With its forests, mountains, lakes and ocean, Knysna is a natural playground for those who love to participate in outdoor activities and sports.
Mountainbiking, trail running, hiking, fishing and sailing are amongst the popular sports that draw holidaymakers to the greater Knysna area, and over the years a number of top sporting events have built a loyal following for those with a competitive streak.
These are the top annual sporting events in Knysna.
Knysna Bull - February
Knysna Bull is a four-day mountain-bike race that consists of a prologue and three stages. It is South Africa’s first individual-only MTB stage race and attracts top riders from around the world with its excellent prize purse. Competitors ride 60-70 km every day with a remote finish at a strategically interesting point out on the route to push the rider experience and make for nail-biting mountain bike racing!
Simola Hill Climb - May
2021 will be the 11th staging of South Africa’s leading motorsport lifestyle event attracting competitors, spectators and broadcast viewers from around the globe. More than 17,000 people came through the gate during the last event, with drivers from the USA, UK and Germany competing.
The Simola Hill Climb runs over four days and is non-stop entertainment, featuring classic car displays and parades, and the highlight of the weekend, the King of the Hill Shootout on Saturday and Sunday where the world’s fastest machinery duel it out on Simola Hill.
Knysna Cycle Tour- June/July
Day one is for mountain bike enthusiasts and offers exciting routes of varying lengths through the forest and farmlands around Knysna with enough single track to keep riders enthralled. On day two the road races along the coast are both scenic and challenging and include some gravel on the Seven Passes Road.
There is also a fun race for children under 12 years old on day two.
Money raised from entrance fees goes to Knysna Rotary to support its local charities.
Knysna Forest Marathon – June/July
The iconic Knysna Forest Marathon is acknowledged as one of the most scenic races in the world and attracts thousands of national and international entries for its marathon and half marathon events. Runners are taxied deep into the Knysna forest for the early morning start and served coffee to warm up before the race, which takes place in mid-winter during the Knysna Oyster Festival. It is managed by the Knysna Marathon Club and raises substantial funds for local charities every year.
Buco Lions Karoo to Coast MTB Challenge – September
The Karoo to Coast MTB Challenge is a 100 km off road race from Uniondale to Knysna via the Prince Alfred’s Pass is scenic and challenging. It is for experienced, fit cyclists with a total ascent of 1 560m and descent of 1 815m. The race is an Official Premier Seeding Event of the Cape Town Cycle Tour and all proceeds go to charities managed by the Lions of Uniondale and Knysna.
Knysna Extreme Triathlon - November
Touted as Africa’s toughest triathlon, the Knysna Extreme is a challenging point-to-point, self-supported race that includes a 5 km swim in the Knysna lagoon, a 174 km cycle through coastal, mountain and semi-desert scenery and a 50 km run through plantations and the Knysna Forest. It’s guaranteed to test your fitness levels, mental strength and determination! Entries are limited to 100 athletes.