Ocean Odyssey

Top 10 things to do for families

The greater Knysna area is a treasure trove of activities for families – we can literally keep you busy for days!

Explore the magical Knysna forest

The indigenous forest is the perfect outdoor playground with a wide variety of hiking, cycling and swimming spots. Buy some local produce and end your forest outing with a picnic and swim in the river nearby.

Top tips

  • Include a short hike to the Woodville big tree and show the kids the 800 year old giant yellow wood tree.
  • Totties Farm kitchen in Rheenedal serves scrumptious farm-style food. With expansive fenced gardens and play areas for the little ones, this is a great breakfast, brunch and lunch spot.
  • Not enough time to get to the forest? The Farm on the Simola Road has a kids cycle pump track and play park and serves great breakfast and lunches, including pizza’s.
  • For a fynbos walk in town, try Pledge Nature Reserve or Steenbok Park Nature reserve on Leisure Island.

Visit the Knysna Elephant Park

Get personal with a 7000kg African giant – a visit to the Knysna Elephant Park is one of the most popular things to do in the Knysna area. Over the last twenty years the park has cared for and raised more than forty orphaned elephants. Here you can walk, and sleep with the herd at the Park.

Visit Featherbed Nature Reserve

What’s not to love about a ferry trip across the Knysna lagoon to Featherbed Nature Reserve, a short hike and a scrumptious buffet dinner under the trees? The views are magnificent and this five hour experience will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Please Note: Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic all Featherbed’s services are temporarily suspended. Please check that they have re-opened before you plan your outing!

Take a boat trip

The ocean, lagoons, estuaries, lakes and rivers in the greater Knysna area provides ample playground and experiences for all ages. You have a choice of ferry trips to the Knysna Heads, a sail on an authentic pirate ship, whale & dolphin watching, a sunset sailing trip through the Knysna Heads, canoeing and more – the options are varied and exciting.

Top Tip: If your family is confident on the water, why not overnight on a Knysna houseboat?

Visit some real castles

Noetzie has a small, picturesque beach guarded over by six imposing castles which were built from local sandstone. Swimming in the sea at Noetzie is not recommended except at peak holiday times when there is a lifeguard on duty, but the lagoon at the river mouth is safe for swimming and canoeing.

Top Tip: Pack some refreshments because the beach is quite isolated and there are no shops or restaurants close by.

Spend the day on the beach

The greater Knysna area has 11 beaches – you are literally spoilt for choice! Activities include surf lessons, body boarding, long walks, swimming, snorkelling and of course, sand castle building.

Brenton-on-Sea

Top Tip: Although not a beach, the Goukamma river in the Goukamma Nature Reserve (on the road to Buffels Bay is a great place to spend the day with the family. Activities include paddling, fishing, horseback riding, mini magic miniature horse experiences and farmstyle food.

Knysna Scootours

Legs and bicycles are not required with this non-motorised, eco-friendly chubby scooter. They offer a variety of tours and the experience can be as exciting as you want it to be, but at the same time safe enough for any youngster who is confident on a bicycle.

Visit the Mosaic Garden in Sedgefield

If you take a drive through Sedgefield, you will immediately notice the abundance of mosaics peppered throughout the town. The mosaic garden is a marine-themed Mosaic Park called “The Octopus Garden under the Sea” next to the Scarab Market. Various mosaic sculptures were designed including a giant octopus, a dolphin and an Orca.

Top Tip: If you are in Knysna on a Saturday, make sure to combine your visit to the Mosaic Garden with a visit to the local markets in Sedgefield.

Snorkelling at Gericke’s Point

During spring low tide when the water recedes far enough for safe and leisurely snorkelling, the tidal pools at Gericke’s Point, at Swartvlei beach in Sedgefield beg for underwater exploration. Expect dazzling displays of vividly-coloured anemones, spiky urchins, other-worldly granular starfish, Cape rock crabs, octopus, nudibranch, sea hares, limpets, mussels and an assortment of fish of varying sizes.

Tidal pools at Gericke’s Point

Top Tip: If you are in Knysna during spring low tide with a full moon, don’t miss the Moonlight Meander. The guided tour is perfect for curious adults and children alike and takes you from Swartvlei Beach to the tidal pools of Gericke’s point, about 1km away. Along the way, local marine biologist Judy Dixon shows and shares the wonders of a once in a nighttime safari.

Get acquinted with the Knysna seahorse

The endangered Knysna seahorse, is a remarkable little fish with a long snake-like tail and a downward pointing snout that is related to the pipefish. Visit the SANParks offices at Thesen Harbour Town where there is an aquarium housing a number of specimens.

Top Tip: Thesen Island has a great play area and a number of child friendly restaurants to choose from.