The complete guide to a Knysna winter escape


The Garden Route is one of the classic bucket list destinations. One which always summons travellers back as they fall more and more in love with the lush green forests, the pristine beaches and the secluded little seaside towns. 

In summer, the N2 is crawling with cars as holidaymakers from all over the globe fight for their place in the sun. 

In winter, however, the Garden Route caters for locals.

Not necessarily the fun-in-the-sun type, but rather the serenity seekers who crave a winter break, reading a pile of books and drinking a bottle of red wine alongside a cozy fireplace. 

Winter also ushers in the loved Oyster festival in the Garden Route. The festival boasts a remarkable selection of sporting and lifestyle events from swimming, bowls and hiking to food and wine-tastings, live music, a children’s programme and oodles of oysters!

CHECK OUT: Warm up this winter with 10 adventure-filled days at the 2018 Knysna Oyster Festival 

If all that hiking and running is not your thing, don't fret. There's room enough on the Garden Route to accommodate all. 

Apart from the laid-back vibe that settles over the Garden Route in the low season, there's also a budget-friendly attitude towards domestic travellers. 

If you're after a quiet breakaway to the Garden Route, consider this: 

Where to stay - 

The Turbine Boutique Hotel and Spa is a 24-room, funky, modern, yet artfully preserves the historical building that once supplied all the electricity needs of Knysna and the surrounding areas. 

While historic touches- think old turbines and intriguing pipes - run right through the boutique hotel, modern amenities like the Amani spa retreat makes the stay a luxurious one. 

Special winter promotions, which run from May through to August, include standard rooms at R1 095 per person sharing per night, including a delicious full breakfast in the Island Café. 

You can also enjoy a classic Swedish massage for R 1 345 per person sharing per night, and a dinner, bed and breakfast package is priced at R1 295 per person sharing per night.

NOTE: The winter rates apply to a minimum of a two-night stay, subject to availability. The special excludes the Oyster Festival 1 to 10 July.  

What to eat - 

Since it's winter and oysters are abound, it would be criminal for you not to indulge in these delicacies. 

If you're craving something more scrumptious, Pomodoro in Wilderness and Trattoria Da Vinci in Sedgefield serve some of the best Italian food. 

Pomodoro's sister restaurant Salinas Beach Restaurant in Wilderness is the slightly fancier edition if you're looking for a grander dining experience. In Mossel Bay, you can dine in style (but still lick the plate clean) at Louis Oosthuizen's Route 57 Restaurant

What to see and do - 

The Knysna forest is the ultimate playground for serenity seekers. A drive to and walk around a couple of the Big Trees in the area are a definite must. 

Be on the lookout for Knysna loeries... and Oupoot!

WATCH: Elusive Knysna elephant captured on camera

On Saturday mornings, the Wild Oats Community Farmers Market in Sedgefield is also a must-do. This massive market rivals any hipster Cape Town or Joburg market, and offers the freshest vegetables right from the farmers.

You can also buy freshly shucked oysters on the spot!

A photo posted by @nyleveevelyn on


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