Visit Knysna, Knysna Tourism, Garden Route, South Africa

Brenton-on-Sea’s butterfly inspires Knysna’s metamorphosis

Visitors to Brenton-on-Sea, Knysna, won’t be able to miss the creative transformation that’s taking place in this small seaside hamlet – all at the hands of a small group of committed community members and the #knysnaartproject.

Part of the Western Head & Goukamma Conservancy, and perched on the dunes overlooking a 5.5km-long stretch of pristine white beach towards Buffalo Bay, Brenton-on-Sea plays host to some of the most extravagant sunsets in the world. It is also home to the tiny Brenton Blue Butterfly, one of the rarest butterflies on earth and a National Treasure.

The newly unveiled Wall of Wings now reaffirms this rare resident’s place at the heart of this community and also is one of the “Knysna 5” truly unique, natural attractions, alongside the Knysna Loerie, Knysna Seahorse, Knysna Dwarf Chameleon and the Knysna Leaf-folding Frog. Mounted onto mottled blue tiles that mirror the fluid ocean backdrop and memorialise the distinctive hue of the male Brenton Blue, a giant stainless steel butterfly has its wings spread wide in welcome to visitors.

The Wall of Wings is a collaboration between local artist Helena Gerber, Debbie Young and Dave McRae of Knysna-based LaserWorx and Neels Groesbeek of Knysna Steelworx. Helena, who acted as Creative Director on the Wall of Wings, explained the inspiration behind the installation: “We knew from the start that we wanted a giant butterfly for Brenton-on-Sea. As artists – painters, sculptors, poets, writers – we often draw our inspiration from nature. Butterflies are symbols of beauty, freedom, transformation, mystery and appear in art everywhere – our spirits as human beings are instantly uplifted in their presence. The world would be a much poorer place without them.”

Debbie and Dave, whose laser cutting business was built on the back of developing iconic Knysna gifts and merchandising for the tourist trade, developed the design for the butterfly installation. A contemporary, stylised interpretation of the Brenton Blue, the design will now become the basis for a whole new LaserWorx range. Neels, who volunteered the support of his steelwork services to the #knysnaartproject in response to the initial call for proposals, provided the experience and expertise needed to engineer the creative idea into a 2m-tall steel sculpture that will endure against the elements for years to come. Local independent contractors Desmond Makellie (DesMark Construction) and Phillip Pieterse built and tiled the Wall, in itself a work of art. Together they have been working on projects in Brenton for more than 15 years.

The Brenton Blue Butterfly is close to the hearts of residents. More so since the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve was obliterated in the 2017 fires. This small area was the only home of the Brenton Blue and for a long time after the fires there were fears that the species had become extinct. The discovery of dormant larvae deep in the soil however led to an ongoing project to rehabilitate the reserve and re-establish the Brenton Blue Butterfly in its natural habitat initiated by the Brenton Blue Trust. Funding is always a barrier to progress and it is hoped that the Wall of Wings will ignite interest in the conservation of the Brenton Blue and inspire support and donations for the Trust and ongoing efforts to prevent the butterfly’s extinction.

The creation of the Wall of Wings at Brenton-on-Sea, as with the other #knysnaartproject installations underway, inspired broader collaboration with community members to transform the public spaces around the beachfront and the rest of Brenton-on-Sea with colourful mosaics. According to Judy Harrison, Chairperson of the Brenton-on-Sea Ratepayers Association and coordinator of the community mosaic project, the #knysnaartproject butterfly added some momentum to an initiative already underway to brighten up Brenton with new benches, tables and bins sponsored and mosaiced by residents. “When the organisers of the #knysnaartproject came to us with their plans for the Wall of Wings we set our hearts and souls on transforming the walls of the set of stairs at the top of the descent to the beach into a canvas of colour”. A core team of 12 mosaicers, with the adhoc support of other residents, visiting children, and staff of the adjacent Brenton Haven Hotel, spent a combined total of 175 hours on the stunning mosaic murals that now line the steps to the beach.

Colleen Durant, GM of Visit Knysna (the greater Knysna area’s Destination Marketing Organisation), was visibly excited by the first of the #knysnaartproject installations to be officially unveiled. “A single line item on Greater Knysna’s Destination Management Plan has sparked a regeneration project of a size and scale beyond our expectations and imaginings. Communities have been inspired to action – they want to be part of the solution when it comes to reclaiming Knysna’s reputation as a hub of art and creativity.”

