Photo of Knysna

About Knysna

Basking in its picturesque setting, Knysna is popular with sailing enthusiasts, divers, and wildlife connoisseurs. Dating back to the 18th-century, the town rose to prominence after the discovery of gold. Since then, it has been a thriving trade centre, with many characterful colonial buildings. Today, it is still the heart of the Garden Route. Perennially popular for its laidback, creative and artsy vibe, Knysna boasts plenty of curio shops and galleries, belonging to local artisans selling their wares. There's a long list of places to eat and drink, from fine dining to fresh seafood, there is something to suit every palette. Our collection of the best places to stay in Knysna showcase the finest properties, from high-end to budget-friendly, along this picturesque stretch of coastline.

With a wide range of activities and plenty of places to stay, Knysna has a lot going for it and attracts quite a crowd in the summer months. If you're after something a little more undiscovered, you may want to take a look at some of our other recommendations along the Garden Route. During the winter season, May welcomes the beginning of the Knysna Speed Festival, a three-day racing event beginning with Classic Car Friday, whilst the end of June heralds the now-famous Knysna Oyster Festival.

What not to miss:

  • Take a boat out across Knysna Lagoon. Visitors should note, that sadly the Featherbed Nature Reserve was devastated by wildfires in 2017 - and tourism authorities are currently working tirelessly to get the reserve restored to its previous state.
  • From artisanal cuisine at île de païn to hearty home-cooked meals at VegTable or informal yet comforting dining at East Head Cafe, there are plenty of great dining options in town.
  • Surely one of South Africa's most idiosyncratic beaches, Noetzie, known for its collection of mock-castle style homes, is a gorgeous beach in its own right - and a popular surfing spot.
  • Explore the architectural sights of Belvidere, a beautiful Norman-style church dating back to the1850s, built by homesick English expats. Or pay a visit to the 19th-century museum complex of Millwood House and the nearby Old Gaol Museum - the perfect option for a rainy day, of which Knysna is not a stranger too!
  • The Garden Route's not just about wine, be sure to visit Mitchell’s Brewery, South Africa's oldest microbrewery.
  • Take a hike and a picnic basket to the Garden of Eden.
  • Diving enthusiasts flock to Knysna where ragged-tooth sharks, rays, and the elusive Knysna seahorse, can be spotted. It's also known for its several shipwreck dives.

Our recommendations will show you the best places to stay in Knysna, one of the most popular places to stay along this scenic stretch of The Cape.

The Best Places to stay in Knysna

For a great value stay

For a couples' stay

  • With serene suites boasting private balconies with far-reaching views, Headlands House is a perfect couples' stay.
  • With private dining, an inviting infinity pool, a very well-stocked cellar, and a home cinema, The Mount Knysna is a cosy stay for couples.

For the perfect family stay

  • Kids will love the camping feel at Abalone Lodges, overlooking the lagoon where outdoor activities abound.
  • Quirky cabin style accommodation, Under Milkwood Resort, provides a laidback stay that all ages will love.
  • With true 'Out of Africa' interiors, The Elephant Hide Guest House is a welcoming stay for all the family - even the dog!
  • A collection of colonial cottages spread amongst acres of manicured grounds, Belvidere Manor is a great stay for families.

For a boutique stay

  • Right on the harbour, Aha The Rex Hotel is part of a growing chain of well-priced, stylishly decorated South African hotels.
  • Funky interiors, superb dining, and intimate service: The Lofts does what the finest boutique hotels do best.
  • A local favourite, The Knysna Belle provides a charming stay amidst its white-clad edifice and traditional Cape-Cod architecture.

For a historic stay

  • Easily recognisable by its rosy-pink facade, Roseroc is a stylish colonial stay with superlative service to boot.
  • Fine dining in this historic setting, Falcons View Manor is a classic stay in Knysna.

For all-out style

  • Sleek, white interiors and far-reaching views, Thebloem is a testament to less is more.
  • Exquisitely decorated, Villa Afrikana looks after both its guests and the environment, with an impressive list of eco-credentials.
  • With sweeping views and a jaw-dropping infinity pool, Alkira Lodge is a minimalist villa, that lets nature do the talking.

For a golf holiday

  • Next door to Knysna Golf Course, Greens Guest House is a great stay for those in search of an active break. There is an outdoor pool with plenty of al fresco seating, plus spacious living and dining areas.

For a country escape

  • Nestled amidst 40 acres of manicured grounds, Edenbrook Country Manor is a colonial-style country escape like no other. Each of its rooms is filled with antique furnishings, complemented by modern bathrooms with roll-top baths.

