Wind: 14.48 km/h
The 2020 date is set for South Africa’s favourite single day mountain bike event: 20 September. Heading into the 22nd edition the Karoo to Coast promises to be as challenging, rewarding and fun as ever – when 4 500 riders take on the route from Uniondale to Knysna.
The 96 kilometre long course, which crosses the old wagon trail out of Uniondale before joining the famous Prince Alfred’s Pass through the Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna, features 1 560 meters of climbing – but more importantly 2 300 meters of descending from the Karoo to the coast. The route snakes through four distinct biomes and offers stunning mountain vistas of a region seldom traversed by anyone but locals and adventure motorcyclists.
Entries to the 2020 race are open. For more information on the Karoo to Coast please visit www.karootocoast.com.
Fast Facts: 2020 Karoo to Coast
20 September 2020
Uniondale Sports Grounds
Knysna High School Sport Fields
1 560m of climbing
For the best part of the last decade there have been rumours that a wild bull elephant still roams the Knysna Forests. Footprints and dung are the only clues as to this grey ghost’s authenticity. For mountain bikers, entries to the 2020 Knysna Bull, made personal by Constantia, do not guarantee a spotting of the fabled elephant. They do however promise four days of amazing mountain biking, fantastic comradery and one of the best race villages around; when entering to ride from the 19th to the 22nd of February next year.
For the 2019 race the event instituted a number of innovative changes on the usual stage race format. These were well received by the riders and mountain biking fans alike. The riders’ favourite was the timed and liaison style stages. “Finished in interesting places, rather than on sports fields, adds a great dimension to the racing. Other events could learn from the Knysna Bull” 2019 champion Matthew Beers said of the remote finish lines.
With a winner-takes-all prize up for grabs to the winning man and women, along with cash prizes for the Young Bulls there is a lot to race for at the Knysna Bull, made personal by Constantia. In 2019 the finish lines, two of which were located on Simola Hill, helped ensure captivating racing. For the 2020 race the organisers have another innovation up their sleeve.
“The Cape Town team of Rob, Jan and Rich, headed up to Knysna to meet me for our Bull Tribal Council a few weeks ago” Pax Mosterd of the Knysna Bull, made personal by Constantia, stated. “It is an annual get-together where we take stock and decide on directions that the race will take the following year. Last year’s tribal council put into motion plans that changed most of the 2019 Bull features. Our reasoning was simple - we're agile (read small) – and we could use this to our advantage to maximise rider experience both on and off the bike” Mosterd explained.
Along with the remote finishes, with an easy liaison ride from the stage finish line to the Knysna Waterfront race village, the big innovation was the meal options. Each afternoon riders can choose to have lunch from The Drydock, Ocean Basket, Cafe Mario and O Pescador under the rider dining Bedouin. The final prize giving also takes place at the Knysna Waterfront and features a three-course meal served by The Drydock restaurant. While these innovations ensure every rider’s meal preferences are catered for, they do limit the entry numbers.
Only 300 riders can be accommodated in the Waterfront race village. This ensures that the race will maintain its personal feel and allow riders to rub shoulders with the elite racers as well as befriend fellow mountain bike enthusiasts should they wish to do so. 2019 riders had first dibs at the 2020 entries and to help maintain the close-knit spirit which developed during last year’s event they were allowed to invite their friends.
Riders who missed out on the 2019 race can enter the 2020 event, at R4 950 (per rider), from the 1 of October. The four days or racing, three lunches, a finisher’s dinner, post-stage beers from the local Red Bridge brewery, and a finisher’s gift are all included in the entry fee. As are pre-stage coffees at the remote start locations during the 2020 Knysna Bull.
Discounted entries are offered to Young Bull (Under 23 men and women) riders to make the race more affordable for the next generation of mountain biking stars. There is also a corporate discount for four-rider groups, which encourages mountain bikers to bring their riding tribe along for the adventure. Pro riders (UCI registered) and riders over 55 also qualify for entry discounts. All racing prizes are contested on an individual basis, rather than in the team format as is often the case in stage races. There is another exciting change which will further set the event apart from all other mountain bike stage races which is set to be announced soon.
