Swimming, surfing, canoeing, yachting, jet-skiing, boating, ferry rides, fishing, walking, guided beach explorations under the stars - Knysna offers a wide variety of water excursions - something for everyone no matter your age or preference.
Of course season time is all about fun fun fun - but it is also about being safe, responsible and environmentally aware. Hereˋs some useful info...
With more than eight beaches to choose from and as many lakes, you can do a different water activity every day of your stay. Even if it is just sipping your favourite drink watching the sun set at a quayside café!
- Bollard Bay - (on Leisure Isle)is a model family beach with safe swimming in shallow waters.
- The Knysna Heads is ideal for snorkeling, but be aware that itˋs very dangerous to swim out into the channel between the Heads because of tidal currents.
- Coney Glen is a popular fishing and picnic spot on the Eastern Head, although swimming is not recommended.
- Noetzie is a secluded beach down a flight of roughly 100 stairs. Swimming here is considered unsafe.
- Buffalo Bay is a family beach with safe swimming and great surfing conditions. It is also ideal for walking (all the way to Brenton on Sea) and fishing.
- Brenton-on-Sea is great for walking and sunbathing and is popular with paragliders. A big rock formation, castle Rock, is a favourite fishing spot for locals. Swimming is dangerous because of rip currents.
- Goukamma - situated between Buffalo Bay and Sedgefield, it offers wonderful beaches, epic sand dunes, flowing river mouths and unspoiled coastal forests.
- Sedgefield is an outdoor paradiseoffering many activities in the shelter of its gigantic dunes. There are several excellent beaches; the river mouth, Myoli & Cola, Platbank and Swartvlei, which curves towards rocky promontory, Gerickeˋs Point
Knysna does not currently have any blue flag beaches. For all your "must have" aqua information - Click here
For everything else ....
Featherbed Co.| Paddle Cruiser | John Ben | Old Three Legs Ferry | Heads Explorer
Ocean Odyssey Marine Mammal Watching Excursions
Knysna Rib Adventures
DID YOU KNOW?
Thereˋs a 24 hour webcam pointed at the channel between the Knysna Heads. It refreshes every 45 seconds giving you up-to-the-minute view of what the weatherˋs doing in Knysna. www.theheads.co.za
Fishing permits (and bait collecting in some instances) are required for all forms of angling in the greater Knysna area (which includes Noetzie, Brenton, Buffalo Bay and Sedgefield). Regular checks are done so itˋs essential you pick up your licence from one of the following outlets to avoid a hefty fine: The Post Office, The Bait & Tackle shop in Sedgefield (Groenvlei only) or directly from SANParks in Knysna (044 382 2095).
Know the Rules
South African National Parks (SANParks) has published information on a highly descriptive boating map for the Knysna area. If youˋre new to these waters, or want to brush up on the current regulations, youˋd better get down to the Knysna Tourism or Sedgefield Tourism offices and pick up these flyers. You know what they say: "better safe than sorry...."
In Knysna jet-skiing is only permitted in the Bay of Biscay (alongside the N2, North of The Point ). In Sedgefield jetski is only permitted on Swartvlei. Both locations require a jetski permit, which is obtainable through SANParks. Call 044 382 2095 for more information.
Great weather website
Ever heard of WindGURU? Although not an official weather site itˋs proved to be as accurate as the best. Whatˋs more, it has a special page for Knysna! Why? Well the WindGURU site was designed for windsurfers, and kite-boarders and monitors inland bodies of water - like the Knysna estuary. Get a whirl at whirl at www.windguru.com
National Sea Rescue Institute
The local NSRI, also known as Station 12, is located on Knysnaˋs Eastern Head. Run by highly-skilled volunteers the manned station is there to save lives on South African waters and to promote water and boating safety. For sound maritime advice, or in case of an emergency, call 044 384 0211.
Beach Safety Guidelines
Tragic water accidents at sea happen quickly, mostly due to a lack of safety knowledge. The following tips cover water safety as well as protection measures to take whilst on the beach...
- Read and obey the beach regulations and follow instructions or advice from lifeguards.
- Report hazardous conditions or incidents to lifeguards or other beach personnel.
- Make sure you know how to swim if entering the sea.
- Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard – usually in a zone between two red and yellow flags.
- Never swim alone.
- Swim parallel to the shore if you wish to swim a long distance.
- Supervise children closely, even when lifeguards are present. A personal flotation device is recommended for children.
- If caught in a rip current, swim sideways until free and don’t swim against the current’s pull.
- Don’t dive into unfamiliar waters – what may seem deep could be very shallow. Feet-first is safer.
- Avoid swimming near rocks, piers, jetties, groynes and breakwaters.
- If you are in trouble in the sea, shout or wave for help.
- Scuba dive only if trained and certified.
- Do not drink alcohol before or during swimming, diving or boating. Alcohol impairs yourjudgement, balance, coordination and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm.
- Do not take drink glasses, glass bottles or glass containers to the beach as they can break and pose a threat to bare feet.
- Wear foot protection on unclean, rocky or hot sand beaches.
- Do not light fires on the beach except in designated areas.
- Stay clear of coastal dune cliffs as they can collapse suddenly.
- Protect your skin from over exposure to UVA and UVB rays by wearing water-proof sunscreen with a high protection factor of 20+. Avoid the sun between the hottest times of the day: 11:00 – 15:00.
- Wear eye protection, good quality sunglasses protect against UV rays.
- Drink plenty of water regularly to avoid dehydration even if you don’t feel thirsty. Your body needs water to keep cool and to replace lost salts through sweating.
- Watch for signs of heat stroke which is life-threatening. The body’s temperature can rise too high due to poor sweating. Signs include hot, red and dry skin, rapid and weak pulse and rapid, shallow breathing. Move to a cooler place, cool the body down and seek medical help.