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Release: Immediately
Date: 13 November 2020
Building on the Western Cape domestic campaign, “We are Open” – “Get That Faraway Feeling”, Knysna Municipality and Visit Knysna hosted an event to officially launch an exciting domestic campaign for the greater Knysna area, aimed at showcasing the various hotspots in the region that can be on everyone’s bucket list.
The Knysna domestic campaign showcases the depth and breadth of experiences that the greater Knysna area has on offer. With the festive season around the corner, whatever you are looking for, you will find it in Knysna, with our Forests, Mountains, Sea and Markets. That faraway feeling is closer than you think. So our call to action is VISIT KNYSNA. The Greater Knysna area should absolutely be on every-ones bucket list.
The launch, which was also attended by local media and key influencers in the region was held on the 13th of November 2020, at the Project Bar, Thesen Harbour Town in Knysna where the Executive Mayor of Knysna, Elrick van Aswegen said, “Knysna is open and waiting. Our tourism partners and operators are ready to welcome our domestic visitors and to give them a holiday experience they will never forget. With adventures to be had throughout the greater Knysna area, we are proud of the quality and calibre of the offerings available to travellers. The municipality stands by our tourism industry and supports them in rebuilding this vital component of our local economy.”
The campaign, running initially for a period of four months, is digitally-led. It follows a smart, re-marketing approach by targeting audiences that have been built online previously for optimisation, and engages users that have shown interest in the region. Kicking off mid-November 2020, the collateral will be live on Instagram, Facebook and Google, accessible across all devices and built for mobile.
Visit Knysna General Manager, Colleen Durant said: "We are very excited that through this campaign we can promote the various locations within the greater Knysna area with each area having unique offerings. Rheenendal is different to that of Sedgefield, which varies to Knysna and these experiences have been captured here. We look forward to welcoming visitors to our beautiful, unique and diverse destination."
By building familiarity with audiences across the country, the Visit Knysna campaign reminds travellers why the destination is simply world-class, with all the variety one could dream of. With forests, beaches, mountains and lagoons, Knysna has long been favoured as a “must-see” for travellers around the world. The town’s tourism portal - visitknysna.co.za – has comprehensive information to showcase year-round events and activities to create even more interest.
“Many South Africans have not had the opportunity to experience the extraordinary set of experiences and accommodation options the greater Knysna area offers. This campaign will remind domestic travellers of how successfully Knysna competes on the world stage as a destination” said Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris.
To view the Knysna Tourism Campaign video, visit: https://youtu.be/Mo4TpM4Xgh0



 Get that Faraway Feeling right here in Cape Town and the Western Cape:



Experience Bali in the Garden Route: https://bit.ly/3jVvmVE

How to travel to Bali, Greece, Italy and more without leaving the country

The Western Cape government is using the newly launched “We Are Open” tourism campaign to attract domestic travellers.

Together with Wesgro, the team hosted events in Johannesburg and Durban to showcase their new campaign videos.

- IOL : https://bit.ly/3mWH4Bj





Introducing Rose and Susan, organisers of the multi award-winning Wild Oats Farmers' Market in Sedgefield – Open every Saturday from 08h00 to 12h00.

-What inspired you to start this market?

As a partnership team, we realised in the mid 90’s that the Garden Route needed a viable marketing opportunity for small scale organic farmers & food producers through direct sales to the customer. Also being health-minded farmers we were concerned with how and where our food was produced.  The aim was to research & support other passionate, local food producers. 

Rose had previously started a farmers market in the early 1990’s (from the ground up) for a school in Midrand.  Based on it’s success as a fundraising option for the school, Rose realised this could also be a viable answer to our social & food interests here in the Garden Route.  We had become aware that very few fun, socialising opportunities were available in what was a rather economically depressed Garden Route at that time… so Wild Oats was our creative response to our own personal needs.

-What makes this market unique?

Wild Oats stands unique as the only dedicated farmers & food market in South Africa.  It has been the focus of 6 international documentaries and won nearly a dozen awards as an outstanding food & tourism venue.

-Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this market or something else that you would like to add?

ROSE BRETTELL has an accomplished background in social responsibility & fundraising for NGOs.  SUSAN GARNER has a successful background in graphics, cartoon animation & architecture.

Introducing local, Gillian O’Shea, wellness practitioner and founder of Gateway to Wellness in Knysna.


What inspired you to start this business?

I take great pleasure in assisting people to feel deeply regenerated, relaxed, and aligned in their bodies.  Even as a young child I felt ‘aware’ and ‘in-tune’ with others’ happiness or distress and felt a personal desire to do what I can to make things better. Today I know the term as being an empath.

