Karatara is a town which forms part of the larger Knysna Local Municipality. It is a forestry station on the Karatara River which flows southwards into the Swartvlei.
Karatara forms part of the 7 Passes Road that was built by Thomas Bain in 1867. The 7 Passes Road traverses 10 rivers and seven gorges and in total covered 75km’s from Knysna to George. It was the main route connecting Knysna and George until the N2 was built in 1952.
Originally the area was a woodcutter’s haven but new laws in 1939 forbid woodcutters from eradicating the indigenous forests and lumberjacks were sent to live on the flat plateau that is present-day Karatara.
The drive out to Karatara alone is worth the visit to the town. Just watch out for slippery roads during the rainy season as the road is gravel. Keep your speed at 60 kph and you may spot a small antelope or troop of baboons.
Once a year on the 24th October there is a church bazaar held at the NG Kerk in the centre of the town. A modest and simple market reflecting the town’s history it has hearty homemade jams, biscuits, cakes, and meats.