Knysna Lagoon

Vacation Travel Guide
Knysna featuring mountains, landscape views and general coastal views

Sheltered from the rough sea swells by two rugged headlands, this brilliantly blue lagoon is a boating and watersports hotspot.

The rugged scenery and gem-hued waters of the Knysna Lagoon attract many visitors to this scenic part of South Africa’s famed Garden Route. View the rugged headlands, which mark the narrow entrance to the lagoon, follow hiking trails along the lagoon edge and step aboard a boat for a scenic cruise out on the lagoon.

Divided from the wilder open seas by two cliffs that extend out into the water, Knysna Lagoon is relatively calm. The entrance to the lagoon, however, is anything but and many ships have been wrecked trying to navigate their way into harbor here. As you watch the surging sea crash into the cliffs of the heads, imagine how it would feel to try and steer a vessel through this dangerous entryway.

Take advantage of the gentle conditions by embarking on a yacht, catamaran or motor boat tour and floating around the lagoon. Admire views of the headlands, which denote the boundaries of the lagoon.

Several water-dwelling species can also be spotted during boat excursions on the lagoon. Look for various whale species, including humpbacks and southern rights, breaching the surface between July and December. Dolphins can be seen here year-round.

For something more active, attempt a variety of watersports in the lagoon waters. Paddle around the lagoon on a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Or, try something more fast-paced such as kite surfing or waterskiing. You can also go swimming here.

Of course, it’s possible to soak up the stunning lagoon scenery without ever getting wet. Follow nature trails around Featherbed Nature Reserve or drive to the Eastern Head View Point to watch the waves crash into the rocks and take photographs of the spectacular coastal landscape.

Several coffee shops and restaurants are located on the headland overlooking the lagoon. Sit on terrace with a sea view and enjoy a hot drink, a wine from the region or a meal of locally sourced produce.

Knysna Lagoon is on South Africa’s Garden Route in the Western Cape Province. Driving from Cape Town will take around 5 hours and 40 minutes.

Top things to do in Knysna Lagoon

Top Hotels Close to Knysna Lagoon

The Knysna Belle
The Knysna Belle
4 out of 5
75 Bayswater Drive, Leisure Isle, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $55 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
Situated in Knysna, this beach bed & breakfast is steps from Leisure Isle, Knysna Lagoon, and Garden Route National Park. Cape Floral Region Protected Areas ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (15 reviews)
Unforgettable B&B with exceptional hospitality
"The Knysna Belle exceeded all our expectations. The room was exceptional; clean, comfortable, spacious and had everything you could need. The breakfasts were delicious and professionally presented. Michelle's hospitality was outstanding."

Reviewed on May 2, 2021

The Knysna Belle
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
The Boatshed, Long Street, Thesen Islands, Knysna, Western Cape
Located in the heart of Knysna, this spa hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Knysna Lagoon and within 6 mi (10 km) of Knysna Golf Club and Eastern Head View Point. ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (44 reviews)
Amazing boutique find
"Stay was amazing. Actually extended for an extra night. The staff were courteous, welcoming, friendly and professional. The views from the deck were exceptional, especially at sunset. The rooms were clean, big, with an outside patio."

Reviewed on Nov 13, 2020

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The Lofts Boutique Hotel
St James of Knysna
St James of Knysna
5 out of 5
The Point, Eastford, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $114 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Situated on a lake, this luxury country house is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Knysna Lagoon and within 6 mi (10 km) of Simola Golf Course and Knysna Golf Club. Leisure ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (158 reviews)
The best
"This is our favourite place to stay in Knysna. Great staff, wonderful position, great breakfast."

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2020

St James of Knysna
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Knysna Lagoon

Brenton Park Holiday Cottages
Brenton Park Holiday Cottages
3.5 out of 5
10 Brenton Park, Capt. Duthie Ave, Lake Brenton, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $46 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
Brenton Park Holiday Cottages
The Knysna Belle
The Knysna Belle
4 out of 5
75 Bayswater Drive, Leisure Isle, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $55 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
The Knysna Belle
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
4 out of 5
The Boatshed, Long Street, Thesen Islands, Knysna, Western Cape
The Lofts Boutique Hotel
St James of Knysna
St James of Knysna
5 out of 5
The Point, Eastford, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $114 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
St James of Knysna
Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa
Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Lagoonview Drive, Sparrebosch, Eastern Head, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $99 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Pezula Nature Hotel & Spa
Under Milkwood Resort
Under Milkwood Resort
3 out of 5
13 George Rex Drive, The Heads, Knysna, Western Cape
Under Milkwood Resort
Turbine Hotel and Spa
Turbine Hotel and Spa
5 out of 5
TH 36 Sawtooth Lane, Thesen Islands, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $97 per night from Sep 29 to Sep 29
Turbine Hotel and Spa
Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays
Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays
3.5 out of 5
Waterfront Drive, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $79 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays
Villa Afrikana Guest Suites
Villa Afrikana Guest Suites
5 out of 5
13 Watsonia Drive Paradise, Knysna, Western Cape
The price is $183 per night from Oct 19 to Oct 19
Villa Afrikana Guest Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.