Knysna
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Knysna Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

1. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Knysna Coastline Speedboat Tour

2. Knysna Coastline Speedboat Tour

Depart from Knysna Waterfront and travel along Knysna Estuarine at speed until you reach the Knysna Heads. Famous for their large waves, exit the Heads safely with a professional skipper at the helm of a custom-built adventure boat. Once out at sea, jet along the coastline and enjoy the pristine scenery. Be sure to keep a look out for the abundant marine life that inhabits the waters. Travel into the vast sea caves and get close to the rocks so you can experience the amazing power and beauty of the ocean up close. Enjoy numerous stops for photo opportunities, before making your way back to Knysna Waterfront.

Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

3. Knysna: Close Encounter Whale Watching Tour by Boat

Come get up close and personal with the gentle giants of the ocean on this 2-hour whale watching tour! Your trip begins as your captain navigates you through the Knysna Estuary and then you'll head out towards the vast and beautiful Indian Ocean. Every year, both the southern right and humpback whales leave their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica and migrate to mate and calve in the warmer waters of the Southern African coastline - this makes Knysna one of the best whale-watching destinations in the country. The tour will be narrated by an experienced skipper and guide who will share with you fascinating information about the lives of these whales. Your adventure will also be assisted by an experienced whale spotter who is in radio contact with all skippers, so you can be directed to any sightings. Keep your eyes peeled for other marine life as well - you may even spot a dolphin or a penguin or two!

Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

4. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town/Stellenbosch and heads to Hermanus. The tour follows the scenic coastal road and includes a stop at Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, where you'll see the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy an easy paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. This small, upscale town is filled with curios and restaurants, and also features a waterfront where you can grab lunch and do some shopping.  After leaving Knysna, head to the Knysna Heads viewing point to enjoy views of the Knysna River estuary and the Indian Ocean. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s tallest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park has a wide range of activities on offer, including hikes of varying lengths, a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including cape buffalo, lions, black rhinos, warthogs, zebras, elands, kudus, hartebeest, and many more. After an exciting morning of game viewing drive back to the heart of the Garden Route where you will stay overnight in Wilderness or Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After enjoying breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along cliffs overlooking the Indian Ocean, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex, which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. Return to Cape Town/Stellenbosch in the early evening.  The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town/ Stellenbosch in the early evening.

Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

5. Garden Route 5-Day Tour and Addo Elephant Park Safari

Get back to nature on a 5-day tour of the beautiful Garden Route and look for wildlife in nature reserves including Tsitsikamma National Park and Addo Elephant Park. Day 1: (D) Depart Cape Town and head towards Oudtshoorn in the semi-desert of Little Karoo with a stop at Ronnie’s sex shop for a refreshing drink! Explore the magnificent Cango Caves and visit an ostrich farm, where you can try to ride one! Spend the night in Oudtshoorn and enjoy a delicious ostrich braai dinner. Day 2: (D) Cross the mountain range to reach the coast and famous Garden Route. Get panoramic views from the Map of Africa lookout before visiting the charming town of Knysna. Continue through Plettenberg Bay to spend the night at Storms River village. Day 3: (B, D) Get back to nature in Tsitsikamma National Park. Walk the coastal route to the hanging bridge over Storms River Mouth. Continue to Addo Elephant National Park to spot huge elephant herds, antelope species and more. Alternatively, go straight to the surfing capital of South Africa at Jeffrey’s Bay, where you will spend the night. Day 4: (B, D) Head back towards the Garden Route to brave the world's highest bungee at Bloukrans. Enjoy a night in luxury accommodation at the Garden Route Game Lodge (guesthouse option). Go for a late afternoon safari drive to look for rhinos, lions, buffalo, cheetahs, and antelopes. Day 5: (B) Take an early morning safari drive to look for animals when they are most active. Depart for Hermanus, where Southern Right whales have returned after almost 50 years of being near extinct. Arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon via the stunning False Bay coastline.  

4-Day Garden Route Experience

6. 4-Day Garden Route Experience

DAY 1 Your route takes you through Route 62, traveling inland over the Overberg Region of the Western Cape. You will also visit Ronnie’s Sex Shop! Afterwards, you will continue to Oudtshoorn, South Africa’s Ostrich Capital. This town hosts the well-known Cango Caves National Monument. You will stay overnight in Oudtshoorn. (Dinner) DAY 2 After an early morning breakfast, you will visit the local ostrich farm and you can even try your luck at riding one! You will head to Knysna for lunch and to explore the Knysna heads. Visiting Knysna Elephant Park is also an optional extra, where you have the opportunity to touch, feed and walk with earth’s largest land mammals! An ocean safari is yet another optional extra, where you can spot dolphins and whales from a boat in Plettenberg Bay! We will make a quick stop en route at Bloukrans Bungee, which is the highest bungee in the world at 216 meters! You will stay overnight in Storms River Village. (Breakfast; Dinner) DAY 3 Today, you head through to Tsitsikamma National Park for a hike to the famous Storms River mouth. Walk on the recently finished Hanging Bridge, where you can take a dip in the Indian Ocean! From here, you head to the Garden Route Game Lodge, where you can enjoy a Big 5 sunset game drive, fantastic buffet dinner and a hot spring under the stars. You will also stay overnight in their award-winning chalets. (Breakfast; Dinner) DAY 4 Today, you will go on an early morning game drive to see some animals you perhaps didn’t see in the evening. This will be followed by a scrumptious breakfast! After breakfast, you will make your way to Hermanus, which is famous for being the best land-based whale watching site (in season) in South Africa and is a beautiful little town with wonderful cliff-side walks. Making our way back towards Cape Town, your last stop is at Stony Point, where you will visit the local penguin colony before making your way back with spectacular views over False Bay. (Breakfast)

