Knysna at a glance
Situated along the Western Cape’s famed Garden Route, Knysna is a delightful little seaside town that has a lot to offer its residents. For one, it is certainly one of the most beautiful areas in South Africa, with more than a few ways to get in touch with nature. Nestled between the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the shores of the Knysna Estuary, the town has something to offer everyone. Property in the area is highly sought after, with a healthy mix of families, retirees and tourists making up the town’s populace.
Knysna is also home to three golf courses, all of which balance perfectly with the town’s expanse of natural beauty. As one of the country’s leading golfing destinations, Simola Golf Course, Knysna Golf Course and Pezula Champion Golf Course are all within a six kilometre radius of the town’s centre. For any avid golfer, Knysna is the perfect place to invest in some worthwhile property, whether it be for the purposes of a family home or special holiday haven for you and your family to escape to.
This little town also has plenty of ways for visitors to explore and discover the ample hidden gems contained within it. There is a plethora of hiking and mountain biking trails throughout Knysna, meaning that there is never a shortfall of things to do. A luscious green forest stretches along Knysna’s length, providing more than enough opportunity for nature to be embraced.
Property in Knysna is extremely varied, all thanks to the fact that so many people flock to the town from far and wide. This has opened up opportunities for a number of complexes and seaside apartments, as well as sprawling family homes and small holdings. It truly is a fantastic place to settle down.
Belvidere is probably the most beautiful suburb in Knysna. Situated on the western shore of the Knysna lagoon, Belvidere offers the most gorgeous views across the lagoon and towards the Knysna heads.
To make the most of these lagoon front properties in Knysna, Belvidere residents enjoy their own jetties from which they can launch their boats or do some lagoon fishing.
The peace and tranquillity of this area is legendary and the birdlife is prolific. Belvidere is one of the safest neighbourhoods in Knysna. The Knysna town centre is about ten minutes' drive away and the popular Brenton-on-Sea beach is only five minutes away. There are also several restaurants between Belvidere and Knysna, so enjoying a night out would never mean driving too far from home.
Old Belvidere was established in the 19th century. A 150 year old Anglican church is in the very centre of Old Belvidere - a copy of a Norman church in England. The communal village green in Belvidere is covered in wild flowers in the spring and the lovely shade from the enormous trees makes it a family and dog lover's paradise.
In the days before the "Knysna White Bridge", a ferry service was connecting Belvidere (from the Ferry House) with the town (The Point). The ferryman lived at Belvidere on the slope of the hill above Ferry House. He would be signalled from The Point by means of a white disc mounted on a pole, after which he would come down in his dinghy and row across the lagoon. In those days, when young people were invited to dance in Knysna, they would often canoe across in their evening frocks and tuxedos rolled up on their laps.
The prestigious Belvidere Estate within Belvidere was established 22 years ago. The gardens established back then are now all well matured, and the bauhinia, cape chestnut and coral trees are now in full glory. When in bloom, the coral trees near the jetties are an absolutely wonderful sight to everyone visiting the Garden Route and passing through town.
Levies in Belvidere Estate are only about R100 per month. The Belvidere Estate facilities include tennis courts, boat storage and even a retirement village. The Belvidere Manor Hotel dates back to the 19th century. The hotel offers great meals and cottages for rent to those who wish to visit Belvidere - either just for a short-term stay in Knysna or for a longer holiday in the Garden Route area. The conference facilities at Belvidere Manor Hotel are well equipped. The Bell pub is also a popular meeting point for Knysna locals and international tourists in Knysna.
Belvidere Heights is a fairly new development above Belvidere Estate, with twelve properties on nine hectares of hillside covered with famous South African fynbos. The views of the Knysna lagoon and the hills in the distance are magnificent.
Property prices in Belvidere, Knysna, range from R1 650 000 to R3 200 000 for stands (of which there are very few left) and from R1 750 000 to R20 000 000 for homes and B&Bs.
Belvidere properties are sought after for the neighbourhood's country feel, security and beautiful lagoon views. The permanent residents will tell you that they would never live anywhere else and foreigners regard their holiday homes in Belvidere as true gems in the South African property landscape.
