Castles and lagoons at Knysna

Monday 14 to Tuesday 15 November

After a little bit of housekeeping in Plettenberg Bay (nails for me, hair cut for Bruce), we made the short journey to our next stop Knysna.

Once again our guide had provided us with a long list of attractions for the short distance – pottery, elephants, wolves, horse ranch, forests and castles.

The castles at Noetzie Beach interested us. Noetzie was originally known as Noetziekamma, a Khoisan phrase for ‘dark water’.

After a long drive along a dirt track and a few stern words… ‘where is this taking us?’, the road came to an end. There was one other car parked and a lot of fenced off properties. We had the following information:

Do not leave your car unattended if there is anything visible lying around inside the car. Approx. 100 steps take you down to the beach, surrounded by homes mostly built in the castle style.

After making the car look ’empty’ we explored the 100 steps. It took us down to a wild and misty small beach. No humans, but birds were enjoying the seaside.

But when we turned around we understood the significance of this place. Sitting up on the cliffs beside the 100 steps were castles. Not your massive Windsor Castle style, but substantial homes with the appropriate turrets and baileys and keeps and battlements.

Curiously, not every domicile was in the shape of a castle, there were some very small and humble shacks between the grandiose holiday homes.

I am sure a little warm sunshine and a chilled G&T would have been the perfect partner in this curious place.

We continued into Knysna and explore the surrounds. The town wraps around the Knysna lagoon which is more correctly an estuary of the Knysna River. It’s history originates from woodcutters, sea-farers, gold-diggers and timber merchants.

The heads of the estuary have been taken over by an upmarket residential area with views. Some small islands provide further expensive residential area with jetties to each property.

A faux paddle steamer plows the lagoon, showing tourists the best views.

Our accommodation was a kilometre out of town with magnificent views over the water. Our guide, Chinky of Go Selfdrive Tours, lives in this area and popped in to have afternoon tea with our hosts and us. We have been very impressed with her service. The route, the accommodation and the suggested tourist options have all been perfect for our travelling style.

Knysna is a popular and rather upmarket holiday destination. There were plenty of dinner options available on the Knysna Waterfront, under a Super Moon.

The Garden Route of South Africa is certainly a stunningly beautiful area.