#knysnaartproject
In a world where selfies and that perfect Instagram moment is now the most popular way of sharing photos and experiences worldwide, the #KnysnaArtProject is encouraging visitors to Greater Knysna to branch out, explore and discover everything the area has to offer by creating a series of unique photo opportunities. The initiative is an ambitious and exciting collaboration between Visit Knysna (the greater Knysna area’s destination marketing organisation), the Knysna Municipality and the Knysna Art Society.

The Brenton-on-Sea beachfront is one of six iconic sites in greater Knysna area identified for public art placements in phase one of the project. A 2.2m statue of a Rastafari priest is about to take centre stage at Judah Square in Concordia, and a full-size, fully mosaiced vintage VW beetle will soon be unveiled alongside the estuary in Sedgefield. A giant nautilus sculpted from stainless steel and indigenous wood will grace the SANParks waterfront on Thesen Island, and in Buffalo Bay a “boardwalk” of surfboards painted by local artists is building the town’s reputation as a prime surfing destination. Knysna’s central business district will be cheered with the Knysna in Bloom flowerpots being turned into creative canvases for contributing artists.

KNYSNA PROUDLY UPHOLDS ITS TITLE AS THE CAPE’S BEST DORPIE

In a triumphant announcement, Knysna has been crowned the Best ‘Dorpie’ in this year’s esteemed Kfm Best of the Cape Awards. The resonating voice of thousands of listeners resonated in the competition held by the beloved radio station. Knysna’s Executive Mayor, Aubrey Tsengwa, shared, “Knysna has unmistakably secured the hearts of all, emerging as the cherished choice of every voter.”

“It is common knowledge to those residing in the expansive embrace of Knysna and those who have graced our shores that this honor was rightfully destined for us,” he continued passionately. “With our awe-inspiring natural vistas, storied heritage, captivating tourism offerings, and warm-hearted community, we have etched an indelible mark in the hearts of both fellow South Africans and wanderlust-driven global explorers. Knysna has something exquisite to offer to all, and in return, it has earned an affectionate place in every heart.”

The journey towards this acclaim began with Knysna’s nomination, garnering the most resounding public support in its category. Notably, this victory marks the second consecutive year that Knysna proudly clinches the title of Best ‘Dorpie’ in Kfm’s Best of the Cape Awards. Adding to the honor, Knysna’s prominence was recognized internationally as it ranked 19th on the 2021 Tourism Sentiment Index’s Most Loved Destinations Around the World.

Kfm, the illustrious commercial radio powerhouse of the Cape boasting an audience exceeding 1.1 million listeners within the province, as well as across South Africa and the global spectrum through online streaming, orchestrated this spirited competition.
“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to every individual who cast their vote for Knysna. Your unwavering support is profoundly cherished, a testament to the bond we share with our cherished ‘dorpie’,” concluded Mayor Tsengwa. “Congratulations resound, Knysna! And congratulations to the residents of the greater Knysna region, for it is your collective spirit that illuminates Knysna’s brilliance. Together, we embark on a journey to amplify tourism, to foster a more inclusive, innovative, and inspired Knysna, crafting a legacy that resonates far beyond.”

#inclusive #innovative #inspired #bestdorpie

Visit Knysna Receives African Excellence Award for Best Tourist Information Centre 2023 by MEA Markets

Visit Knysna, a leading destination marketing and tourist information center, is proud to announce its victory in the prestigious African Excellence Awards for 2023. The accolade, awarded by MEA Markets Markets, recognizes Visit Knysna as the Best Tourist Information Centre in the Western Cape for its exceptional commitment, adaptation, and excellence in the field.

The African Excellence Awards, now in its sixth year, celebrates the remarkable accomplishments and influence of businesses across diverse sectors on the African continent. From destination management and international tourism expertise to branding and design, the awards honor exceptional endeavors that contribute to the advancement of various industries.

Awards Coordinator Kaven Cooper expressed his admiration for this year’s remarkable winners: “I am pleased to have worked with such a brilliant assortment of companies that deliver supreme quality on a daily basis. All of our winners offer something unique to the corporate landscape, and I wish them all the best for the future ahead.”

Visit Knysna’s recognition as the Best Tourist Information Centre underscores its commitment to delivering outstanding service to visitors and tourists. As a vital contributor to the tourism landscape, Visit Knysna has consistently provided invaluable information, guidance, and assistance to tourists, thereby enhancing the overall travel experience.

This recognition is a testament to unwavering dedication to providing exceptional services and information to tourists exploring the enchanting destination of Knysna.

