The Knysna Oyster Festival

Knysna Oyster Festival

The Garden Route’s biggest annual event, the Knysna Oyster Festival, is also the town’s longest running event and brings thousands of visitors to the greater Knysna area every year.

It was initiated in 1983 as the Knysna Winter Festival to attract visitors during the off-season and has grown since then into an exciting 10-day family-friendly celebration of sport and the good life.

The festival takes place every June/July and is organised by local residents. A charity component ensures that each event allocates a percentage of funds raised to a local charity.

The Knysna Cycle Tour

The Oyster Festival kicks off every year with the Knysna Cycle Tour, an enthralling weekend of cycling for the whole family. The routes are exciting, challenging and very scenic, showcasing the natural beauty of the area.

The Knysna Cycle Tour

The Knysna Forest Marathon

The second iconic event is the 37th Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon on the last Saturday of the festival. It is known for its unique early morning start deep in the Knysna Forest which inspires a special comradery amongst the runners. There is a 21 km and a 42 km option, so runners can choose the distance that best suits their fitness and training. There are usually a number of fun, celebratory parties for runners to attend after the race.

The Knysna Forest Marathon

10 days of entertainment

Between the two major sporting events, a host of other sport and lifestyle events are planned to keep festival goers enthralled and entertained. Hikes and trail runs through the forest, a paddle race to The Heads, Wine Festivals, chess tournaments, soccer, netball and street miles – and a plethora of kids events – are all on the extensive programme, not forgetting live music concerts and events celebrating the local mollusc which gives the festival its name.

And oysters, of course ...

Restaurants in and around Knysna provide plenty of opportunity to taste oysters and many have a programme of live music and entertainment over the 10-day period. Local tourism companies also offer visitors the chance to explore the area with ferry rides across the lagoon, boat rides through The Heads, township tours and tours of the town, and a variety of activities in the forest.

Knysna Festival Oysters

2022 dates

The 2022 Festival is taking place from 1-10 July. For more information and the full festival programme please visit the official festival website. You can also follow the festival FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts for regular updates and information.

Book your accommodation in advance and we’ll see you in Knysna for the best 10 days of your winter!