Brenton On Lake
Brenton-on-Lake is a suburb of Knysna, situated on the southern banks of the Knysna lagoon.
The Brenton-on-Lake properties are built on a hillside which boasts some of the best scenery in Knysna and is almost opposite the famous Thesen Island.
Brenton-on-Lake is a magical family holiday destination in Knysna, offering boating, skiing, fishing, swimming, canoeing, and yachting, with boats easily being launched from the communal slipway.
If you are a nature lover then this Knysna suburb is for you. North facing, the properties in Brenton-on-Lake offer a variety of spectacular indigenous trees, such as giant yellowwood and milk wood trees found nowhere else in Knysna.
In the village of Brenton-on-Lake, the bushbucks have been adopted by the locals and while walking you are guaranteed to see them munching the flowers in the local gardens. There is a resident porcupine that has made his home in a culvert under the road as well.
Residents are mainly retired folk who spend their days feeding the birds and bushbuck, but there are also many holiday homes in Brenton-on-Lake for the fortunate few.
Brenton-on-Lake is only 17 kilometres from the centre of Knysna, but for those fortunate enough to own a boat, as the crow flies, the Knysna Waterfront is less than two kilometres away.
There are two gated communities in Brenton-on-Lake offering ideal lock-up-and-go facilities. In total there are 500 residential homes in Brenton-on-Lake and prices vary from R700 000 without a lagoon view to R1 500 000 for a stand with a view. Homes for sale in Brenton go for between R995 000 to R2 400 000 without a lagoon view.
When you buy a property in Brenton-on-Lake, you can retire to Knysna, while still enjoying the benefits of living slightly further away from the hustle and bustle of this busy and very popular holiday destination in South Africa.
Located between the towns of George and Knysna, within the Goukamma Marine Reserve, this Garden Route paradise is flanked by the ocean all around, bordered by sandy beaches and rocky outcrops. A family orientated area, Buffalo Bay, or Buffelsbaai as it’s known to locals, is a great place to be with loved ones. Almost completely surrounded by the Indian Ocean, there are few views better than that of the crashing waves and endless horizon in this stretch of coastal splendour.
A place where every morning is graced by a golden sunrise over the glimmering blue water, early risers are greeted by pods of dolphins skimming through the waves as this natural wonderland comes to life. A soothing beach-side town, this is the perfect spot for a holiday house or summer retreat. Residents of the area enjoy the sub-tropical warmth of the Garden Route while sunbathing on idyllic beaches. A great place for sea lovers and fishing enthusiasts, its surrounding waters are alive with marine activity. From diving to sailing, and everything in between, this is a spot of paradise that anyone would dream of.
A short way away is the town of Knysna, an area filled with adventure and small-town splendour. This forest covered region is home to some extraordinary sights and activities, including elephant walks and canopy zip-lining adventures. A place rich in cultural significance and history, it is home to some famed festivals, including the Knysna Oyster Festival. Buffalo Bay is also within easy reach of some other fantastic experiences, such as the gigantic Cango Caves and the Oudtshoon Ostrich Show Farm.
Costa Sarda is a small, sunny suburb tucked away on the northern shore of the Knysna Lagoon. It is well established with beautiful trees and majority of the homes offer lovely views and some have access to jetties. This cosy, quaint suburb is close to town and all amenities, the perfect setting for a holiday!
Costa Sarda offers a variety of properties including family homes, luxury residences, holiday cottages and guest houses set on generous erf sizes up to about 1600m2. Each of these properties have unique architectural designs. There are also several gated security complexes including comfortable upmarket lock-up-and-go units right on the edge of the lagoon, perfect for those who have a let's-get-up and go attitude towards life!
One of the most enticing aspects of this suburb is its convenient location. Perfect for a family who want to be a part of the Knysna buzz and close to shopping, schools and all the wonderful activities Knysna has to offer. There are also many guest houses and holiday cottages for your over-flow guests.!
Costa Sarda is but a short walk from the exciting Knysna Waterfront where you will find many excellent restaurants buzzing with activity, plenty of tasty food and so much more!