For further details about the African Excellence Awards and the accomplished professionals who have been acknowledged, please visit MEA Markets official website. Here, you can access the winners’ supplement and the complete list of this year’s esteemed winners.

Knysna Oyster Festival 2023: A great time to visit Knysna

The Knysna Oyster Festival is back for its 40th year! From 30 June to 9 July, locals and oyster aficionados from around the country will descend on the picturesque shores of Knysna for a feast of fun, food, and festivities.

This year’s festival is themed “Have a whale of a time” and it promises to be an epic experience. There will be something for everyone, from oyster tastings and live music to adventure sports and a wine festival.

While the festival’s official programme promises an array of thrilling events, visitors will also have the opportunity to explore the breathtaking wonders and experiences that the beautiful towns of Knysna and Sedgefield have to offer. From captivating natural landscapes to exhilarating outdoor activities and delectable culinary delights, there is something for everyone during this ten-day extravaganza.

Knysna boasts an abundance of attractions and adventures that complement the festival’s festivities. Here are some highlights you can expect to enjoy beyond the scheduled events:

Majestic landscapes: Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of the region’s natural landscapes. Take a leisurely hike through the indigenous forests of Knysna, breathe in the fresh air while exploring the Knysna Heads, or embark on a scenic cruise along the iconic Knysna Lagoon. Marvel at the stunning views and capture Instagram-worthy moments that will leave a lasting impression.

Outdoor thrills: For adrenaline junkies seeking a dose of excitement, Knysna offers a range of thrilling outdoor activities. From zip-lining through the treetops and to kayaking in the rivers and lagoons, and mountain biking through scenic trails, adventure enthusiasts will find their heart’s desire in Knysna’s natural playground.

Wildlife encounters: Discover the rich biodiversity that inhabits the region. Explore the Knysna Elephant Park and get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures, visit the other wildlife sanctuaries and pop in to the SANParks office on Thesen Harbour Town to see the Knysna Seahorse. For bird lovers, a visit to the Knysna Estuary and the Featherbed Nature Reserve is a must to witness an array of colourful avian species.

Gastronomic delights: Indulge in a culinary journey that will tantalise your taste buds. Savour fresh oysters, and a variety of gourmet delights at the town’s renowned restaurants, cafés, and markets. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a glass of fine wine or local craft beer.

Cultural immersion: Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and vibrant culture of Knysna. Explore the Knysna Museum to learn about the town’s history, browse local art galleries showcasing the works of talented South African artists, or visit the vibrant markets for a taste of the community’s artistic and culinary creations.

“While the Knysna Oyster Festival offers an incredible lineup of events, we want visitors to know that the magic of Knysna extends far beyond the festival grounds,” said Lungiswa Goya, spokesperson for the Knysna Oyster Festival. “We encourage all attendees to take advantage of their time in our town and explore the countless adventures and experiences that await them. From scenic wonders to adrenaline-pumping activities, culinary delights, and cultural treasures, Knysna is a destination that will leave an indelible mark on your heart.”

For more information about the Knysna Oyster Festival and other exciting activities in Knysna, visit www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za or contact the Visit Knysna tourism office, tel 044 382 5510 or email info@visitknysna.co.za.

Get ready to be active at the 2021 Knysna Oyster Festival

Be sure to gobble an oyster or two, because with all the sporting activities happening in and around Knysna from 9 to 18 July, you will need all those fantastic nutrients to keep up your stamina during the 2021 Knysna Oyster Festival.

“Knysna and the surrounding area is a sports paradise throughout the year,” said Festival Coordinator Andrew Finn. “Our unique, natural tracks and waterways are all available to visitors during this year’s Knysna Oyster Festival, with many extra-high octane activities to challenge guests and locals in between sampling the magnitude of leisure offerings to enjoy.”

Visit Knysna General Manager Colleen Durant confirmed the variety of sporting activities on offer during the festival. “The festival has always been known for not only its amazing food and wine, but the popular running and cycling races of both weekends,” she explained. “This year sees the addition of a number of different sporting disciplines, offering challenges to competitive athletes and, more importantly, fun outings for families and friends. More activities are listed as they are confirmed, so please keep an eye on the website for updates.”

The Knysna Forest Virtual run takes place on the 10th and 11th July. The virtual aspect of the race invites runners to complete their routes in Knysna itself. An option of the forest routes start and finish at The Farm on Old Cape Road, and the Knysna flat route loops through the town itself, with its beginning and end at Knysna Deli on Main Road. Clean your clubs and tee up for Simola Night Golf, also on the 10th. Players will walk Simola’s front nine holes and play with flashing balls and lit greens and enjoy a wine, craft gin and craft beer tasting.

