There’s so much to see and do in and around Knysna that you couldn’t fit it all into a single post. I’m going to focus on the Rheenendal-Buffalo Bay area to the west, which we’ve returned to again and again. Here are 15 things to do near Knysna on the Garden Route.
2. Treat yourself to some fresh farm cream from the Leeuwenbosch Factory & Farm Stall on the Rheenendal Road, about 200m from the N2. It’s thick and yellow, nothing like the thin white liquid you buy in Big City supermarkets. (You can also find it Pick n Pay and Spar in the Knysna/Sedgefield area.) Leeuwenbosch makes a range of yoghurts and feta too, and there’s a tea room/restaurant with restful views. [Update: Sadly, the farm stall burnt down in 2017.]
3. Visit Totties Farm Kitchen for tea or lunch. The food is good and in summer the garden is a blaze of roses and other colourful flowers.
6. If you’re feeling energetic, do the 19km Homtini MTB Route that starts at the Krisjan se Nek picnic site and follows jeep tracks and logging roads through indigenous forest and plantation. It’s a circular trail that should take you about two hours if you’re fit. Get a permit at the Goudveld entrance gate, then drive another 4km to the starting point.
7. Go hiking at Goukamma Nature Reserve, on the way to Buffalo Bay. Choose between six trails from 4-15km, from beach walks to dune walks with coastal fynbos, and forest walks that offer a good chance of seeing some of the 220 species of birds that have been recorded in the reserve. Take along your Wild Card so you won’t have to pay entry to the reserve.
9. Go fishing for alien bass on Groenvlei lake (get a permit from the Goukamma Nature Reserve office), or angling with a rod from the sea shore if you have a licence.
10. Feel the sea breeze in your hair on an early morning beach walk from Buffalo Bay towards Brenton before sunbathers litter the sands. If you’re up for a three-hour walk, remember to turn around after half that time. If you have a friend willing to pick you up in Brenton, you can walk the whole beach – about 6km. From the Rheenendal Road, turn right on to the N2 towards Sedgefield then take the first turn to your left to get to Buffalo Bay.