These suburbs are the more recently established estates in Knysna. Eastford Nature Reserveis comprised of Eastford Glen, Eastford Cove, Eastford Vale, Eastford Country Estate, Eastford Downs as well as Green Pastures. These suburbs, north of Knysna town, neighbouring Simola Golf Course, are located less than a 5 minute drive to Knysna town with all its amenities, a few more to beaches, lagoon, and forest, and within an hour's drive of many attractions along the Garden Route.
Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of these picturesque estates, abundant with fauna and flora, offering affordable homes within a country setting. An active home owners association administers the estate for the enjoyment of residents, including the "green belt" private open-space with walking trails for recreational use. Whether looking for a holiday or permanent home, or simply to make a good investment, Eastford Nature Reserve is an attractive and affordable option.
Eastford offers a variety of homes and is set in a secure gated estate with controlled access. These homes have panoramic views of the Knysna Lagoon and/or the beautiful Outeniqua Mountains. Properties vary from middle income to extremely up-market/luxury homes and offers even up to 5500m2 with homes ranging from 300 to 900m2.
Eastford has many wonderful aspects and offers the perfect setting for your family...young or old. Enjoy the pristine surroundings and quiet, peaceful setting.
Heuwelkruin and Westhill are well-established areas with older characterful homes in Knysna, as well as some newly built ones within walking distance to the town centre.
Some properties in Heuwelkruin and Westhill have uninterrupted views over the Knysna lagoon. A real fairy-tale picture unfolds at night time when all the town lights come on.
If you enjoy boating, fishing, skiing, canoeing or swimming - these can all be enjoyed within close proximity at the nearby Knysna lagoon. A recently built 6 km promenade along the lagoon is very popular for walking, running and cycling by the Knysna locals and also as a lookout point for tourists.
Pledge Park is a municipal owned park, planted with indigenous plants, created and maintained by locals. It lends itself to a very informative leisurely stroll through the garden, which borders the central town.
The highly recommended Oakhill private school is situated in this suburb (with a view through the Knysna Heads), which is very convenient for families with school going children.
The bulk of the properties in Westhill and Heuwelkruin are occupied by the owners throughout the year, which results in true community living - making the area a real homey neighbourhood. The area is also safe and secure thanks to the efforts of local neighbourhood watch.
People who visit Knysna often drive around Heuwelkruin and Westhill just for the brilliant views from these suburbs. If you buy a property in Westhill or Heuwelkruin, you can enjoy this all year around!
This family orientated residential suburb in Knysna is situated close to Pezula, the Knysna Golf Club, the Knysna Private Hospital, the Hunters Estate Medical centre with its numerous specialists, restaurants at the famous Knysna Heads, and the sandy beaches of Bollard Bay on Leisure Island.
Most homes in Hunters Home enjoy a northern aspect, which is essential for sunny, warm living. Schools in close proximity are Knysna Primary and Knysna High, as well as Oakhill Private School.
The centre of Knysna with its numerous shopping malls and restaurants is only an eight minute drive from Hunters Home. For convenience there is a local supermarket and petrol station a mere five minutes away.
The houses in Hunters Home are built on generous stands ranging from 1 000 to over 4 000 m². As a result, the homes have the advantage of privacy with wonderful large gardens - perfect for children and pets. The suburb has only 271 full title properties.
To buy a property in Hunters Home will cost roughly between R1 500 000 and R3 000 000.
Properties in Hunters Estate, bordering on Hunters Home, have wonderful views of the Knysna lagoon.
The secure Hunters Retirement Village offers approximately 119 units ranging in size from 60 m² to 270 m². There is a community centre, a resident nurse and a frail care unit attached to the Knysna Private Hospital. The centre also offers a bus service to ferry residents who do not drive in and out of town.
If you appreciate gardening and bird watching, buying a property in Hunters Home will probably meet your requirements. Although this Knysna suburb is more popular amongst permanent residents, there are a huge number of guest houses and B&Bs in Hunters Home, which are fully occupied during the many Knysna festivals hosted throughout the year. These include the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival, the Knysna Hill Climb (around and about the beautiful Simola Golf Course), and the famous Knysna Oyster Festival (which includes marathons, cycling races, and enjoying Knysna oysters - our local specialty).