The Houtkapper Trail Run takes place in Knysna’s Goudveld forest on the 11th. Offering three routes of varying lengths and difficulty, runners will pass through Krisjan-se-nek (where Daleen Mathee’s ashes were scattered), the Daleen Mathee memorial and the site of the 880 year old Yellowwood tree known as the Daleen Mathee Big Tree.

Get your toes in the sand on the 12th and take part in the B2B Beach Run. Walk or run on one of South Africa’s most stunning beaches while having fun and contributing to the local NSRI station. Choose between 5km or 10km and start from either Brenton-on-Sea or Buffalo Bay. Register on the day at either beach between 7h30 and 8h00. Athletics SWD are hosting three running events at the Loerie Park sport field the next day, on the 13th. Join in the cross country relay, street mile or 5km fun run.

The Urban X Trail Run and Obstacle Course is a fun trail run taking place at Blackwaters River Lodge on the 13th and 14th July. Starting at 09h00 with 10 easy obstacles, none of which require excessive upper body strength, this is a fun activity for anyone to enjoy. The Knysna X Trail Series takes place at the Pezula Championship Golf Course on the 15th and 16th, with trail running adventures for everyone in any of the Kidz, Lite, Full or Pro categories.

On the 16th, the Sea-2-Tower trail runners start off at sea level, wind up through the Knysna Forest and climb a 6m steel ladder into the forest fire tower where forest rangers and spectacular views over the surrounding forest, mountains and valleys will greet finishers. A choice of three distances will take runners from Thesen Island to the Buffelsnek fire tower.

The Knysna Cycle Tour will once again challenge mountain bike riders on 17 July, and road racers on 18 July. Both races are provisionally set to kick off with staggered starts, with both the 50km road and 50km MTB races also available as virtual courses on the online platform Rouvy. Entries to the physical rides close at the end of June, and registration will take place on the 16 July. Riders who enter on Rouvy will have a free month’s worth of riding on the online platform. Riders are also invited to join the tour’s Strava group.

The Knysna Yacht Club Sailing Regatta for small sailing boat classes takes place on the 17th from 14h00 to 17h00, while the Sedgefield Tennis Club hosts a fun round robin on the same day from 11h00. Paddlers can also take to the water on the 18th for the Harbour to Heads canoe race from the Knysna Yacht Club to The Heads and back.

Knysna Executive Mayor Elrick van Aswegen emphasised that the entire greater Knysna area would be the festival venue this year. “This is a festival of our town and our area,” he said. “With these fantastic sporting activities taking place throughout the region, it is the perfect opportunity to experience our natural area and the beauty of our forests, lagoons and beaches. We are open and ready for the Knysna Oyster Festival. Are you?”

Guests will be delighted to find that accommodation in the area has also been discounted during this period, Finn concluded. “We know that everyone is craving a bit of a getaway so, take advantage of great accommodation specials and take a break in Knysna. Click the Stay-button to find all of these specials at www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za.”

Contacts:
Knysna Virtual Forest Marathon – Wayne Kidd, kmc@telkomsa.net, https://knysnamarathonclub.com/forest-marathon/.
Simola Night Golf Festival – Scott Edkins, 0836477997, scott@ascottours.co.za.
Houtkapper Trail Run – Gavin/Leon, 0835027935, houtkappertrailrun@gmail.com.
B2B Beach Run – Sean Sandiford, 0736132985, sean@wannado.co.za.
Athletics SWD running events – 0836178325, manager@aswd.co.za.
Urban X Trail Run and Obstacle Course – Coyote Events, 0744562253, bel.hodgson113@gmail.com.
Knysna X Trail Series – https://knysnaxse.co.za/2020/03/09/winter-run/.
Sea 2 Tower Trail Run – Sean Sandiford, 0736132985, sean@wannado.co.za.
The Knysna Cycle Tour – 0443827500, info@knysnacycle.co.za, http://knysnacycle.co.za/.
The Knysna Yacht Club Sailing Regatta – 0443825724, secretary@knysnayachtclub.com.
Tennis Round Robin – Bruce Schulze, 0443431719, calrossie@axemail.co.za.
Harbour to Heads Canoe Race – 0443825724, secretary@knysnayachtclub.com.

www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za has all the details on accommodation and activity specials, as well as the growing calendar and entry/ticket information. Check it regularly for updates.
Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @KnysnaOysterFestival.
Contact Festival Coordinator Andrew Finn on email info@knysnaoysterfestival.co.za for more information, or call 0443825510.