From Cape Town: 7-Day Garden Route, Addo, & Winelands Combo

7. From Cape Town: 7-Day Garden Route, Addo, & Winelands Combo

Get the ultimate Western Cape and Eastern Cape experience and explore the winding roads from Cape Town to Addo National Park. See the grand wine estates of the legendary Cape Winelands and learn about the proud cultures and traditions of the nation's diverse people. Swim in the Indian Ocean, surf the waves of "J’Bay" or brave the amazing Bloukrans Bridge Bungee Jump. This is a combo tour package including a 2-day Western Cape tour and 5-day Garden Route tour; your vehicle, guide and tour members can change during the trip. Day 1: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek Winelands Sample wine paired with cheese at Fairview wine estate and with chocolate at Muratie winery in the scenic Cape Winelands. Join a 15-minute wine tram journey to Rickety Bridge in the historic town of Franschhoek. Join the Taste & Tram along the Cape Winelands small group day tour (or similar). Continue to spend time in Franschhoek for lunch before you return to overnight in Cape Town at Never@home Backpackers, 3-star Sea Point protea hotel. Day 2: Cape Point Travel via Chapman's Peak towards Cape Point. After a short hike to the top of the lighthouse and a stroll down to the Cape of Good Hope or Diaz Beach, journey along Boulder's Beach to visit the penguins and drive past colourful beach huts at Muizenberg Beach. Return for an overnight stay in Cape Town at Never@home Backpackers, 3-star Sea Point protea hotel. Day 3: Oudtshoorn Capture the beauty of the high mountains and rugged Karoo plains on a drive along the legendary Route 62. Stop for a drink at a famous country pub, and then enter the magical chambers of the Cango Caves. Explore the narrow passages and vast halls filled with ancient stalactites. Return to the wild for an optional 4x4 game drive at Buffelsdrift Private Game Reserve for a possible sighting of resident rhino and giraffe (subject to availability). Stay the night in Oudtshoorn at the Backpackers Paradise, 3-star Yamkela guesthouse B&B, 4-star Buffelsdrift Lodge or 4-star Surval Boutique Olive Farm. Day 4: Jeffrey's Bay Face your fear and jump from the world's highest bungee jump at the Bloukrans Bridge, choose to zip line over waterfalls, or explore the surrounding forest in the Tsitsikamma area. Fall in love with giant elephants on an optional bush walk. Visit an ostrich farm before spending the night in the Jeffrey's Bay area at the Island Vibe Backpackers, 3-star Mandyville guesthouse or 4-star African Perfection guesthouse. Day 5: Jeffrey's Bay Explore the marine reserve in Tsitsikamma National Park and admire the dramatic coastal and forest landscape. Look for wild beasts on a 3-hour game drive by tour bus at Addo Elephant National Park, home to the most dense population of wild elephants on the planet. Return to Jeffrey's Bay for your overnight stay at the Island Vibe Backpackers, 3-star Mandyville guesthouse or 4-star On The Beach guesthouse. Day 6: Wilderness Go for an early morning surf or just chill out and go for a walk in the forest. Visit The Heads and watch the sea crash through 2 massive sandstone cliffs at Knysna. Spend the night in the Wilderness area at the Island Vibe Backpackers, 3-star Greywood, or 4-star Protea Hotel Knysna Quays hotel. Day 7: Cape Town/Stellenbosch Enjoy a walk on white pristine beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline and then canoe on the Wilderness lagoon and watch the birdlife as you glide over the water. Travel back to Cape Town or Stellenbosch for a late evening arrival.

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What people are saying about Knysna

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 82 reviews

The tour was really nice, we got to see the lagoon, went along the coast and on the open ocean. Unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins but our guide tried his best to find some. But that’s just how nature works sometimes. We did see a lot of seals though. All in all a great tour and a great guide. Thanks for having us.

The trip was wonderful, food and accommodation were excellent. Our guide was Cindy - amazing, funny and positive person. We managed to see everything, impressions will last for a whole year. Thank you.

Apart from the wonderful scenery, all of the staff of Ocean Odyssey are fantastic!! So friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Will definitely be back!!! Thanks

Brilliant host, very informative, unfortunately we didn’t see any dolphins, but such is the unpredictable way with nature. We did however see seals!

It was really great, nice crew, well organized and informative. Unconditional recommendation.