Exploring the Beauty of Knysna by Boat: Hidden Gems and Unforgettable Adventures

Posted by Carolien Henn on Sep 21, 2023 12:27:48 PM

Knysna Tait Marine

Nestled along the picturesque Garden Route of South Africa lies the enchanting town of Knysna, a destination renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, serene waters, and a plethora of outdoor activities. While Knysna offers a wide array of experiences, one of the most captivating ways to explore this coastal gem is by boat. Whether you're an avid sailor or a first-time boater, Knysna's waterways are a treasure trove of hidden gems and unforgettable adventures waiting to be discovered.


The boatbuilding and shipping history of Knysna has shaped the town for generations. It's worth taking the time to learn more about how this town became so popular. Boats have been coming in and out of the heads onto the lagoon since as far back as 1804.

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The channels and sand banks of the Estuary are clearly visible at low tide. The navigable channel is about 19 km long, and 2 km at its widest. The first 5 km (measured from the Heads) are navigable for deep-keel yachts and small ships. Above the railway bridge, small craft can travel for about a further 14km. The average depth of the channels is between 1.2 and 1.5 metres below mean sea level, with a maximum depth of about 16 metres.

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Launch sites are located around the lagoon. Here are a few to check out: Crabs Creek, The Point, K.A.D.A Ferry Terminal, and Lake Brenton.



Knysna's Lagoon: A Water Wonderland


The Knysna Lagoon is the heart of boating activity in the area. With its calm, azure waters surrounded by lush green hills, it's no wonder that boating enthusiasts flock here. From leisurely cruises to thrilling watersports, there's something for everyone on the lagoon.


Sunset Cruises: Picture yourself sipping on a glass of local wine while watching the sun dip below the horizon, casting a warm glow on the lagoon's waters. Sunset cruises in Knysna offer unparalleled beauty and relaxation.

Knysna Tait Marine

Fishing Adventures: The Knysna Estuary (The Heads) remains constantly open to the sea and acts as a breeding ground for various fish species such as spotted grunter, white steenbras, dusky kob, and cape stumpnose. These species find refuge in this area to breed and develop. The lagoon is teeming with a variety of fish species, making it a haven for anglers. Whether you're a novice or an experienced angler, Knysna's waters promise an exciting catch.


The Knysna salt marshes are the second largest in South Africa and are home to the endangered Knysna Seahorse. Therefore, this area is protected, and any boat using the Knysna Lagoon must display a valid license disk and be registered with SANParks. Both short-term and long-term permits are available.

You can obtain a map from SANParks that shows where you can collect bait with a valid permit, waterski, and which areas are off-limits because they are protected.

Follow the link to get in touch with SANParks for your permit: 



Visit the SANParks Thesen Island Office in Knysna to view the Knysna Seahorse up close!


Kayaking and Paddleboarding: For a more intimate connection with the water, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard. Glide along the lagoon's tranquil surface, observing the rich birdlife and marine creatures beneath you.


Waterskiing and Wakeboarding: Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline fix by engaging in waterskiing, wakeboarding, or kitesurfing. Knysna's relatively calm waters make it an ideal place to try out these exhilarating activities. Knysna’s Mediterranean climate means that lagoon is a great place to learn how to kitesurf all year around and if you are a more advanced kite surfer, then the rolling waves of Brenton on Sea will put a smile on your face.


Secluded Beaches and Picnic Spots

Knysna is home to some hidden, secluded beaches accessible only by boat. One such gem is Bollard Bay, a peaceful stretch of sand that offers a sense of seclusion and tranquility. Many boat charters can take you there, and you can spend a day sunbathing, picnicking, and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.


Seal and Dolphin Watching

Another must-do boating activity in Knysna is seal and dolphin watching. The waters around the area are inhabited by these playful creatures, and there's nothing quite like witnessing them in their natural habitat. Many boat tours offer guided excursions that bring you up close to these marine marvels, creating unforgettable memories for wildlife enthusiasts and families alike.


Discover the Featherbed Nature Reserve

As you embark on your boating journey in Knysna, the Featherbed Nature Reserve should be at the top of your list. This protected area is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and offers an array of exciting activities.


Start your adventure with a scenic ferry ride across the stunning Knysna Lagoon to the reserve. Once you arrive, take a guided hike through lush forests and winding trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints. The famous Knysna Heads, a pair of towering sandstone cliffs guarding the entrance to the lagoon, are a sight to behold from this vantage point.


Social Boating at Under Milkwood

On the shores of the Knysna Lagoon, the tranquil Under Milkwood Chalets resort offers guests a haven of leisure and comfort, with wonderful views of the lagoon and the Outeniqua Mountains in the background. There is a stunning beach where many people anchor and can enjoy swimming and canoeing. Under Milkwood offers chalets and hiking, golf, bird watching, and many other leisure activities can all be enjoyed close by, as well as many other attractions offered in Knysna.

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Boating in Knysna is more than just a recreational activity; it's a journey into the heart of South Africa's natural beauty. Whether you're exploring the Featherbed Nature Reserve, cruising the serene waters of the Knysna Lagoon, or encountering marine life up close, Knysna's boating experiences are sure to leave you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. So, grab your captain's hat, set sail, and uncover the hidden gems of this coastal paradise, one nautical mile at a time.

Explore the stunning scenery of Knysna and its lagoon, which is ideal for power boating, fishing, and water sports. Marvel at the indigenous forests and the sparkling waters. For thrill-seekers, take a trip up to the breathtaking and untamed 'The Heads’.

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For any boating and Suzuki outboard queries, head to our Suzuki Marine Authorized dealer Tait Marine!


Topics: Boating Lifestyle