#knysnaoysterfestival #knysnaoysterfestival2021 #KOF2021 #kof #stayworkplay #knysna #visitknysna #wfk #workfromknysna

#WFK Knysna? We say why not!?

South Africa’s premium sport and lifestyle festival is back! Breaking ground with an eclectic mix of physical and virtual events and activities, the Knysna Oyster Festival is scheduled to take place from 9 to 18 July 2021 under the theme ‘STAY, WORK, PLAY’.

From sport to food, to art, adventure and music – the jam-packed programme will run over the full ten days of the festival spanning the greater Knysna area.
Giving a fresh feel to the inaugural hybrid format of the event, Visit Knysna along with the Knysna Oyster Festival organisers are launching a quirky ‘tongue-in-cheek’ awareness campaign called Wanna #WFK? (Work from Knysna). The campaign seeks to ensure the popular South African festival remains a fixed date on the calendar, whilst encouraging festino’s to enjoy the full ten days by maximising the remote work possibilities and enjoying a not to be missed programme in-between.

“This year there is a real opportunity to tap into a current truth: if you’re working from home, you could be working from anywhere. The Knysna Oyster Festival is the perfect place to not only work, but immerse yourself and your family in a number of experiences that you can enjoy before, during or after your work day,” commented Colleen Durant, Visit Knysna General Manager.

The Executive Mayor of Knysna, Cllr Elrick van Aswegen added: “The Knysna Oyster Festival, a flagship event for the Western Cape and more specifically the Garden Route and Klein Karoo, remains an important drawcard for visitors to the greater Knysna area. Our community has worked together to co-ordinate a full programme of offerings that suit a variety of interests and age groups, making the festival the perfect family getaway over the school holidays.”

With safety being at the centre of all activities, all COVID-19 protocols will be observed with the popular cycle and running races taking place virtually.

“The #WFK campaign, run out of Wesgro, is a chance for us to entice those who want more out of a breakaway. With the flexibility that remote work brings, we encourage old friends and visitors to enjoy the full ten day programme curated by the Knysna Oyster Festival organisers. With an array of food, art and adrenaline experiences – this unmissable family festival is a must on the 2021 travel list,” concluded Wesgro CMO, Monika Iuel.

Ends

www.knysnaoysterfestival.co.za has all the details on accommodation and activity specials, as well as the growing calendar and entry/ticket information. Check it regularly for updates.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @KnysnaOysterFestival.
Contact Festival Coordinator Andrew Finn on email info@knysnaoysterfestival.co.za for more information, or call 0443825510.

#knysnaoysterfestival #knysnaoysterfestival2021 #KOF2021 #kof #stayworkplay #knysna #visitknysna #wfk #workfromknysna

Knysna be on the lookout: The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge is coming to your town!

The 2022 Sasol Solar Challenge (SSC) will make its eighth control-stop at Knysna High School ground on the 15th of September, after travelling through 16 towns from Johannesburg.

“Each control-stop has an optional loop of road, which teams can drive their solar cars around as many times as they like, racking up more kilometres, and each loop requires a five minute control-stop before completion,” said Robert Walker, Owner and Director of the Sasol Solar Challenge. “The mandatory 30-minute stop is an opportunity for teams to refresh, swap drivers, do repairs, and strategise. It will also be an opportunity for the community of Knysna to come out and support the teams before the event moves to other communities, and subsequently the finish line.”

The control-stop will incorporate a school activation programme where learners in the community will have an opportunity to engage with the solar car teams and view the solar cars. Some of the learners will be showcasing their sustainable solutions developed to address mobility challenges faced by the community.
“The school activation programme is an experiential platform to influence and inspire scholars across South Africa to pursue careers in STEM. The overall offering of the Sasol Solar Challenge is an extension of Sasol’s investment into the youth of South Africa. Through the Sasol Solar Challenge, Sasol is directly investing in the engineers, scientists and thought leaders of tomorrow,” said Nozipho Mbatha, Senior Manager: Group Brand and Sponsorships at Sasol.

