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Fresh Perspectives

Two faces of Knysna

Sunday with Pictures: Two faces of Knysna, South Africa

Written by: Kamila Napora, Sunday, March 9, 2014

I don't even remember why I included Knysna in my South African itinerary. Guess I just needed a nice, relaxing stop after the crazy BazBus ride through South Africa and before exploring Cape Town. Knysna just seemed like a perfect place and as it turned out I was right. After seeing this mid-size town located on the Garden Route, right at the beautiful lagoon and surrounded by ancient forests I understood very well why everyone is so crazy about the Ocean Coast in South Africa and I immediately regretted I can't stay there any longer...

I started my stay in Knysna with the excellent tour to the township that is located in the hills surrounding the city (more about that in my township post). It was the first township I visited in South Africa and a great introduction to this tough issue as well as to the city itself. Even if it looked like people don't have a very easy life there they still seemed happy with what they have. Life was calm there, kids were playing around, women gathered at the hairdressers for gossip, men gathered for a chat over a beer, teenagers gather over bbq to have some fun. They might not be the richest people but I had a feeling they've enjoyed their lives. Especially when they were so lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

After the township experience I was a little bit listless but still couldn't wait to see the other face of Knysna - the waterfront. And it was like a totally different world from what I've seen on the hills surrounding the city. This part of Knysna was elegant, sophisticated with high class restaurants to dine in and fancy yachts berthing in the lagoon. Even if most of the clientele were older couples I still really enjoyed the place. The sun was warmly shining in my face, the surroundings were extremely pretty and everything just felt at its place. The two faces of Knysna, the township and the waterfront, couldn't be any more different from each other yet together they completed the city. I'm more than glad that I could experience both of them as this town felt like a great example of South African life where the fancy world meets the poor township and they coexist together. Just not every city in South Africa can be located in such a beautiful place as Knysna...

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