Witlokasie, Knysna

The mouth-watering heritage of Knysna

A melting pot of cultures created an alluring food scene that brings people, food and experiences together.

Formal and informal, upmarket dining and community-based establishments – there is something for everyone. You can still have authentic Italian pizza served by the descendants of the group of Italian silk spinners who came to farm silkworms in Knysna in 1881.

Top Tip: If you can, make time to visit the San Ambroso Chapel Museum, erected for them in Gouna.

From the garden to the table

Enjoy delicious vegetarian cuisine served and prepared by Brother Mau-Mau from our local Judah Square Rastafarian Community. Brother Mau-Mau loves growing his own vegetables and follows a “Garden to the table” custom as far as possible.

The Knysna culinary scene features traditional dishes ranging from Xhosa cuisine – Chicken stew and pap or Mnushu (Samp and Beans) – to Cape Malay Cuisine, prepared according to the Halaal tradition. All to be enjoyed while exploring Knysna through an insightful, colourful township tour.

Garden to the table

An oyster to write home about

Local cuisine combines beloved traditional dishes with a modern fusion twist. At Usatsho tshisa Nyama in Witlokasie township local chef Melvin Mene prepared one of the best oysters I ever had. It was more than just an entree; it was truly a memorable event. The oyster was dressed in a mango, chilli and red-onion salsa, coupled with a local chardonnay. A worldly taste sensation not to be missed!

Local chef Melvin Mene

Stay at a local Homestay

Some of these eateries aren’t just limited to offering you a delicious meal, they offer you an experience that is made up of cultural storytelling, a comforting sense of community and hospitality which result in a more holistic cultural experience. You can enjoy genuine community-based hospitality by staying in one of the local Homestays.

At Wandu Tours and Stays, Mawande Khondlo will welcome you with a comfortable retro-styled room and the best roosterkoek in the Garden Route at his Roosterkoek Kaya. Roosterkoek is a traditional South African delicacy and some of the favourites are with served with chicken livers peri-peri, ham and onion chutney, Cape Bobotie and Boerenkaas and homemade apricot jam.

Mawande Khondlo

Another option is Jah Works – a colourful home situated in the Judah Square Rastafarian Community is managed by sister Kerry Mackenna. Sister Kerry is a renowned Reiki practitioner as well as an herbalist and has many amazing stories to tell. You can enjoy your homestay experience as part of a township tour, which will add more value to your experience, and in doing so you also support local entrepreneurs.

Knysna truly has something for everyone, and there is always a hidden gem to be discovered, to satiate whatever craving you may have. So, pick up your fork, and start exploring!

* Written by Glendyrr Fick – 12 March 2021