The Sasol Solar Challenge takes place every two years, bringing together university and high school teams, and even private engineers who have manufactured fully functioning, roadworthy cars powered only by the sun. It runs on public roads, sharing space with trucks and regular traffic, and passes through multiple small towns.
Knysna Executive Mayor, Levael Davis said the town is excited and looking forward to hosting the Sasol Solar Challenge.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Sasol Solar Challenge. The event will expose school learners and the entire community of Knysna to new and interesting technologies,” said Davis. “It’s important for our community and the entire country to always look for innovative ways of harnessing the power of our planet in a sustainable and energy efficient way. The Sasol Solar Challenge is encouraging our youth to do just that. The event also stimulates an interest in STEM education amongst our learners, which will open doors to further training in the field of STEM.”

The 2022 route from Johannesburg to Cape Town will include five provinces, 14 towns and more than 20 communities. New towns include Brakpan, Trompsburg, Willowmore, Kirkwood, Jeffreys Bay, Riversdale and Caledon. The event is also bringing new local and international teams including those competing for the first time in South Africa and in a solar challenge.

Spectators are welcome at all stops, and more information on the route and the teams can be found at:
https://www.solarchallenge.org.za/ or on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

2023 SIMOLA HILLCLIMB SET DELIVER FAN-FRIENDLY AUTOMOTIVE EXTRAVAGANZA

 If the country’s most spectacular and fastest cars are your thing, there’s only one place to be from 4 to 7 May 2023, and that’s at the 13th edition of the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna.

  • Fan Fest, street parades and a chance to see the cars and drivers close-up at official scrutineering add to the excitement and adrenaline-fuelled atmosphere before the Simola Hillclimb even starts
  • Gasoline Alley offers some of the best views of the event with variety of activities, exhibitors, food and beverage vendors to make it a fun-filled family affair
  • Demonstration runs from event partners add to spectacle, including exciting products from Suzuki, BMW, Honda and Volkswagen

This year’s event will be bigger and better on all fronts, and that doesn’t just apply to the extraordinary road and race cars that will be driven in anger up the 1.9 km Simola Hill, or the dazzling list of top-tier local drivers and some high-profile international drivers such as WRC and WRX champion Petter Solberg who will be in the mix.

There is truly something for everyone, with plenty of attractions to get your adrenaline flowing – even before fans make their way to the event itself, with Classic Car Friday taking place on 5 May, followed by King of the Hill on Saturday and Sunday, 6 and 7 May.

“Classic Car Friday and King of the Hill are obviously the main attractions at the Simola Hillclimb, but there is so much more to this event to enthral motoring and motorsport enthusiasts of all ages and interests, including a Fan Fest and the popular street parades,” says Ian Shrosbree, MD of the Knysna Speed Festival which owns the Simola Hillclimb. “This all helps build the atmosphere and excitement leading into the main events and allows all of Knysna’s residents to enjoy a part of the Hillclimb.”

The Fan Fest precinct will include the Knysna High School grounds and surrounding roads on Thursday and Friday (4 and 5 May) from 11h00, with free access to see the wide range of new cars that will be on display along with other motoring-related items and goods for sale.

Eager enthusiasts who would like to see the cars set to compete in the event close-up before the action commences can head to Hedge Street in Knysna for the official scrutineering, which takes place from 09h00 to 14h30 on Thursday 4 May for Classic Car Friday entrants, and the same time the next day for all King of the Hill competitors.

Nothing beats the sights and sounds of these spectacular cars on the move, and the street parades are always among the major event highlights. Be sure to secure your spot along the scenic Waterfront Drive on Thursday 4 May from 14h45 to 15h15 to see the classic cars parading by, and on Friday from 17h15 to 17h45 for the road cars and pure race-bred machines that will compete in King of the Hill.

Enthusiasts who have secured their tickets to South Africa’s premier motoring and motorsport lifestyle event can look forward to plenty of further attractions once through the gates into the Simola Hillclimb. Gasoline Alley is the main public viewing area to see the cars charging up the steep Simola Hill. It has some of the best views of the track and, of course, the scenic Knysna Heads and estuary as a breathtaking backdrop.

A variety of local food vendors, exhibitors and a public bar will be available in Gasoline Alley, along with a jumping castle to keep the young kids under 12 entertained. Older children and adults can get their pulses racing by testing their driving skills on the ATK Esports Racing Simulators, and families are invited to bring along chairs and picnic blankets to enjoy all the Simola Hillclimb has to offer.

In between the practice and qualifying runs spectators will be treated to demonstration runs up the Simola Hill featuring motorcycles and cars, including the latest two-wheeled machines from Suzuki which is a Tier 1 partner.

