Buffalo Bay Beach

Buffalo Bay

If you love the beach visiting Buffalo Bay is a must do on your itinerary. Magnificent setting, lots of activities – a beautiful coast line with gorgeous sunsets. Simply heaven on earth…

A little beach village with a lot of personality, Buffalo Bay lets you live the dream of a perfect beach holiday. Branden Grace, PGA Tour Player

Don’t miss

Top Tip: Buffalo Bay is part of the Knysna Art route – watch our for beautifully painted murals, decorated surf boards and mosaics on your visit!

Things to do

Spend the day at the beach

All self-confessed beach bums will appreciate Buffalo Bay. With one of the safest swimming beaches in the Knysna area, it is especially popular among families looking for a fun beach vacation. The main beach is where it all happens … kids make friends for the rest of the holiday and the folks relax in the sun and catch a tan. A convenience store and restaurant mean that a quick ice cream or toasted sandwich is never too far from reach.

Buiding sand castles on Buffalo Bay beach

Easy walks and running trails

Stretch your legs and walk from main beach to Brenton-on-Sea and back. If you prefer your beach a little quieter, explore the Wild Side towards the west of Buffalo Bay. Here you’ll meet only a few like-minded people and perhaps an angler or two. You can also walk all the way to Sedgefield, but it’s advised that you walk at low tide with a buddy or two.

If you’re really in the mood for a hike, the Buffalo Bay Hiking Trail is an easy 4.5km loop that meanders through Cape fynbos and thicket with a section walked along both the main and wild side beaches. There are two well-marked entries to this hike – one about 600m east of the main beach, the other opposite the parking area of the wild side.

Another option is the Blombos Trail in the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Popular with birders, this beautiful trail is 15km in length, but can be split into two shorter circular routes: the 13.5km Porcupine Trail and the circular 6.5km Bushpig Trail. Hikers begin this trail by crossing the beautiful Goukamma River on a self-hauled ferry.

If this hike only whets your appetite, there are many other hiking trails to explore in the Knysna area. Trail runners will also find a number of amazing trails near Buffalo Bay.

Buffalo Bay beach, perfect for long walks or runs

Surf’s up, dude!

The surfing in Buffalo Bay is world class. Locals take every opportunity they can to ride the swell and surf the waves of this legendary surf spot. With a genuine atmosphere of hang ten camaraderie, newcomers are always welcome to drop in. It’s also the ideal bay for learning how to surf, so why not take a few lessons while you’re here? And on windy days when the surf’s not up, you can try kitesurfing

Where to eat and stay in Buffalo Bay

Accommodation in Buffalo Bay includes relaxed holiday rentals, self-catering apartments, two campgrounds and two backpacker’s closer to the national road. Exquisite ocean views or a cosy spot on the Goukamma river, the area will not disappoint.

A restaurant and convenience store on the beach cater for breakfast, lunch and self-catering shopping. Near the junction with the national road are the Goukamma area with riverside accommodation options, road stalls with delicious baked goods, a coffee shop and the River Deck Lodge & restaurant that is open for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Activities on offer here include paddling, hydro-biking, horse riding and bird watching.

Top Tip: In addition to their contemporary menu, The River Deck also offers truly traditional South African fare like Braaivleis, Pap & sous, delicious curries and a Cape Malay Bobotie.

Across the turn-off to Buffalo Bay on the N2 is Blackwaters River Lodge offering accommodation, scrumptious eats, mashie golf, paddling and picnic baskets (order ahead) to be enjoyed on the banks of the river!

Top Tip: This is a great place to spot the elusive Knysna Loerie!

Click here for all dining options in Knysna and Buff’s.

Useful tips

  • Moderate water temperatures and a mild swell makes for excellent swimming at the main beach, but always be sure to swim in the area designated by the lifesavers when they are on duty.
  • Swimming at the Wild Side is not recommended as the waves and currents here are a bit more unpredictable.
  • Always remember to pack your sunscreen, a hat, water and a jacket when going to the beach or taking a walk.
  • Be sure to visit this handy guide for useful information on the area.
  • Buffalo Bay is also a wonderful out of season destination, with many fun attractions in the area and things to do on a rainy day.
Top Tip: The Goukamma Nature Reserve, River Deck Lodge & restaurant and Blackwaters River Lodge are great starting points for canoeing and paddling on the Goukamma river. You can rent canoes at the River Deck and at Blackwaters.