Straddling South Africa’s scenic south-eastern coast, the Garden Route has long been a magnet for lovers of the great outdoors and natural beauty.
The densely vegetated stretch of coastline is so named because its vibrant greenery is in stark contrast to the much drier interior of the country. The fertile land supports extensive vineyards, bountiful orchards and dense forests edged with white-sand beaches kissed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
A break in the cliffs at Knysna reveals the large and tranquil waters of the Knysna Lagoon – a haven for birds and marine life. Protected by the monolithic sandstone cliffs of the twin Knysna Heads, the lagoon wriggles inland past Thesen Islands towards Knysna town.
To fully immerse yourself in the peace and beauty of the lagoon we recommend staying a few nights aboard a self-drive houseboat. There’s nothing more relaxing than travelling at your own pace and taking everything you need along with you. The boats we use have all recently been refurbished and fitted out to a high specification, including all necessary safety equipment. They can accommodate up to four adults or a family of five and come complete with a fully fitted galley (including fridge, stove, oven and sink), hot shower, chemical toilet and bedding. Outside, there is a roof-top sun deck, open lounge deck and barbecue facility.
No previous boating experience is required; you will be provided with full instruction on arrival and given a temporary skipper’s licence. The waters of the lagoon are tidal with gentle currents. Fully briefed, you can then set off out into the lagoon to cruise its waters in your floating home away from home. Moor up and sun bathe on the deck or on one of the lagoon’s many beaches, go for a swim, try a bit of bird watching or perhaps fish for your own dinner. If you prefer someone else to do the cooking, stop off in Knysna Town to sample its restaurants; the lagoon supports an oyster hatchery and Knysna is considered to be the oyster capital of South Africa. For the perfect end to a perfect day, sit out on deck with a glass of the superb local wine and watch the sun set over the water.
Find out more about creating a tailor-made holiday to South Africa by talking to Estelle Somers, our Africa Regional Specialist. Call 0844 875 1890 or make an enquiry online.