“We are very excited to be doing lunchtime exhibition runs with our Suzuki motorcycles for the third year running,” says Brendon Carpenter, Brand Marketing Manager at Suzuki Auto South Africa. “This year we have Jaco Viviers of Suzuki Richards Bay piloting the latest version of the Suzuki GSX-R1000R up the hill. Chris Kuun from Suzuki Auto SA will be riding the recently launched Suzuki DL 1050 DE V-Strom adventure bike which will be another first at the Simola Hillclimb.”

As a Tier 1 partner, BMW will be doing demonstration runs up the Simola Hill with the latest BMW M5 and X6M. Outside of the main event, BMW will also participate in a special parade lap through Knysna in celebration of the company’s 50th Jubilee in South Africa. This will include classic cars from BMW car clubs that will be in attendance.

Honda is a Tier 2 partner and will be doing demonstration runs with the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade superbike and its newly launched Civic Type R, with the Japanese manufacturer also confirming that Deon Joubert will be competing in King of the Hill in this exciting new performance model. Volkswagen is a Tier 2 partner and will reveal a new racing car during lunch time on Saturday.

Monster Energy Drinks will be back in action with its crowd-favourite Mustang drift car smoking its tyres on the hill with Jason Webb at the wheel, while Brent Le Riche will entertain the crowd with his incredible trials bike skills.

Time is running out fast with just one week to go before Knysna comes alive with the most spectacular automotive extravaganza in South Africa – so don’t miss out, get your tickets today!

 

Purchase your tickets online

Tickets can be purchased on the event website (www.simolahillclimb.com), with the prices for General Entry remaining unchanged from last year. Upgrades are available for Pit Access, Turn 2 Grandstand seating and VIP Parking.

For the ultimate VIP experience, the Le Mans Hospitality Lounge provides mouth-watering catering, an unbeatable viewing point overlooking the start line, as well as General Entry and Pit Access.

The 13th edition of the Simola Hillclimb takes place from 4 to 7 May 2023.

 

More information on the Simola Hillclimb is available on the website: www.simolahillclimb.com

Communities, Commitment and the CCPP Group Lions Karoo to Coast

Before Covid turned the world on its head the weather did the same to the most recent edition of the CCPP Group Lions Karoo to Coast. It turned what is usually a challenging but enjoyable race into an odyssey of epic proportions. The next two years saw pandemic enforced postponements, which means that the 2022 edition is eagerly anticipated. 3 600 of a possible 4 000 entries have already been sold, so riders wishing to take part on the 25th of September should enter soon to avoid disappointment.

Absence, as the saying goes, makes the heart grow fonder. Which is certainly true for one of South Africa’s largest point to point mountain bike races. Now in its 22nd year the race from Uniondale to Knysna, along the iconic Prince Alfred’s Pass, is not only one of the country’s oldest mountain bike races but also one of the most well supported.

The last edition, in 2019, was perhaps the most memorable yet. Perfect years blend into one with the course of time; but nobody is forgetting high wind, torrential rain and hail anytime soon. Nor are the riders who were evacuated from the route forgetting the massive effort the communities, of Knysna and Uniondale, went to in order to save the day.

“I for one will never forget 2019,” Zandile Meneses, the CCPP Group Lions Karoo to Coast race director for the past 20 years, noted. “I’ve never experienced anything like that in an event before. We had to call the manager of PEP in Uniondale, to open the shop so we could buy every blanket in the store, as well as the majority of Knysna’s stock too. We then enlisted just about every taxi service in Knysna to help evacuate riders from the course. The sports fields, at the finish, turned into a quagmire and it even hailed briefly at Simola. It was a wild day!”

The successful evacuation of riders off the 96 kilometre course was down to the involvement of the community. Residents and business owners of Uniondale and Knysna have been pivotal from the inaugural edition, but it is in times of difficulty that their input is most keenly felt. The event’s absence from the calendar, for two years, was just as acutely experienced; especially by the Lions Club beneficiaries. Charities like Sightfirst, the South African Guide Dog Association and other urgent needs in the Garden Route and Klein Karoo community rely on the funds raised by the race to help finance their operations.

Although the route is largely the same as it was 22 years ago, for the inaugural edition, the ever-changing surface quality of Prince Alfred’s Pass provides diversity to the challenge. One section which has become significantly easier over the years though is the Ou Wapad. Climbing out of Uniondale used to be a tricky affair, where line choice was key. That changed 5 years ago however, when the wagon trail was graded. Still, it has not helped anyone better the course record which has stood for many years.