“Our agility allows us to do things other events can’t. We have an exciting new concept for the final day of the race which we’ve borrowed from another endurance sport. It will definitely shake up the racing, but will allow the non-racing riders to still enjoy the final stage as they always have” Mosterd hinted cryptically. “Expect an exciting announcement in the next month or so” he smiled.
Riders wishing to take part in the 2020 Knysna Bull, made personal by Constantia, can visit www.knysnabull.bike to secure their spot. To stay updated on all the news from the event please follow @knysnabull on Twitter and @knysnabull on Instagram, as well as by liking the Knysna Bull Facebook page.
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To download the high-resolution versions images please click here.
On Friday 1st November at the Turbine Hotel, Catherine Meyburgh, Director of the Award winning documentary “Dying for Gold” will host a workshop on pitching a documentary script. Pitch your Documentary script and get feedback and input from a professional. The workshop will focus on different aspects on who you are pitching to and who should be on board with you. What documents you should have in place for your pitch and the duration of your pitch. Also the timing of variuos types of pitches depending on the circumstances and the audience. Given tools and a different perspective on your idea will assist you in pitching funders, distributors, broadcasters, and producers.
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. The rest of the core team consists of Melody Fourie, Doctor of Nutrition and Andre Slabbert, Naturologist, Vicky Booyens (Ozone & Cryo therapist) and Marion Witte (Iyengar yoga)
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!
“We encourage other like-minded professionals who share our vision to collaborate with us either in our wellness programmes or the workshops and retreats going forward. Our aim is to grow the message globally that the Garden Route is a premier wellness destination.
Gillian O’ Shea (Specialised Kinesiologist) Mel Fourie (Doctor of Nutrition) Andre Slabbert (Naturologist) Vicky Booyens (Ozone & Cryo therapist) Marion Witte (Iyengar yoga) .
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
Last month saw the successful launch of Wellness Wednesday; monthly 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. These monthly events are hosted at the lovely new Knysna Theatre in Main Street. “The owners Clinton and Riaan have been so supportive in collaborating with us to make these events possible and we look forward to working with them going forward. We are in talks to combine wellness and the performing arts so watch this space.”
Parts of the proceeds of these events go to supporting the theatre as we believe this is an asset to Knysna and needs community support behind it. Parts of the proceeds also go to supporting a different charity each month. This month the recipient is KAWS.
On Wednesday 25 September the theme is Hormones and you will learn how in just 21 days you can heal your metabolism, reset your hormones and lose up to 10 kg’s at the same time. Follow link to see the full programme
You can subscribe to our monthly mailers if you wish to stay informed.
Knysna. The name alone conjures up happy memories of holidays spent with family and friends, adventures had on her rivers and beaches, but to me the allure will always be the forest. Dalene Matthee, iconic author of many award-winning books, Circles in The Forest and Fiela se Kind in particular, encapsulates the essence of forest life in all its beauty and intricacies. A staunch conservationist at heart, her love for the Knysna forest, in particular, with its animals and people, inspired a generation of nature lovers to take up the baton and run with it. What it must have been like to be the first settlers of the area, discovering the richness of the Knysna Forest!
I had the privilege of getting into the thick of it with entrepreneur Matt of TripOut Adventures, http://tripout.co.za/. A mine of information, Matt took me on a trip through the byways and craggy dirt roads of the Knysna Forest. We headed off on our intrepid adventure by way of the Old Cape Road and headed for the Simola Hill. As we traveled, with an open car window mind you on a freezing cold day, it was the smell of the forest that caught my attention. Every forest has its own unmistakable smell and by the time we reached Gouna, I hardly noticed the cold air streaming in but rather focused on the perfume of the flora. It was through a childhood friend of Matt’s, ecologist Dr Jasper Slingsby, that he cultivated his love and knowledge of the indigenous growth in the area. He regaled me with stories of how the witchhazel that grows in abundance, cools down the forest on a hot day and how the indigenous trees formed a natural firebreak. So serious are SanParks and Cape Nature about preserving this pristine ecology that even when a tree falls in the area, it may not be removed. This ensures the health of the forest floor as decomposition generates new life.