Hunters Home truly offers a home to those who wish to stay in Knysna - both to the tourist in the Garden Route or those who wish to permanently live in Knysna.
Kanonkop is situated close to Knysna, within an hour's drive from George and half an hour from Plettenberg Bay, in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
The Kanonkop suburb of Knysna was established with a country estate atmosphere in mind. The land sizes thus go up to 8 000 m².
Situated on a hilltop with some properties overlooking the Knysna lagoon and others the green inland valleys, it certainly is successful in creating the sense of space! It is the area in Knysna which offers the best weather and view combination - being north facing.
Some stately homes were built in this area with privacy being an important aspect. This is a relatively new suburb in Knysna, and the houses thus reflect modern building styles.
A few of the larger stands were developed into gated estates comprising four or more homes, which offer all the country living advantages together with the added benefits of security, a modern look-and-feel, and ease of lock-up-and-go.
The well-known Knysna Montessori private school is nearby where the very popular Friday Market is held. Knysna Hollow Country Hotel is just around the corner, offering a restaurant and pub facilities.
Properties in Kanonkop are only 2 km from town, but offers tranquil country living with the Knysna lagoon and the promenade within walking distance, as well as the two very popular swimming beaches, Buffalo Bay and Brenton-on-Sea, only a short drive away.
If you enjoy being close to town, but love country living, then a property in Kanonkop is for you.
Knysna Heights is situated above and to the west of the Knysna central business district - on the slopes of the hillside, as the name implies.
Properties in Knysna Heights offer views of the beautiful hills and lush green dales on one side, or of the Knysna town, the lagoon and the Knysna Heads on the other side. Houses in Knysna Heights get plenty of sunshine and the sunset over the mountains are an absolute treat!
Knysna Heights has grown rapidly, keeping up with the growth of the beautiful town.
The area boasts a private school on its doorstep, plus a baby school and preschool. If you buy in Knysna Heights, you're no more than five minutes from town and no more than ten minutes from the finest golf courses and other sporting facilities in Knysna.
Knysna Heights properties vary from upmarket and elegant, to affordable, well-priced family homes. The area surely caters for everybody.
The Knysna Quays is a sought after residential marina, surrounding a circular waterway which leads into the Knysna Lagoon. The developers took great care in ensuring the safe-keeping of the lagoon's sensitive ecosystem when designing and building this prestigious development.
The Quays' residential properties offer comfort, convenience and style, and appeals to those who want to be close to the excitement and activity of a holiday atmosphere. Residents can sail their yachts to their doorstep as The Quays has a deep water channel and many of the homes have private moorings. A sailing enthusiasts dream!
The development is comprised of 128 luxury homes, consisting of one and two bed apartments , two or three bed duplexes and beautiful three storey homes. Something to suit everyone! Many of the homes have balconies boasting views of the lagoon and The Knysna Heads. These properties offer great investment opportunities and are perfect lock-up-and-go homes for those who like to travel or who want a home-away-from-home. The Knysna Quays has 24 hour security and access control so you can relax and enjoy your surroundings without a worry.
The Knysna Quays is walking distance from town and all its amenities, and adjacent to the Waterfront which offers excellent shopping coffee shops and wonderful restaurants.
Leisure Island is an Island village within Knysna - one of South Africa's favourite towns and holiday destinations! Knysna is situated in the beautiful Garden Route where natural beauty abounds and fun in the sun is the order of the day. Knysna hugs the shores of the large Knysna estuary and Leisure Island lies in the lagoon close to the famous Knysna Heads!
Leisure Island is true to its name, graced with an idyllic, relaxed lifestyle that is its main attraction. The Island is flat and surrounded by water (about 4 kms in perimeter) offering wonderful recreation opportunities for all ages. The water is never far away, in fact, the Island even floats on a ‘lens' of fresh water! It is a place where young and old can live year round or have a really great holiday! For young families, there is always lots for children to do, from building sand castles and swimming, to boating, canoeing, sailing, kite or windsurfing and fishing off the water's edge. One never tires of walking, jogging or cycling on the Island with its maze of little lanes, lovely gardens, plentiful birdlife and friendly people. As a retirement option there are few places more ideal. The Islanders are unpretentious and welcoming, a community within the greater Knysna community with nursing services also available.
