The western head of Knysna

Blog lagoon

Knysna – place of wood or place of ferns – no-one knows exactly what the name means but anyone who’s been lucky enough to go there knows one thing: it’s lovely and deserves its oft-awarded title of “South Africa’s favourite town” or something along those lines. There’s more to Knysna than the town, restaurants and waterfront (although I love those too). There are forests to explore, old gold mines, arts and crafts, back roads, hill tops and .. the other side of the heads.

The famous Knysna headlands, or ‘heads’ as they are known, form the entrance to the lagoon which is a very delicate eco-marine reserve, home to the famous Knysna Loerie, the rare Knysna Sea Horse and the Blue Duiker. Sadly, there are no oysters farmed here these days but because the area is famous for oysters, you can find them on almost all menus, brought in from nearby Mossel Bay.

The Eastern Head is home to some of the area’s largest and most expensive homes with magnificent views, and one can drive to the top and take a short walk to view the magnificent views from the clifftop. You can have a drink at the restaurant situated at the foot of the cliff and watch the boats that dare to enter the lagoon through the notoriously dangerous heads with their currents so strong they have a rich history of shipwrecks. Apparently Lloyds will not insure a boat for navigating this channel.

The Western Head is something altogether different. The Featherbed Nature Reserve is 150 hectares of private land, has no accommodation, access it limited and it can be reached only by boat.  If you don’t have your own boat, a Featherbed cruise is the best way to enjoy this beautiful spot. After a ride across the lagoon you are taken to the top of the cliff in an old tractor and walk back down with a guide to give you more insight, and then enjoy a sumptuous buffet lunch overlooking the lagoon.

 

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The Eastern Head, all built up.

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The Western Head, serene, pristine nature.

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Loved this rock.

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I had no idea there are caves under the Eastern Head.

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Our guide wasn’t around to tell me who this Schultz was.

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I can’t imagine what purpose this tunnel served.

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Tiny beach and rickety boardwalk.

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I thoroughly enjoyed eavesdropping on the conversation these 2 were having. They were complete strangers and the youngster was explaining about all the places he’s travelled to.

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It was hot and shady bits like this were few and far between.

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It was a perfect day to enter the lagoon through this usually very dangerous channel and the yacht had no problem.

 

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Couldn’t resist a few more of the tunnel

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And another on the return of my walk.

 

 

About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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Disclaimer

A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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