Knysna. Nice, nah!

Nice?

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Nah! (In a good way, I promise!)

Eck! I hope I’m not being so lame. Do forgive me. πŸ™‚

Knysna

Calling Knysna nice is an understatement. It is true that “nice” is in “Knysna” (read: “Nice-na”). knysna-waterfront-27Those novelty t-shirts say so.

But, Knysna is more than nice.

By the way, the play-on word, “Nice-na”, may say to a tourist that the town is nice but it probably makes more sense to me, a Filipino, because we use the word, “na” a hell of a lot. Roughly, “na” means “already”, so Knysna is “nice already”. Haha!

But really, it is more than nice.

Why? You ask.

I shall show you why.

I was a bit inspired, feeling all poetic, so let me tell you why, poetically.

Lagoon, mountains, sky
Breathtaking as the islands
Dreamily I watch
Cruising by, boats of all kinds
Heart’s new home, soon also mine
Β© Anna Jailene Aguilar-Van Der Merwe

To not get overly excited, let me start off with the boring part, the logistics.

All about Knysna

Apart from the famous Oyster Festival that takes place in Knysna annually, which I contemplated on attending once or twice because I love oysters, I didn’t really know much about Knysna. I knew about George and Mosselbaai (Mossel Bay) because of the more popular golf courses that are on my bucket list of courses to play (even if I don’t play golf regularly; it’s all for the travel..). My father was the one who brought info on Knysna, which we still didn’t read.

Right now, I even know that Knysna holds the Annual Literary Festival in March.

Knysna has no airport. The 2 closest airports are George (a little less than 70km away) and Plettenbergbaai (Plettenberg Bay) (a little over 40km away).

Here are some information on Knysna from SouthAfrica.Net:

  • Knysna is a town in the Western Cape province and is part of the famed Garden Route
  • As there is no airport in Knysna, whether driving from Johannesburg, Cape Town or any other place in South Africa, or driving from George or Plettenberg Bay, the N2 highway takes you to Knysna
  • Knysna’s most famous attraction is the “Knysna Heads, the treacherous entry into the Knysna lagoon where many an ancient sailing vessel met its doom”
  • On the southern head is Featherbed Nature Reserve, rich in fauna and flora
  • Nearby is Knysna Elephant Park, home to relocated jumbo families

“Dolphins are often spotted offshore, while southern right whales pay seasonal visits to the shores of the Paradise Coast. A dolphin-spotting boat trip might include a stop off at the Robberg Peninsula near Plettenberg Bay to visit a noisy seal colony.” – SouthAfrica.Net

Moving on to what we actually did when we visited Knysna, not once, not twice but three times…

Knysna Waterfront

It isn’t Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront but I like it enough. One can do a little bit of shopping here. We also needed to eat first. Although we could have wasted time deciding as there were so many options, for mother’s sake – and her love of Asian food – we had Chinese.

The first time I laid my eyes on you
Lunch at Wu’s
Checking out the Waterfront

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The boat had to go under the bridge. This tourist was fascinated. Haha!

 

Knysna Estuary

Knysna has the second largest lagoon in South Africa.

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I am certain that this estuary offers a whole lot for fun that I got out of it. I only got to do the boat cruise with my son and daughter.

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No, this wasn’t our boat
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We’ll take this one next time. I think food (and drinks?) are included with the cruise.
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We wanted to take this one but it was more expensive, about 3 times the price of the one we took, and I wasn’t sure if it was a good choice for toddlers.
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Isn’t she lovely?
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Setting off…
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For someone who can’t swim, I wasn’t so scared.
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This wasn’t for my mother, for sure.

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The Knysna Headlands ahead

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4×4 ride, anyone?

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Or, we can just sit and relax.
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She doesn’t need to be huge and imposing to be majestic.

Lagoon Real Estate

We got to see some of the houses I wished I owned. Okay, even just one of them.

Actually, there’s one I really wanted. And it is on the market!

Tell me you wouldn’t want this!