Perhaps 2022 is the year that the record falls… though the weather conditions on race day will have a significant say in how quickly the course is completed. Tail winds through the climbs and kloofs of the Outeniqua Mountains would blow the fastest riders home to Knysna at a better pace. While also helping the less competitive members of the field; but as anyone who took part in 2019 knows, it does not pay to bet on the riding conditions too far in advance. The only safe assumption is that it will not be as wild as the last time the race was held.

Another unique aspect of the event is the dinner which the women of Uniondale cook for the 1 600 odd participants who stay in the Klein Karoo town the night before the race. The usually sleepy village comes alive for the CCPP Group Lions Karoo to Coast and nearly half of the riders come together the night before for a locally made supper. It is a brilliant way to reconnect with old friends and riding acquaintances, as well as to get into the spirit of things before race day.

This September that reconnection will be particularly poignant. After three long years and with a memorable last time out to reflect upon the mood in Uniondale is sure to be electric. To join the celebration and the ride by visiting www.karootocoast.com.

Tourism month is in full swing

Created by South African Tourism to focus on the importance of the sector to the South African economy, it is aligned with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day celebrations taking place on the 27th of September this year.

Executive Deputy Mayor & Chairperson Planning, Economic Development & Tourism Committee: Cllr Alberto Marbi, said the 2022 theme of World Tourism Day celebrations this year revolves around resilience. “UNWTO theme is ‘Rethink tourism’ this year – to rethink how we can ‘do’ tourism in a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector. “

“Tourism is a key part of Knysna’s economy and now, post the devastation of COVID-related travel restrictions, it is more important than ever to work on building a sustainable and resilient industry. To ‘rethink’ tourism and appreciate and value everyone that is part of the tourism experience, from souvenir makers to rangers, guest house staff, hotel managers and local service providers to the industry.”

Marbi said that greater Knysna communities are fortunate to live within the unfenced borders of the SANParks managed Garden Route National Park. “I believe as a local community we can have a positive impact on tourism in our area. Supporting local tourism business yes, but there is so much more we can do. Value and respect our natural resources. Understand the impact of our actions on the tourism industry, and ultimately jobs in the area. Do we understand that if we do anything to impact the water quality of the Knysna estuary that can have a ripple effect that influences visitor numbers, and jobs? That if we do not care about the cleanliness of our town, or if we damage infrastructure and facilities that can also have a negative effect? Knysna is known for its natural assets – beaches, forests, the estuary and mountains in the back. Are we doing enough to look after our natural resources? Do we get involved in initiatives to counter pollution, litter, and sustainable use of resources? We must appreciate an acknowledge everyone’s efforts in the industry. We must invest in the future by facilitating training, creating new opportunities and foster an understanding for what tourism is doing, and can do for our community.”

He said people should be encouraged to be tourists in their own backyard. “Make an effort to get to know the people and the different areas of greater Knysna. Explore the nooks and crannies of the Garden Route National Park. Experience the ‘magic’ of Knysna by “connecting” to nature.”

“It is only if we know our area and what it has to offer that we can really understand the opportunities available, the niche tourism markets we can focus on, and the facilities needed. Work with us to create a resilient tourism economy in Knysna, for all our residents. Get involved!”

Here is a list of activities and events planned for Tourism month in the greater Knysna area – and a great opportunity to get involved.

17 September
International Coastal Clean-up Day and “Spring Clean” Knysna
Time: 9am – 11am There are different teams that will tackle different areas all over Knysna – to join them please contact Teresa at Ocean Odyssey on info@oceanodyssey.co.za for more info.

12-16 September
SA National Parks week – this is a good reason to go out and explore the Garden Route National Park! Read more here

24 September 2022
Urban X brought to you by Remax Coastal
A fun trail run starting with 10 easy obstacles and now including colour stations. For more info Email: coyoteeventsandpromotions@gmail.com

Battle of the Buskers
Celebrate National Braai Day at the Village Green in Sedgefield with arts & crafts, food stalls, and of course – a braai!
Email: olivier.debra@gmail.com

27 September
Knysna 1-Hour “Amazing Race”
You and three teammates could be the lucky winners of four action cameras when participating in this timed exercise on World Tourism Day, 27 September 2022. To enter send your name, surname, and contact to info@visitknysna.co.za before 20 September 2022 with the subject: Amazing Knysna Race to receive further instructions.

30 September
Hollard Daredevil Run
Friday 30 September will see thousands of brave men in purple Speedos take to their streets to run cancer “outta their hoods” anywhere in South Africa – in our area a race is starting at Café Vienna in Sedgefield. All proceeds going to CANSA and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of South Africa.
To enter or for more info email rochellevorster2@gmail.com