The Island has a number of amenities that include a delightful small boat harbour, tennis courts and bowling greens, a library, an excellent restaurant, a coffee shop and a unique art gallery cum antique shop! Golfers are spoilt for choice with two signature courses and a local country club is within easy hitting distance!
The Island was bought in 1923 by Sir George Cearnwhose intention was to create an affordable community for railway workers and their families. This never happened and today the charm of Leisure Island lies in the mix of old and new, seaside cottages and lavish villas reflecting the Island's long appeal from humble beginnings to its present day unique sought after lifestyle! The Island is a great investment as it offers both security and a lifestyle that's hard to beat. While enjoying life in this safe haven, your investment works hard for you. In most cases, properties have realized a 15% growth year on year for the past 20 years excluding the last two recessionary years. We are presently in a period of readjustment where prices are becoming more realistic and demand is on the increase once again. We have our own property eco-climate driven by supply and demand. Entry level on to the Island is around R2.5 million for a nice, three bedroom home with garden close to the lagoon.
Leisure Island has a very temperate climate, with ‘the Front' always being slightly cooler than the middle or back of the Island.The scenery changes with the tides which adds to the charm of Island living with recreation planned around the incoming and outgoing tides! To crib a local adage, "the Island is so special, even the tide comes to visit it twice a day". Those of us who live here feel truly privileged - this is one of South Africa's best places to live, work and play!
Pezula Golf Estate
Perched on the cliff tops of the Eastern Knysna Head, you will find the magnificent Pezula Golf Estate in Knysna.
Executive homes surrounded by coastal fynbos enjoy views of the Pezula Golf Course, the Knysna lagoon, the Indian Ocean or of the Outeniqua Mountains. These homes are popular as holiday rentals in Knysna - especially those who came especially to golf in South Africa.
The 18-hole championship golf course at Pezula was designed by Ronald Fream and David Dale of Golfplan, California, USA. The course optimises the space of the 254 hectare estate to ensure maximum privacy for the Pezula home owners.
The lifestyle here is one of absolute luxury. The 5-star Pezula Hotel & Spa is right on the doorstep, where you can enjoy an indoor heated lap pool, world class spa treatments, a fully equipped gym with private trainers, and Zachary's gourmet restaurant. For lighter meals the golf clubhouse deck offers great seating with views across the practice putting green.
Pezula is a child-friendly estate. Here kids can ride bikes with freedom, play a game on tennis, enjoy the communal outdoor pool and cabana, or play on the jungle gym.
Nature abounds in this estate with prolific birdlife year round and buck that roam the natural vegetation. There are nature trails that meander through the indigenous forests and take you to the beaches below the cliff tops to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
The entire Pezula estate is secured by guarded entrances with booms, cameras and patrol vehicles.
The homes are built according to architectural guidelines which allow for variety in style, while also maximising privacy for each home in Pezula Estate.
The picturesque Knysna town is only a short drive away, where shopping and dining experiences are plentiful. The Knysna Yacht Club at The Waterfront is popular amongst residents and those visiting Knysna, who enjoy sailing or just some pleasure craft.
For permanent residents there are excellent schools in Knysna to choose from, including Oakhill Private School, Montessori School, Knysna Christian School and Knysna Primary and High Schools. Health care in Knysna is also of top quality and the fully equipped private hospital in Knysna is part of the "Life" hospital group.
Knysna is ideally located in the Garden Route. Pezula Estate is only a 40 minute flight from Cape Town and a 40 minute drive from George Airport.
This spectacular setting with its 4-star amenities is what makes Pezula Golf Estate in Knysna a much sought after development and one of the most popular properties in South Africa.
Pezula Private Estate
Established in 2003 on 612 hectares of rehabilitated pristine fynbos and indigenous forests, you will find Pezula Private Estate in Knysna.