In 2003 my life changed when a book found its way to me. It changed my life, literally. ‘You can heal your life’ by Louise Hay is still a book I turn to today for guidance and inspiration. I have gifted it to many clients and friends. If you have not read it, do yourself a favour and get a copy.

Because of this book I pursued Kinesiology 16 years ago. It is the one modality that powerfully combines Mind-Body balance by connecting with the body as the messenger. The universe has a way of sending you what you need right on time when you need it.

I was at the time living in Johannesburg, a national sales manager for a few online and print brands with a staff complement of around 15. I was financially responsible for a parent and dealing with quite a bit of stress and unresolved trauma from my upbringing.

During this same time, while vacationing in Knysna, I was also led to a kinesiologist called Jaqi Lee who was practising kinesiology here and I was blown away with the two sessions I experienced with her. I was suffering from debilitating back and neck pain and she was able to tune into my body and release stress around relationship issues between me and my mother. Needless to say, the pain went away. 

What makes your business unique?

I believe there are 3 main reasons for imbalance namely Stress (perceived or real), Toxicity and Pathogens. Some ‘symptoms’ of imbalance are pain, weight gain, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, sugar imbalance, adrenal fatigue, depression, blood pressure issues, thyroid issues, inflammation immune diseases and ‘allergies. Hence these tend to be some of the symptoms that my clients present with when searching for help.

Through the brand that I created called Gateway to Wellness, there is now a proper whole-systems integrated approach to client care. Our team facilitate healing on all levels, and we provide whatever nutritional support and natural medicines are also required for this process.

Isolation and not feeling heard also cause serious stress. Sometimes a person just needs someone to listen and a safe space to share. I believe I am an incredibly good listener.

Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this business or something else that you would like to add?

I am also passionate about sustainable whole systems living, permaculture, growing and eating organic produce and expressing creativity. I assist people with implementing food gardens and I also teach people how to grow their food and how to make fermented foods.

I practice from Knysna and my teaching and services are also provided online so anyone, anywhere can contact me for assistance.

Meet Gareth Patterson, local researcher, speaker and author of The Secret Elephants (2009) and Beyond the Secret Elephants (2020), amongst others.

-What inspired you to write these books?

I was inspired to write these books as they are a way of creating much needed public awareness about the plight of the African lion and Africa's elephants.


-What makes your books unique?

I do not know if my books are unique, but they certainly give the reader an insight, through my journey and relationship with these animals, of how we urgently need to greater protect lions and elephants. To put this into some context, when I wrote my first book about lions back in 1988, Cry for the Lions, it was estimated that the continental population of the lion might have been some 250,000. Today, conservationists estimated that the lion population in Africa could be as low as 15,000. Trophy hunting, poaching and the loss of habitat are the causes of this severe decline. We need to reverse this if our children's children are to be able to witness lions in the wilds.


-Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / your books or something else that you would like to add?

I was raised in west, east and southern Africa and my entire adult life has been dedicated to the greater protection of the African lion and Africa's elephants. I have written about my life in the wilds in twelve internationally published books, and my work has been the subject of three documentaries, In Tribute to George Adamson, Shadows of Gold and Gray, and the Animal Planet documentary, The Search for the Knysna Elephants.

I live in a little wooden cabin on the edge of the Knysna forest where years ago I rediscovered and researched into the then thought to be 'functionally extinct' Knysna elephants (the subject of my book, The Secret Elephants) and it is where today I continue to do research, including into the previously undocumented existence of what seems to be relic hominoid beings, known locally for generations as the Otang (the subject of my recently published book, Beyond the Secret Elephants). Here, on the edge of the Knysna forest, I also conduct with small groups of guests, The Secret Elephants Forest Experience (for more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), a unique and personalised experience exploring the magical and mystical world of the Knysna elephants.

For people wanting to know more about my research and books, my website is www.garethpatterson.com and my Facebook page is  www.facebook.com/gareth.patterson.77

Meet Pam Snyman, Owner of Up Close & Personal Tours and Senior Vice President Skal International South Africa.


-What inspired you to start this business?

 A Passion for tourism. I am originally from Durban where I worked in sales in car hire, conferencing, a game lodge and travel.  During this time I won the Pearle Siedle Gibson award for my contribution in tourism.  (This  award was named after a lady who would sing to the armed forces when they arrived at Durban Harbour to encourage them).

We relocated to the Garden Route where I worked in sales for Budget/Bidvest and then opened my own company. I have always been passionate about creating tours and skills training, which is why some of my tours are built around skills development and connecting young people in the industry.


-What makes your business unique?