In the early 1800s, immigrant Italian silkworm farmers made this forest their home. In Gouna, stands a little Roman Catholic church, the San Ambroso Chapel, built in 1891, as a reminder of their lives. Now a museum, with a beautiful fresco on the main wall, photos of those who once worshipped here and the two rooms filled with memories, she is a reverent step back in time. We drove on through Kom se Pad and Petrus se Brand, all the while chatting about the wonder of it all the rich history of the place. Next stop, Forest Legends Museum at Diepwalle. The museum is dedicated to the legendary Knysna elephants, and also to the woodcutters of the 19th and early 20th Centuries who harvested the indigenous forests. I was thrilled to gaze up at the mounted skeleton of a male elephant discovered in the forest in 1983. Old photographs and woodcutter documents and equipment can be viewed in the museum and once all of the history has washed over you, it’s a good time to wash it down with a cuppa and a snack at the tea room. Alas, my forest adventure was at an end.
Making my way to Thesen Island, my head still somewhere in the forest, it occurred to me how versatile the region is. From the thick verdant forest kingdom to a cobalt blue ocean, there is just so much to see and do on the Garden Route. From the giants of the forest to the giants of the ocean, the whales. I hopped on a beautiful Ocean Odyssey, https://www.oceanodyssey.co.za/, boat and headed for the big blue, for a spot of whale watching. Our informative, bubbly guide took us through the history of the Heads and the stunning properties that line the shore. Our exit through the mouth at The Knysna Heads was as smooth as you like and before I knew it, we were atop the great blue sea, searching intently for whales. What we did see was a host of cheeky, playful seals, following our every move. Peering back to shore from this watery abode, it’s easy to see why Knysna is so popular. Beautiful from all angles. Rough and dangerous in some places; smooth and peaceful in others, the town is a gem. We came upon a whale just as it was diving, tail up in salute to us. So graceful they are, despite their size. The sea is host to immeasurable life.
As we returned to terra firma I was excited about meeting one of Knysna’s celebrities, the seahorse, and yes...it’s a fish! A peculiar looking darling, that looks more like it belongs on a chess board than in the ocean, the Knysna Seahorse is only, on average, around 7 cm long. The Knysna Basin Project has on display on Thesen Island, an aquarium teeming with these interesting little creatures. I was fortunate enough to spot a tiny baby and marveled at the beautiful, varied colours of the adult seahorse. If you are ever in the area, please go and meet these unusual, petit locals.
It was time to meet passionate young local, Anita Best of Hashtag Tours Knysna, https://www.facebook.com/hashtagtoursknysna/, for a little mozey through town. A fascinating and very knowledgeable young lady, she leads visitors and school pupils through all the historic sites in town. She also conducts a Nature Tour and a Meet My Community Tour. Walking through town, learning more about the roots of this vibrant community, makes one appreciate the sacrifices made in the sculpting of a great community. Anita has a genuine love for her community and the history that has permeated every corner of every street and historic building. I shall never look upon it in quite the same way. Thank you, Anita.
The day was coming to an end and I was looking forward to spending an evening soaking up a little Knysna afterhours hospitality. And where better than at the picturesque Brenton on Sea, at Brenton Haven Beachfront Resort, https://brentonhaven.co.za/. What a fantastic venue! Virtually on the white sand, the accommodations are spacious and elegant and with the picture-perfect Butterfly Blu Restaurant, https://butterflyblu.co.za/, on-site, I couldn’t wait to kick back, relax and enjoy a good meal. I’m not sure exactly how it happened but I was talked into being a member of a quiz team at dinner. Being ever so slightly competitive, I absolutely had to be on the winning team. It was wonderful fun and the hotel staff made it a thoroughly entertaining experience. We even managed to win a bottle of wine, always exciting.
I had the pleasure of being treated to a gin tasting whilst at Brenton Haven. The dynamic young husband and wife duo who have created the phenomenally good, locally crafted, four times distilled Phanton Craft Gin, http://www.phantomcraft.co.za/, blew me away. Apart from the fact that the gin is the colour of the rivers of the local forests, almost black coffee like in appearance, the taste is velvety smooth. Deliciously fragrant, spicy notes of ginger and coriander filled my senses as I tried it, first neat and then with both plain tonic and then ginger ale and various citrus peels and fresh rosemary. Listening to their passionate story of the humble beginnings of a copper still invasion in their living room, to the fulfilment of a dream, I can only wish them all success with their gin making journey. Don’t take my word for it though, do yourself a favour and order a bottle of this craft gin and get hooked!