Acclaimed many times as the "best luxury development in the world" at the CNBC International Property Awards in London, this private residential estate in the Garden Route is in a league of its own.
Perfectly situated in the picturesque holiday destination and coastal village of Knysna, Pezula Private Estate is only a 40 minute flight from Cape Town and a 40 minute drive from George Airport.
Due to its position on the top of the cliffs, residents enjoy sweeping views of the Knysna lagoon, the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains. The large stands range in size from 3 000 m² to 33 000 m². With only 85% of the estate being developed, homeowners enjoy big open spaces, privacy and lush fynbos. The fynbos attracts an array of birdlife (some 130 identified species to date) and small wildlife, including buck, caracal, tortoises, cape clawless otters, and small grey mongoose.
Safety and privacy of the Pezula residents and their guests are absolute priority. Pezula's security measures include very strict access control and electrified perimeter fencing, except where the agricultural impenetrable boundaries have been created by the sea and the Noetzie River.
The houses in Pezula Private Estate are gracious with an emphasis on blending in with the surrounding environment and using eco-friendly "green" materials and methods of construction.
Properties for sale in the Pezula Private Estate offer an investment in an extraordinary lifestyle. Hiking trails, horseback riding, canoeing, walking, bird watching and lazing on the beach are all in your backyard.
Pezula Private Estate assures easy and secure living unparalleled to any other property for sale in South Africa.
Phantom River View
Phantom Village is situated close to Knysna, which lies 60km from the city of George and 30km from Plettenberg Bay, along the Garden Route, in the Western Cape province of South Africa.
This is a relatively new development with newly built modern homes, except for the original homestead, which was kept and restored - adding to the special atmosphere in this suburb just outside Knysna.
This gated, secured village is within 2 km from Knysna central, bordering a small stream and surrounded by an indigenous forest. This lovely Knysna suburb attracts keen birdlife enthusiasts, as the lush vegetation in the estate is home to a big variety of bird species, including the Knysna Loerie.
By crossing the N2 you are on the newly constructed promenade which offers a 6 km walk along the Knysna lagoon. Buffalo Bay is a popular, safe swimming beach only 12 km away, so too is Brenton-on-Sea which is 8 km away - easily allowing for a daily beach walk!
The village is managed by a body corporate. A special feature of this village is the "no fencing in the front" approach (side and back fencing are allowed), to enhance the feeling of a true, small community.
Properties in Phantom Village, Knysna, are absolutely ideal for tranquil, natural living.
Nestled on the side of a gentle slope with views galore across the Knysna lagoon, lies the lovely Knysna suburb of Rexford.
It gets its name from the founder of Knysna, George Rex, who arrived in Knysna in 1804, and played an important role in the development of Knysna.
With pedestrian-friendly streets, this very popular Knysna neighbourhood offers a safe haven for families and a tranquil setting for the retired.
Perfectly positioned between two spectacular golf courses (the Knysna Municipal Golf Course and the Pezula Championship Golf Course), Rexford is the ideal location for golfers on holiday in Knysna.
The centre of town, the Knysna Waterfront, and the Knysna Yacht Club are all a mere ten minute drive away. The town offers abundant boutique shopping, internationally acclaimed restaurants, and plenty of arts and crafts. Rexford is also home to Hospice and is in close proximity to the Knysna Private Hospital.
This pretty neighbourhood is filled with sunshine and warmth, and boasts some of the most magnificent views across the waters and of Knysna's brilliant sunsets.
Home is where the heart is, and the ambience in Rexford will make your heart skip a beat!
Rheenendal is the closest rural area to Knysna - situated midway between the Outeniqua Mountains and the indigenous national forests to the north, and the lagoon and sea to the south.
Rheenendal, Knysna, is a picturesque, quiet and tranquil area, only 15 minute from Knysna. In the other direction are the forests with walking and cycling trails, and picnic spots on the banks of the river.
This farming community appeals to people who seek the peace and seclusion of living close to nature. Its beauty and geographical location have historically attracted nature lovers who flock to the area for a holiday in Knysna. There are thus quite a number of self-catering establishments and guest houses in Rheenendal.