 Personal attention to detail and hands-on service.    Creating an unique tour by “painting a picture” for the client.  Skills training in tourism is essential:  not to create jobs but to create careers. Opportunity for investors. Our tours are tailor-made and personally arranged so tourists can have an experience in South Africa and interact with our people: 
The culinary tours are designed for children and families with a specific theme;  or you may have a special event you wish to celebrate or require team building.   Book your chef and property of choice and get creative. All tours are built around clients’ needs.
Our cultural tours are built around storytelling, art, music, cuisine with locals – showcasing our different cultures.
Our Fashion tours are interactive and created to build a market for young fashion designers.  There is an opportunity for a textile factory to produce local product which can be exported.
We also offer tours incorporating golf, adventure, conference/MICE, cycling, fly fishing and more.


-Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this business or something else that you would like to add?

 Up Close & Personal tours is an Inbound Tour Operator – DMC company owned and managed by Pam Snyman. We offer land arrangements and road transfers and activities on behalf of tourists.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020 13:16

Golf in the greater Knysna area

Knysna is a popular area for golf among professional and leisure players alike. With three 18-hole championship courses and two mashie courses (one in Sedgefield), it is a prime golfing destination.

Greater Knysna has been the proud host of professional tournaments as well as many local golf days and fundraisers, especially during the well-known annual Knysna Oyster Festival.

Did you know:


Simola Country & Golf Estate

The Simola Golf and Country Estate was designed by golfing legend, Jack Nicklaus. This 18-hole course is one of only four Golden Bear Signature Courses in South Africa.

Jack wrote that is was his “…aim to create a golf course that will be a demanding test of skill for the accomplished golfer playing from the back tees. But, at the same time, I want to offer a challenging, yet enjoyable experience for the average or beginner player who plays from the appropriate tees and thinks his or her way around the golf course.”

An 18-hole, par 72 course with an unusual configuration of five par 5 and five par 3 holes, visitors can play any day of the week while only members have booking opportunity.

The ultimate leisure, golfing and residential destination’ - https://www.simola.co.za/


Knysna Golf Course

The Knysna Golf Club, established in 1909, is one of the country’s oldest and most inspiring golf clubs with many tidal pools and inlets, indigenous trees and a variety of bird-life to admire while you play.

With an interesting parkland layout that has been upgraded and improved in the past 10 years, this 18-hole course features some of the finest greenery on the Garden Route.

Affordable rates, welcoming staff and excellent facilities make a visit to Knysna Golf Club a memorable and pleasurable experience for anyone who loves the game of golf.’ - https://knysnagolfclub.com/


Pezula Golf Estate

The Pezula Championship Course is not only a Top 20 South African Ranked Golf Course but also has breath-taking views over the Knysna Estuary and the Indian Ocean.

A round of golf at this challenging 18-hole course, designed by David Dale and Ronald Fream of GolfPlan USA, is not only great sport but also visually pleasing:  enjoying a day on the course with waves crashing in the distance is the ultimate golfing experience.

With strongly contoured greens, ample bunkers and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, Pezula Championship Course is one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the world’ - https://www.pezulagolf.com/


 Blackwaters Mashie Golf

The Blackwaters River Lodge has a very challenging 9-hole Mashie Golf Course designed specifically to allow you to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

This short course has a variety of distances between the tees and holes with the longest being 152m and the shortest 52m. For its unique golfing experience, Blackwaters has its own set of "local rules" of play, including when to apply penalty strokes, free drops when play is interrupted and drop out zones.

Our “19th hole” pub has become our social spot with guests of Blackwaters River Lodge and golfers mingling after a game of golf.’ - http://www.blackwaters.co.za/golf-course.html


Sedge Links Golf Course & Club

Sedge Links Golf Course is a premium short course, located alongside the Swartvlei Lake. With 18 tee boxes, each box with a junior, intermediate and advanced tee off section, this 9-green course is one for all skill levels to enjoy.

Enjoy a peaceful environment with a beautiful natural setting overlooking the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance. Braai facilities available for a fun family day or small informal function. Membership options available for families and children as well equipment hire for visitors.

This short course is the perfect place to feel at peace to concentrate on your drives, short game or putting skills.’ - https://pinelakemarina.co.za/golf/

Meet Jacques Brink, co-owner of the popular (they have coffee) Knysna Cycle Works and volunteer founder of the ‘Ride With A Local’ initiative, encouraging visitors to join local cyclists on outrides in the greater Knysna area.


-What inspired you to start this project?

I was born in Knysna in 1971, I have been a cyclist since Primary school riding BMX bikes. I was introduced to mountain biking in 1992 during the pioneer days of mountain biking. I found my passion for the sport and the rest was history.

 I have been with Knysna Cycle Works since 1992 and became co-owner in 1998. I have been riding the Knysna Forest for many years and know it pretty well.

 In 2017 we lost our house in the Knysna Fires and I had to wrap my head around the devastation. This is when ‘Ride With A Local’ was born. Being a cyclist and knowing my way around the Knysna Forest helped.

