Knysna meaning ‘place of wood’, derives its name from the indigenous Khoi-san people and is one of the Garden Route’s best-known destinations. It is situated between lush forests and the shores of a peaceful estuary, which is protected from the sea by the monolithic sandstone “Heads”. The other main attraction within Knysna itself is the waterfront where there is a selection of fine restaurants, seafood taverns, pubs, coffee shops and a variety of shops to match every mood and budget. Within its idyllic natural setting, Knysna is a vibrant town, offering a range of unforgettable experiences from leisurely relaxation to more energetic and adventurous pursuits. Meander around the shops, sample haute cuisine or taste locally brewed beer. Take a cruise across the lagoon or out to sea, or visit the Elephant Park for a close encounter with these magnificent mammals. Although there isn’t a swimming beach in Knysna you can drive to Buffles Bay, which is the closest beach that is safe for swimming. Knysna offers a wide range of accommodation options from five-star hotels and luxury lodges to bed and breakfasts and home stays. There are excellent options, whether you wish to be tucked away in the forest, enjoy a beautiful view of the sun setting over the estuary, or be located on the waterfront.