A typical smallholding in Rheenendal would measure about 3 hectares, but bigger farms of around 100 hectares are also available.
The land is zoned Agriculture 1 and all forms of farming activity is allowed. Besides the holiday accommodation in Rheenendal, one finds equestrian farms and restaurants, as well as work-from-home workshops.
Daleen Mathee, the South African author, wrote her first famous novel, Circles in the Forest, about the early woodcutters who settled in Rheenendal. Some of the early mud houses dating back to as early as 1827 still stand today. Also of note is the gold rush that happened around that era, where gold was found deep in the Goudveld forest. Prospectors arrived from all over the country to stake their claim and a large gold mining village sprung up overnight. The gold however, was soon depleted and today only Mother Holly's tea room remains.
So, calling all nature lovers, consider the beautiful properties in Rheenendal and experience the best of both worlds - living in the countryside, with the world famous town of Knysna right around the corner.
Guarding the entrance from the Indian Ocean into the spectacularly beautiful Knysna lagoon are two towering sandstone headlands known as The Knysna Heads, with (interestingly named) The Dragon's Nostrils caves formed by the rocks at their feet.
The western Head comprises Featherbed Nature Reserve which offers controlled tourist facilities.
The Eastern Head is one of the most upmarket residential areas in Knysna with dramatic ocean views from the edge of the cliffs - a good vantage point for whale and dolphin watching, with the whales swimming into the lagoon on rare occasions. Small buck visit the properties at the top and one might see a mongoose or spotted genet. Owls are often seen, and seagulls and other seabirds congregate on the rocks near the water.
Some of the properties in The Heads have views right through The Heads and residents can enjoy watching the waves break onto the rocks right from their living areas. Others houses in The Knysna Heads have magnificent views across the lagoon towards the Outeniqua Mountains in the distance - a fairyland at night with the lights of the islands and the town.
It is exciting to watch the set yachts and other boats navigating the channel. During the annualKnysna Oyster Festival in winter, the navy ships make their way into the lagoon to join in the festivities, accompanied by many local craft that go out to welcome them.
Those who visit Knysna are fond of driving up to the lookout points in The Heads to watch the sandbanks appear and disappear as the tides change, and to see the activities on the lagoon. At the bottom of The Heads are some popular fishing spots, a popular picnic area, and an intimate beach with rock pools at Coney Glen. There is also a small cove for wading into the lagoon to swim or go canoeing. Diving to the wreck of the Paquita sailing ship is also a popular outing for Knysna residents and tourists to the Garden Route area.
There are two restaurants right at the entrance through The Heads. There is a shell midden at theEast Head Café - the result of thousands of seafood meals eaten by ancestors of the San who lived there about 3 000 years ago, and more recently by the Khoekhoe.
The Knysna Heads properties date back to the 19th century, and the construction of one of the first houses on The Heads, Hope Villa, was completed in 1901. The house was built by Robert and Josephine Horn. Robert Horn was a magistrate, the son of Captain Thomas Horn, who owned The Royal Hotel in the Knysna main road. The property was inherited by Joy, the daughter of Robert and Josephine, in 1981. After taking a bet, Joy was the first person to swim across from the westernHead to the Eastern Head in 1927. The property is now being used as a self-catering establishment.
Properties on The Heads in Knysna range from cosy log cabins to palatial homes and stunning B&Bs. Properties for sale in The Heads range from R1 700 000 to R5 450 000 for stands, and R2 950 000 to R26 500 000 for houses and B&Bs.
If you buy a property in The Knysna Heads you can enjoy exquisite views either of the changing moods of the ocean or of the beautiful lagoon, whilst some properties have both. It is popular with both permanent local residents and foreign buyers who are looking for investment properties and holiday homes in the Garden Route.
Thesen Island is probably the most well-known and most popular suburb in Knysna.
Situated in the midst of the Knysna Estuary, right next to the town centre and with easy access of the main road, a house in the Thesen Islands development is a brilliant choice when wishing to buy a property in Knysna.
