• Hop a ferry across a lagoon
  • Rumble up a mountain in a 4x4
  • Eat shucked-to-order oysters

Two seaside cliffs—the Heads— carpeted in green dominate the views (and photos) of Knysna. The Eastern Head is an open park, but the Western Head is in a private reserve and off limits to the general public. Don’t let that stop you—nature lovers in-the-know book one of two daily ferries and cross the Knysna Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Once there, you’ll rumble in a 4x4 up through a dense forest of fynbos shrubs to the top. Knysna means “place of trees” in the native bushman language, and it’s easy to see why as you hike your way back down through the brush. Once docked back at the Knysna Waterfront, skip past the tacky shops and chain restaurants and head straight to 34 Degrees South for a platter of world-renowned Knysna oysters, best matched with a flinty glass of white wine. (Heads up bivalve fans: The annual 10-day long Knysna Oyster Festival kicks off the first week of July.)

Board the ferry bound for the Featherbed Nature Reserve at the Knysna Waterfront.

​​Featherbed Nature Reserve: Featherbed Ferry Terminus, off Waterfront Drive, Knysna; 27-(0)44-382-1693;

34 Degrees South: Shop 19, Knysna Waterfront, Knysna; 27-(0)44-382-7331