In Knysna you are spoilt for choice when it comes to breathtaking scenery – here are some epic views in the area.
The Knysna Heads
One of the most prominent geological features in Knysna is fondly known as ‘The Heads’, which refers to the colossal sandstone headlands which flank the 230m opening of the estuary mouth. It is permanently linked to the sea and some days the opening of the mouth is so calm and glassy that one could quite easily take a leisurely paddle out to sea (not often), while other times waves crash along the entire length of the channel and vessels of all sizes are unable to make the passage out to the ocean. Whatever the conditions, it is always an awe-inspiring sight. The best way to truly appreciate this dynamic landscape is to take a drive up to the top of the Eastern Headland, where you will enjoy sweeping views over the Knysna lagoon, the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains in the far distance. If you would rather feel dwarfed by nature’s grandeur, then head to the bottom of the Eastern Head and soak up the views from below.
Take a turn off the N2 and make your way towards Brenton on Sea. When you reach an elevated position, you will see a parking area on the left called Margaret’s Viewpoint, which offers incredible views over the whole of Knysna, its vast estuary and the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance. The best time to soak up the beauty is as dusk, when the morning light spills across the water below.
Before you descend into the little hamlet of Brenton on Sea, you will find an all-encompassing view over the Indian Ocean. It is such a perfect elevation from which to view the ocean, that most days during whale season you will find Ocean Odyssey’s whale spotter sitting up there with a pair of binoculars scanning the ocean surface for whale activity.
Just a short drive out of Knysna you will find the Ysternek Nature Reserve. If you follow the gravel road to the reserve’s highest point, you will find a little piece of heaven, perfect for those looking to sit on top of the world. The seventh stop on the ‘Rooted in Time’ self-drive tour, the Spitzkop viewpoint rises up 933m above the verdant swathes of the Diepwalle Forest and is the highest accessible peak in the region. When the visibility is good, the views are mind-blowing, with far-reaching ocean and mountain views from Plettenberg Bay to Mossel Bay.
Cloud 9 in Sedgefield
If you are a newcomer to Sedgefield this is the perfect spot to get a bird’s eye view to appreciate how postcard-pretty the town of Sedgefield is. Make your way up the dirt road and along the top of the ridge which runs parallel to the town and enter at the parking lot of Cloud 9. The name says it all. From this elevation you can see the seemingly never-ending coastline and the curves of the last stretches of the Swartvlei river and lagoon. Look right and you can see the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance. Cloud 9 is the launch site for local paragliding operators and in the summer months you may even get to see some thermal flying action from this incredible vantage point.
At low tide take a walk to Gericke’s Point in Sedgefield and climb to the top of this iconic sandstone boulder. It is located on the captivating peninsula which separates Sedgefield from the urban settlement of Kleinkrantz a little further west. It is a relatively easy climb for fit folks, but parts of the sandstone terrain can be a little unstable so be sure to watch your footing. It is well worth the short climb and a perfect podium for viewing the length of our beautiful and extensive coastline from east to west. Sea mist hangs in the crevices of the fossilised dunes to the left and Sedgefield’s never-ending shoreline can be viewed from the right. If you look down, you will see the indigo tidal pools exposed at low tide across the coastal shelf. This is soul food at its best.