After a fantastic night’s sleep, dreaming of gin and delicious dinner, I was ready to hit the road once more. Sedgefield is one of those places you hardly notice when driving through via the N2. But turn off and explore a little more and you will be amazed at what you find. Home to one of the largest Saturday Markets, The Wild Oats Market, http://www.wildoatsmarket.co.za/, Sedgefield is packed with charm. In its 15th year of thrilling visitors with fantastic food, crafts, art and of course a few adventures thrown in, this is a must for the whole family. So, what does a girl like me do when you throw her at a market with all its fun? She grabs a handcrafted bow and takes a stab at archery. Like maid Marion in the Sherwood forest, I donned the gear and tried my hand at traditional archery and boy did I have fun. The team at Primal Shot, http://www.primalshot.co.za/, showed me a few moves and then I showed them a few of mine! Nothing like the sound of an arrow leaving a bow to get the heart pumping with excitement. A fantastic activity for birthday parties and corporate events, Primal Shot offers hours of fun for the whole family. In no time at all you can be transported back to a time where men wore tights and forest creatures were nervous. Fantastic fun and well worth taking a shot at it.
From the forest to the ocean to market fun, Knysna and Sedgefield are beautiful destinations for those who live for adventure. See you on the Garden Route!
Have you experienced the Greater Knysna Area? Tell us about your experience by answering the following questions on Wednesday, 11 September 2019 between 09:00 and 10:00.
Q1. Have you experienced the Knysna Forest? Was it a hike, mountain biking or just a fun day with family? Share your impressions with #NaturallyKnysna via @visitknysna
Q2. What was your most memorable experience(s) of the Greater Knysna area? Share a photograph with #VisitKnysna via @visitknysna
Q3. What events / festivals have you participated in / attended in the Greater Knysna area and share some details of your experience(s). Share a photograph with #NaturallyKnysna via @visitknysna
Q4. Which is your favourite eatery / culinary experience and why? Share a photograph #NaturallyKnysna via @visitknysna
Q5. What do you prefer: beach, bush or arts & culture? Share a photograph with #NaturallyKnysna via @visitknysna
Q6. Bonus question: Where in the Greater Knysna area is your “secret spot” - and why? Share a photograph with #NaturallyKnysna via @visitknysna
Many thanks for your interaction
Seacrest Villa is an exquisite self catering guesthouse situated on tranquil Leisure Isle inside the Knysna lagoon with its' ever-changing tides flowing through the spectacular Knysna Heads. A few hundred meters from white sandy beaches, crystal clear ocean water. It is fully equipped, ensuring an extremely comfortable and relaxing holiday
Surrounded by a lush green garden and exceptional views of the Knysna Estuary, the house has its own private access road and electronic gate. Luxurious furnishings include an indoor fireplace, a private deck with ample BBQ facilities.
Choose your clue card, click on the link and start Discovering Our World:
#Clue Card 1 (Includes specials at: Rexford Manor, 34 South, Knysna Elephant Park)
#Clue Card 2 (Includes specials at: Fijnbosch, Flytime, Tree of Life, Oaks on Main)
#Clue Card 3 (Includes specials at: Forest Valley, Phantom Gin, Knysna Elephant Park)
#Clue Card 4 (Includes specials at: Knysna Belle, Knysna Elephant Park, The Bell)
#Clue Card 5 (Includes specials at: Laguna Grove, Fijnbosch, Knysna Elephant Park)
#Clue Card 6 (Includes specials at: Belvidere Manor, Cycle Works, Loving Local)
#Clue Card 7 (Includes specials at: River Club, Blackwaters Golf, Simola Restaurant)
#Clue Card 8 (Includes specials at: 34 South, Tree of Life, Oaks on Main)
#Clue Card 9 (Includes specials at: Jembo's, SAASA Sanctuaries, Tree of Life)
#Clue Card 10 (Includes specials at: Thesen Lifestyle, Cycle Works, The Bell)
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!
+27 (0)44 382 5510