Garden Route National Park – Knysna

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Knysna National Lake Area was proclaimed in December 1985 in order to protect the Knysna lagoon and salt marshes. The Estuary is the second largest in South Africa. The Knysna River has its origin in the Outeniqua Mountains.  Its 19kms long and gradually widens and deepens to form a lagoon approximately 3km wide and 5m deep.

Special Features:

  • The Knysna Forest Camping Decks – situated in the Diepwalle Forest area, here you can sleep over and enjoy some of the best day walks, mountain biking, picnic and enjoy scenic view points.
  • Garden of Eden in Harkerville Forest.
  • hiking trail
  • Kraanshoek Viewpoint and Picnic sites – its voted the best lookout point in the Southern Cape Coast.

Things to seek:

  • Wildlife: Honey Badger, Long-eared Bat, Leopard, Grysbok, Bushpig, Grey Rhebuck, Knysna Sea Horse
  • bush-pig-piglet
  • Birds: Grey Plover, Marsh Sandpiper, Greenshank, Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Cape Shoveller
  • Plants/Trees: Fynbos, Ironwood, Cape Holly, White Pear, Assegai Tree, Cape Primrose


  • Outeniqua Hiking Trail
  • Forest walks
  • Fishing
  • Water Skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Birding
  • Sailing
  • Angling
  • Boardsailing
  • Power boating

How to get there:

The park lies on the scenic Garden Route, 500kms from Cape Town and 300 kms from Port Elizabeth. Car rental facilities are available from George which is 70km from Knysna.