Almost a year later, we are still here! We gather this is a common phenomenon with visiting yachtspeople, some of whom never actually leave!
As the South African coastline is not the most, user-friendly coastline for sailing, one has to pick the appropriate weather windows to sail from one hidey-hole to the next. A number of yachts miss out Knysna due to their concerns about sailing through the Heads, which can look rather daunting as you approach from the ocean, however by carefully following the navigation leads you will be rewarded with a friendly, safe and interesting destination.
There are options with regards to whether you anchor or moor on one of the Knysna Yacht Club moorings in front of the yacht club or you can go into the marina if they have availability.
We chose to anchor out partly due to the size of our vessel and lack of availability of a suitable berth in the marina and secondly because we have dogs onboard, who enjoy the 360 water views as much as we do. Another bonus of being out on the anchor is that we enjoy uninterrupted views of the stunning sunrises and sunsets.
However you don’t have to be a boat owner to enjoy all that Knysna Lagoon has to offer, as there are many tourist options to choose from, depending on your preferences.
The Featherbed Company offers a variety of excellent excursions including a 4-hour guided trip across the lagoon to their Nature Reserve on the west headland. The trip takes you by ferry to the eco-reserve, where you are then transported on a scenic trailer ride up the hill to enjoy wonderful views of the Heads and across the whole lagoon. There is an optional walk, which winds through caves and coves alongside the lagoon back to the jetty and restaurant, where a delicious buffet lunch is served, before you are ferried back to their jetty near to the Knysna Waterfront.
The Featherbed Company also offers cruises on their sailing catamaran out to the Heads and sumptuous lunch or dinner cruises on their Paddle Cruiser along with various other ferry trips.
There are also other companies offer sailing and fishing trips on the lagoon, however if you feel like spending longer on the water, why not opt for one of the houseboat charters offered by Lightleys Holiday Houseboats? You can potter around the lagoon to your heart’s content stopping to enjoy the flora and fauna of the area, which is well documented in the informative leaflets that are available at the SANParks office on Thesen Islands or you can simply cast your fishing rod and wait for supper!
If shopping, eating or drinking is your thing there is plenty of choice at the Knysna Waterfront and Thesen Islands. A bit further afield there are pleasant pubs and cafes at the more relaxed lagoonside communities of East Head, Belvidere and Leisure Island, all of which are easily accessible either by boat or road.
Whatever your preference there are plenty of activities to choose from on and around Knysna Lagoon, not to mention the greater Knysna area if and when you feel like you have exhausted the options available on the water!
There is plenty of information available on the internet on the www.visitknysna.co.za website amongst others, so come along and enjoy this beautiful part of South Africa.