Deemed as one of the area’s chief tourist attractions in South Africa, the Knysna Lagoon National Park, also known as Knysna Lagoon National Lake Area, is a breath-taking tidal lagoon surrounded by golden beaches, green forests, and green mountains. It is nestled on the banks of a stunning lagoon in the heart of the “Garden Route” in South Africa. It is situated between two massive cliffs known as The Knysna Heads, standing firm and tall as if they guard the pristine paradise.
The Knysna Lagoon National Park is where you can find the endangered Knysna seahorse and a wide diversity of marine life. Salt marshes and sandbanks are filled with life that provides aliment for various flora and fauna.
The Knysna Heads/The Heads
The Knysna Heads or Heads were once declared by the British Royal Navy to be the most dangerous entrance in the world. The Heads have been a witness of years of trade in ivory, gold, and timber in South Africa. The Knysna Heads is a must-see for all tourists who are in South Africa. Laden with natural abundance, The Knysna Heads link the provinces of the Eastern Cape and Western Cape. They include a number of popular holiday towns such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George Bay, Mossel Bay, and Nature’s Valley. They serve as a popular resting place for many fishermen and seamen. Presently, The Knysna Heads serve as a stunning natural wonder, serving as a picturesque background for people who are doing water sports nearby.
The East Knysna Head is more accessible than the other one, and visitors only need to go to the Leisure Isle and follow the sign posts to go there. It is easily accessible by vehicles, and it holds various viewing points and decks wherein you can see beautiful vistas. The Cony Glen Road has two types of viewpoints that offer different perspectives of nature.
Meanwhile, The West Knysna Head is much trickier to access because there are no public roads in it. The only way to witness it is through a ferry trip across the lagoon. It is home to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, wherein you can sight indigenous fynbos and coastal forests filled with birds, insects, and small animals.
Recreational Activities to do at Knysna Lagoon National Park
There are many recreational activities that you can accomplish within your stay in Knysna Lagoon National Park, with hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, and Elephant walk being the activity highlights. Listed below are other activities that you can do in this earthly paradise:
The waters of Knysna Lagoon National Park is home to leerfish, skate, elf, mullet, grunter, white steenbras, and Cape stumpnose, making the place a primes spot for local fishermen. If you wish to catch one of these marine beauties, you know what to do on your next visit to the national park.
Motor boats, yachts, and catamarans are common fixtures that can be sighted in the area. So, sailing an embarking on a cruise ride are fun ways to bask in the national park’s beauty.
Whale and dolphin watching
The Indian Ocean welcomes visitors on the other side of The Heads. Dolphins can be sighted at any time of the year, while several whale species appear between July and December. Together, these creatures create a wonderful marine spectacle for tourists who are watching from the boat.
More than 280 bird species can be found around the area. Witness water birds around Steenbok Park, Groenvlei, Swartvlei, and Thesen Islands.
Nearby forests provide a great opportunity for leisure walks, short hikes, and picnics for tourists who want to be one with nature. Serious hikers and cyclists can also enjoy strenuous walks and biking here.
Relish on South African cuisine with a picturesque view within your reach. There are many spectacular views around the area, so it’s best to ask your tour guide to know which ones will fit your taste. There are many eateries at the Knysna Waterfront—you may want to dine in at one of those.
Splurge on various shopping centers in this national park! Supermarkets, coffee bars, boutiques, specialized shops that sell local arts and crafts, and a whole lot more are waiting for you!