Thesen Island is a 90 hectare marine development consisting of nineteen islands crisscrossed with canals, joined by bridges and approached to the main land by the means of a causeway. A Thesen Island home allows you to walk out onto your own private deck, then onto your own jetty, where you can get into your boat and cruise out onto the lagoon, the sea or up the Knysna River.
The Thesen Islands development is based on the traditional village concept - with the idea of walking to your place of work or the shops, and where visiting neighbours and joining in on the estate activities are common. Here, children play freely in the streets and parks - cycling and rollerblading just like we did yesteryear. The Thesen Island security is controlled very well and residents enjoy a safe and secure environment.
The very wide variety of recreational facilities on Thesen Islands includes tennis courts, a squash court and putting greens. Thesen Island even has three beaches to choose from, which are a favourite with families. The kids can also enjoy the well-equipped playground, and dog owners appreciate the special designated dog run area. For nature lovers, the bird reserve on Thesen Island offers a bird hide and perimeter marshland trails. And adding to the sense of community, keen gardeners can even hire a patch in the crofter's area to grow their own herbs, veggies or flowers. You can even do yoga on Thesen Island, and the nearby gym and wellness centre add to the lifestyle of health and wellbeing so proudly enjoyed by the Thesen Island home owners.
Adjacent to the island is the vibrant Thesen Harbour Town with its upmarket restaurants, coffee shops, boutique shops and even a hotel offering wellness spa treatments.
Security and safety on Thesen Islands are one of the main successes of this popular Knysna suburb. Approached through only one security entrance, the islands are surrounded by water. In addition, the islands are patrolled both day and night by foot, bicycle and vehicle.
The architecture of Thesen Island is based on an American Cape cod theme. Harmony is achieved through controlled architectural guidelines, in order to protect the island atmosphere.
The historical element of the original timber factory, which was previously located on the premises, has been preserved - creating a link with the history of Knysna.
There are 508 houses and 56 apartments on Thesen Island, providing a wide variety of buyer choices. Whether you'd like to buy a mansion of a house on Thesen Island or a smaller lock-up-and-go apartment in the Dry Mill development, Thesen caters for all tastes.
Roughly 60% of the properties on Thesen Island are holiday homes, with 40% permanent inhabitants. However, this ratio is gradually changing as more and more people find the islands the ideal place to relocate to. If you find the ideal house for sale on Thesen Island, you should grab the opportunity with both hands!
"Every time we come home it feels like we are on holiday," says one happy resident. Thesen Island in Knysna is surely the property destination of choice in the Garden Route.
The Welbedacht area offers country living, only two minutes away from the Knysna town centre.
If you wish to live in the heart of South Africa's Garden Route, then this very pretty, quiet and peaceful Knysna suburb is ideal. The main road, bordered by trees and hedges, is known as Welbedacht lane. Buck and tortoises are often seen here, and there is abundant birdlife, including the exquisite Knysna Loerie.
There are several establishments offering holiday accommodation in Welbedacht - one of which has stunning views across the lagoon to Belvidere. The area also has a restaurant.
A new development is a retirement lifestyle estate in Welbedacht that has full frail care facilities. The first phase is now on sale. The Knysna Montessori school is in the valley, and is responsible for the weekly Friday Market, where various food stalls and arts & crafts offer Knysna families the ideal Friday evening outing.
Properties in Welbedacht are very varied and there is a wide selection to choose from. There are some older homes on large stands, but the majority of the Welbedacht properties are within secure estates with controlled access.
Scarteen South estate in Welbedacht was developed around a beautiful old manor home, a landmark in Knysna, and the style of homes is in keeping with the style of the original homes.Welbedacht Estate is a small very treed estates and egrets nest in one of the trees that hangs down over the dam. Kurtzenhof Estate has 23 homes and one vacant stand. It has a lovely country feel and some of the properties are slightly elevated, boasting lagoon views. The Cobble Creekdevelopment has a beautiful outlook into a green belt.
The Riverglades residential development was developed on the hillside above the Salt River. It is a nature reserve with timber homes and in order to protect the birds, no cats are allowed. There is a level, grassy area on the riverbank for the use of residents.
Properties in Welbedacht are popular with buyers looking for a secure lifestyle, close to town.