Catching these spectacular natural lightshows should be on your list of things to do in Knysna – and here are the best spots to do so.
In Knysna, catch the sun rising and setting at:
The Heads lookout point, Knysna
On the Eastern Head in Knysna, the Heads viewpoint consists of three decks that offer stunning views any time of the day, but specifically so at dawn and dusk. Looking towards the town of Knysna over the lagoon, the sun rises over your shoulders to herald a new day. You can watch it set behind the hills as another remarkable day ends in Knysna, and watch the sun as it rises or sets over the ocean from one of the viewing decks. The Heads Lookout Point is at the top of the Eastern Head. Travel along George Rex Drive to the Eastern Head and follow the signs up the hill.
A sunset stroll through the Steenbok Nature Reserve will reward you with a shimmering show as the sun sets over the estuary and the town of Knysna. Or simply sit on the beach at Bollard Bay and watch as the light changes from beautiful to, well, beautiful.
The best spots in Sedgefield are:
Facing south over Sedgefield with views to east and west, Cloud 9 is the perfect perch from which to watch both the sunrise and the sunset over the picturesque town. Amber and golden hues play off the reflective surfaces of the Swartvlei estuary and river, and paint the distant Outeniqua Mountains in shimmering yellows and reds. The access road to Cloud 9 turns north off the N2 national road as you enter Sedgefield from Knysna.
If the tides allow you to walk to the sandstone behemoth at dawn or dusk, it is an extraordinary experience to watch the sun rising out of the ocean and to see the mystical colours of sunset over the sea. If low tide is not at a convenient time, Swartvlei Beach is an easy alternative spot from where the sunrise and sunset are equally impressive.
Drive out of Sedgefield towards George and turn left at the mashie golf course just as you’ve crossed the bridge over Swartvlei.
Swartvlei River Mouth
There is something magical about being next to the water as the sun rises or sets. Experience this at the Swartvlei River Mouth and marvel as a day’s new beginning – or end – reflects off of the estuary’s surface.
Other areas from where to catch stunning sunrises and sunsets are:
Margaret's Viewpoint, Brenton-on-Sea
Few sights are as spectacular as watching the sun rise over the town of Knysna. The first rays of the sun tease away the tendrils of mist over the estuary and lights up the mountains in the distance as the town comes alive. Pack a thermos of coffee to enjoy with this animated view, or head to Belvidere for a well deserved cuppa and a hearty breakfast before embarking on the day’s adventures. Margaret’s Viewpoint is at a parking area to your left on the road to Brenton-on-Sea. You’ll find it just before you crest the hill.
The wide bay makes for spectacular sunsets and whether you are watching perched high up on the vegetated dunes, or from the beach below, it will not disappoint.
Main Beach & The Wildside, Buffalo Bay
Watch the sun rise over the ocean from the main beach at Buffalo Bay, then close off your ideal beach day by catching the sun setting into the ocean from Buff’s Wildside, a section of the Goukamma Nature Reserve.
Spitzkop viewpoint, Ysternek Nature Reserve
At a height of 933m, Spitzkop is the highest accessible peak in the region. On a clear day and if timed correctly, it offers truly magnificent sunrises and sunsets over much of the region; from the coastline to the forests and mountains that reach from Mossel Bay to Plettenberg Bay. Spitzkop lies on the Prince Alfred Pass (Route 339) that connects Knysna with Uniondale. You’ll find Route 339 to your left as you exit Knysna towards Plettenberg Bay.
Please note it is quite a drive out of Knysna and depending on if you’re planning a sunrise or sunset trip, you’ll be driving a section of this road in the dark.
If you’re more of a sundowner than a sunset kind of person, grab a well-timed cocktail at one of the many restaurants with exquisite views or board a sunset dinner cruise. Click here for more opportunities to dine with a view in Knysna, and explore the many other jaw-dropping viewpoints here.