-What makes your project unique?

I get to share with people the experience of accompanied cycling, like us locals experience it! We get to ride private riding areas and non-commercial trails that are not always open to everyone. We also make use of our local MTO trail network at Concordia.

-Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this project or something else that you would like to add?

The rides usually end at one of our favourite watering holes (anywhere with beer). You are welcome on your bicycle or you can hire one from Knysna Cycle Works 

In today’s #IntroducingLocal we feature Rika Fouche. Rika and her husband Kevin own the Knysna Pirate Ship that sails the Knysna Estuary.

-What inspired you to start this business?

My hubby and I sold our interior business in 1998 and moved to Knysna from Bloemfontein. We bought a sailing catamaran and left the shores of South-Africa on 8 Jan 2000 with our two children Ashley (12 years) and Garin (9 years). We explored the east coast of South-America as well as the Caribbean Islands until 2001 and returned to SA as the children had to return to normal school and activities. We loved the ocean and decided to begin a charter operation from the Knysna Waterfront in 2001. It was an exciting career and we enjoyed working with GARTOUR, Knysna Tourism and the various operators. We were running 2x ferries (The Knysna (40-seater)  and The Belvidere (60 seater) as well as a 40 ft sailing catamaran called “ZAKAT” from the Knysna Quays until we were approached by Mr William Smith who purchased the company from us. We started a boatbuilding company called KNYSNA YACHT COMPANY and produced the popular Knysna 500 Sailing Catamaran to the global market from 2002 to 2018. We successfully launched 52 yachts to date and built an internationally renowned reputation for exceptional yachts globally.  See website www.knysnayachtco.com  We sold the business in 2018 to 2 brothers from SA and decided to return to the charter business because SA remains one of the top destinations in the world plus there was an opportunity to return to the Knysna Waterfront to continue this amazing venture.

-What makes your business unique?

The Knysna Pirate Ship is one of a kind type of venture in the Knysna/Plett/Mossel Bay area. The ship oozes charm and history. Originally from the Seychelles, the Knysna Pirate Ship belonged to a Seychellean doctor; he used her platform as a consultancy room to heal people on the eastern coast of Africa. Read the story on www.knysnapirateship.co.za


We aim to concentrate on visitors and more importantly on the local people living in Knysna and surrounds. The Knysna Pirate Ship is very popular amongst young mums planning a birthday bash for kids or even husbands! We offer little adventures on board such as “ walking the plank”, etc. It is the perfect platform for young couples to be seeking the perfect venue to take their engagement parties, little weddings, wedding photos, dads babysitting kids on Saturdays while mom is shopping, old age homes taking a safe and relaxing trip to the heads, school outings and cruises, and generally the entire Knysna community seeking a venue, cruise, outing, adventure or events-trip.  For the international visitors, the Knysna Pirate Ship is the perfect platform to explore the lagoon, to understand the rich marine heritage of our lagoon and the Indian Ocean:  to understand the formidable Agulhas current on our doorstep, the treacherous Knysna Heads. We hand out business cards to visit the local boat building factories in Knysna unleashing the voyager in our visitor’s! We introduce them to “drumming” on our sunset cruise on the lagoon, offer them oysters and champagne, gluhwein on cold winters day.

-Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this business or something else that you would like to add?

We are open to tailor-make your cruise!  Also willing to give young local students and young musicians the opportunity to show off their musical skills, e.g. drumming (group-activities), any unique quality you might have for visitors to enjoy a unique excursion whilst exploring the Knysna Estuary onboard the Pirate Ship.  If you are looking for a party venue with a difference, then the Pirate Ship is the boat to contact… if you are a yoga teacher looking for a platform with a difference, call us! If you are a dad organizing a birthday bash for your son & his friends – bring the fishing rods!  If you are a bride looking for the perfect platform to take your wedding photos, call us!  If you are looking for a year-end function venue, contact me. For bird lovers, ocean lovers, nature lovers, we are open to any idea you might have to ensure a different, exciting and relaxing trip on the estuary.

More details on their website: www.knysnapirateship.co.za

In this week’s #Introducing Local feature, we would like to introduce you to Anita Best, local tour guide and founder of Hashtag Community Tours.


What inspired you to start this business?

I was so excited to enter into the business world, the independence and responsibilities, especially with the creative ideas that run through my mind 24/7. So this specific business I started because I wanted to represent my community the way I would want to be represented.

What makes your business unique?

Oh man, my business focuses less on the touristy side of things and introduces personal and enriching experiences for visitors and on the other hand, introduces travel to locals.

Is there anything specific you want people to know about you / this business or something else that you would like to add?

Just to add. I am so proud to come from this town, the support has been amazing and I am grateful.


Visit the Hashtag Tours Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/hashtagtoursknysna/

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