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20 February 2015

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About Knysna

General Information

Knynsa lies on the edge of a large lagoon, fed by the Knynsa River and is surrounded by rainforest. It is popular with tourists because of it's flora and fauna and continuously warm climate.

The town started in 1804 when Sir George Rex, believed to be the illegitimate son of King George III, bought the Melkhoudkraai estate on the shores of the lagoon and settled there with his family.

The town has a contrast of expensive homes in surrounding suburbs (largely for a substantial retirement community), more modest properties in the town itself and several townships sited on a number of hilltops within walking distance of the town centre. Knysna is about 200 miles east of Cape Town and 300 miles west of Port Elizabeth .

The last operating steam train in Africa, the Outeniqua Choo Tjoe, links the towns of George and Knysna.

Welcome sign on the road into Knynsa
Welcome sign on the road into Knynsa

Interesting Wildlife

Knysna is one of the most attractive towns on what is known as the Garden Route. The Western Cape has its own unique climate and flora within South Africa. The immediate Knysna area is home to the Knysna seahorse, one of six seahorse species found in the waters of South Africa. The Knysna Loerie is a relative of the European cuckoo. it is hard to catch a sighting of this elusive bird even though the bird has vividly contrasting red wings and a green body.

Knysna is also famous for its forest which once held many of the extremely shy Knysna elephants. No one really knows how many remain in the deep forests to the north and east of Knysna and for years there were so few sightings it was thought that they had died out completely.

The forest, between Knysna and the Outeniqua mountains, contains bush buck, bush pig, leopards, porcupines, poisonous snakes and a whole variety of bird life.


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