contributors.
“It’s a two-way street, of course - local business supports us, and we support local business. And that’s what the Knysna Oyster Festival should always be all about.”

The Knysna Oyster Festival’s Flavours of Knysna canapé cooking competition will take place upstairs in the Knysna Mall on Wednesday, 26 June, at 18h00. Tickets - at R 220.00 per person (cash only) - will be on sale at the tourism information office at 40 Main Street from Monday, 27 May.

More information: Picca de Bruin, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events

One of the Western Cape’s most hotly anticipated events, the iconic Knysna Oyster Festival, will take place from 21-30 June and includes a diverse range of things to do for those looking to explore the Greater Knysna area this winter.

This year’s festival goers can expect an even bigger range of unique experiences than ever before - including everything from cycling to running, a wine festival to a pianist, fun runs and kiddies activities, and burgers to oysters in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the country. A full programme is attached to the release.
Visit Knysna's General Manager, Colleen Durant, adds, “This year’s Knysna Oyster Festival offers something for everyone. The community have taken ownership of the event again, which means 10 full days of exploring everything that the Greater Knysna area has to offer; whether it’s an activity that is always on offer or something set up specifically for the festival days, visitors and locals will be spoilt for choice.”

Download the Knysna Oyster Festival programme and promotions here:
Knysna Oyster Festival Programme
Knysna Oyster Festival Restaurant Promotions

This famous festival, now in its 36th year, adds to the region’s abundance of tourism activities for all ages and continues to draw local and international guests looking for adventure. Visit Knysna recently underwent a brand refresh, including a compelling and vibrant new logo, which encapsulates what this beautiful destination stands for.

“The Oyster Festival is the Knysna highlight of the year and a very valuable asset to all locals in Knysna. I am proud to see the commitment of the local community and other stakeholders to ensure that the Knysna Oyster Festival will see the 36th event take place. With a new local look and feel the this year’s event, I want to encourage all our locals and visitors alike to embrace this event. It is a vital boost to the local economy of our town during the winter months and will certainly give the town a warm glow of excitement with all the varied sports and vibrant food and entertainment events to suit the many diverse tastes of all who attend.” said Mark Willemse, Knysna Executive Mayor.

The Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities, Beverley Schafer added: "Traditionally, the Oyster Festival has been a major tourism draw card for Knysna, creating an important economic boost in the region during the winter season. This year's event, with its new look and feel will showcase a number of the adventure, gourmand and family tourism offerings available in the area, helping to stimulate growth in the town's tourism and hospitality markets."

Knysna Oyster Festival 2019 event highlights include: iKASI Colour Fun Run on the 22nd, the FNB Family Forest Hike on the 24th, The Woodcutters Trail – a guided 3km forest walk on the 25th, the Lofts Atrium’s “out of this world” craft gin and food experience on the 27th and Turbine Hotel’s “Liquid Sunsets”, with live music on the 28th.

Wesgro’s CEO, Tim Harris, praised the Knysna Oyster Festival and the Knysna tourism sector for helping create a world-class destination that adds significantly to the tourism economy of the Western Cape. "Tourism is a key economic driver in our province, supporting over 300,000 jobs. Events like these are a critical part of this tourism offer, and we thank all stakeholders who are involved in making this a success. We are incredibly excited about this year's Knysna Oyster Festival, and we encourage everyone who loves

Knysna as much as we do to go and visit during this exciting time. It promises to be the coolest winter break yet!"
Travellers are encouraged to visit the official website, www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za, to explore the calendar, discover more and book to experience the festival of all festivals.

Media Enquiries:

Russel Brueton
Chief Communications Officer
082 815 6020
021 487 8600
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Festivals & events
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