The current owner wants R70 million only! That is about $5.2 million. I think my banker was on holiday because I couldn’t get hold of him. I would have bought it right there and then.

sleep
Image credit: The Concussion Blog

Then I woke up. πŸ™‚

Lagoon Fun

So, I wanted to party with all these fun people instead, but I wasn’t prepared (being with my toddler and all that). I should have done some research on Knysna but I thought we were going to be mainly in George, Mossel Bay even. I would have learned that there was this restaurant here.

I was being spontaneous, though, so yeah, I knew nothing. Haha! And even this cruise was because the little one insisted to ride the boat.

For those who are not crazy about water, the restaurant can be reached via an alternative way, too. I will explore this next time – hopefully soon – and give an update. There are also hiking activities.

For now, we decided we will just check out Thesen Islands.

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But not before I got a little scared (without showing my fear, of course) as we hovered near the estuary’s mouth, in between the Knysna Headlands (also called Knysna Heads). This is the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon from the ocean (or exit from the lagoon to the ocean, whichever way is fine).

Knysna Heads

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Our guide said that there had been only 49 ships that sunk here. Fortunately, we were not going to be the 50th as our boat is made of the same materials as the Titanic. He’s a funny man.

For the other videos, you can watch here and here.

I also found a couple of interesting reading on Knysna Heads. Read them here (first part only as the rest are about rocks, being a Geology-focused site) and here.

We were there πŸ™‚

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Knysna’s Thesen Islands

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Yes, Knysna has Thesen Islands!

This is the reason I fell in love with Knysna. Effectively, I fell in love with Thesen Islands. I love the lagoon, too. So, when I say I am moving to Knysna, I mean I want to move to Thesen Islands.

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I am just waiting for my turn to win the lottery. When I do, I will even buy an extra apartment just for everyone in my WP community to take turns using when they come to Knysna, Western Cape. πŸ™‚

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Before I move to my house by the estuary, I first need to learn how to swim. I have had 2 lessons so far. It would have been 3 but I got lazy last Saturday. So now, my lottery winning will be a week later, too.

We knew nothing about Thesen Islands. Despite the good intentions of planning to put together some plans for our Western Cape trip, we ended up going for spontaneity and it was just fine. Anyway, we didn’t know where to go so we followed the way to the harbor.

Happiness! Can you see?

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My little one also felt at home instantly.
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My father was always quick to set up the camera on the tripod that we carried around everywhere. But, my photos are mostly taken by my ever-reliable iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S6.

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SANParks (South African National Parks) Offices
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It was a pity my father and my hubby didn’t get to do some fishing.
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That’s my signature pose, by the way.
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Ignore the tummy; blame the holiday eating. πŸ™‚
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The train system is no longer operational (kinda obvious, I suppose).

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My little one has claimed my signature pose as her own
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Sisters

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Off to see what else is here

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We couldn’t go further than the “town” as we’re not residents. Next time. πŸ™‚

In Thesen Islands, to go from home to the restaurant for a bite to eat or some cocktail drinks, you take the speed boat. You can also walk or ride bike. It’s awesome!

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Eating and Drinking in Thesen Islands

There are a few restaurant options for us, the tourists. We, creatures of habits, ended up at Col’cacchio twice, a national chain restaurant, not unique to Knysna or Thesen Islands. The playground was the attraction. We did try the tapas place, too (the second time we went there). I guess when the place, in general, is nice, everything in it is nice, too.

Some drinks
Heaven for kids
She even got a face paint

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My father and my hubby did a little kayaking
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“We can do this,” they both said.
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And off they went; my father first.
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They decided to have a race
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Lovely, isn’t it?

A pose before saying goodbye (for now) to my new home in the future.

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Until I see you again!

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6 thoughts on “Knysna. Nice, nah!

    1. I do. Being Asian, we must bring home t-shirts. Haha! I actually really want to move to Knysna. Hubby says it’s cold and wet… but I thought that’s for George. I hope your sister is enjoying herself there. I’m going back as soon as I get a chance. I’d love Cape Town, too.

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