For foodies

  • Not only does Madison Manor feature traditional Cape Dutch style accommodation with large, airy rooms filled with antiques, it is also home to the perennially popular Red Austin Bistro, as well as a welcoming pub - great for an aperitif or three.

Travel Information

  • If you want to rent self-drive to explore the scenic Garden Route, visit our online partner Rentalcars.
  • Alternatively, Plettenberg Bay Airport is a thirty-minute drive from Knysna, with daily flights from Cape Town International Airport.
  • December and January can get very hot in Knysna, whilst March is the wettest month. For the best weather travel between April and September

Still not sure?

• Widen the net to include our recommendations in nearby George, Mossel Bay, Wilderness, Plettenberg Bay, and the Western Cape.

• Take a look at our top recommendations for The Garden Route.

• Or contact one of our gurus for advice.


Monthly Weather in Knysna

Best Hotels in Knysna

  • Senate Boutique Guest House Knysna 7 rooms from £45

    Value chic  -  Stylish rooms at a very reasonable price
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises: a perfect way to explore this beautiful area
    Sights nearby  -  Knysna Waterfront is a scenic walk away
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Charming seven-bedroom guesthouse with beautiful shabby-chic interiors. Rooms are filled with artwork and reclaimed furnishing, from rolltop baths to antique beds. There's a fully-equipped kitchen, allowing for flexible dining and an outdoor pool to relax. Within easy reach of Knysna's attractions. See More

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  • Abalone Lodges Knysna 13 rooms from £45

    Value chic  -  Excellent lodge accommodation at great value too
    Families  -  Family suites in the great outdoors
    Great walks  -  Knysna Waterfront is just a short walk away
    Sights nearby  -  Linsay Castle by Noetzie Beach
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolParkingNo pets

    Great value, self-catering accommodation in an excellent location. Kids will love the wooden-clad rooms: you really get a sense that you're in the great outdoors. There is an outdoor pool, plus you're right next to Knysna Golf Course and plenty of outdoor activites. See More

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  • aha The Rex Hotel Knysna 30 rooms from £71

    Families  -  With family suites and plenty of activities in the local area
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises
    Great walks  -  Through Knysna Forest
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Just 300m from Knysna's bustling waterfront this property boasts an excellent location, within walking distance of its bars and restaurants. Modern, stylish rooms provide a comfortable stay with private balconies and all the mod-cons. A very tasty breakfast is included in the rate. See More

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  • Under Milkwood Resort Knysna 16 rooms from £79

    Active Holiday  -  Right on the Knysna Lagoon, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities
    Sailing  -  Take a boat out to Featherbed Nature Reserve and explore by diving, walking, snorkelling, or cycling
    Sights nearby  -  Located right along Knysna the Heads it's a perfect photo oppurtunity
    Kayaking  -  Are available to guests to take out on the lagoon
    ViewsParkingNo pets

    Family-friendly accommodation located on the shores of Knysna Lagoon. Wooden-clad chalets make you feel like you're camping in the great outdoors and they boast views across the water. Including kitchen, living and dining rooms, it's a home away from home. Plenty of activities nearby. See More

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  • Falcons View Manor Knysna 11 rooms from £79

    Romantic Break  -  Couples love this hotel - luxurious rooms, fine dining, and excellently located
    Great walks  -  Along the pristine Brenton-on-Sea, Buffalo Bay, and Bollard Bay
    Sailing  -  Knysna Waterfront is moments away
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Smart and refined this historic manor house provides a five-star stay. Choose from fine dining in the restaurant or take a stroll into town in search of Knysna's delicacy: oysters. Beautifully decorated rooms include vibrant wallpaper, private balconies, enormous beds, and large bathrooms. See More

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  • Madison Manor Knysna 17 rooms from £96

    Local exploring  -  Within walking distance of restaurants and local attractions
    Sights nearby  -  Walking distance from the scenic Knysna Waterfront and its bars and restuarants
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Traditional Cape Dutch style accommodation with large, airy rooms filled with antiques. The popular Red Austin Bistro serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus there's also a welcoming pub which is great for an afternoon tipple. The pool enjoys fabulous views. See More

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  • Amanzi Lodge Knysna 13 rooms from £96

    Romantic Break  -  Lavish suites and private dining - a perfect couples stay
    Kayaking  -  The hotel has kayaks for guests to explore Leisure Isle Lagoon
    Sailing  -  Take a boat trip out for a whale watching excursion
    Great walks  -  Knysna the Heads for its epic views
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Beautiful, nautical styled rooms, with an element of shabby-chic, include modern bathrooms and private balconies. Spacious living allows for plenty of outdoor spaces: a pool, dining and lounging. Choose from the hotel's excellent bistro or an array on conveniently located restaurants. See More

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  • The Knysna Belle Knysna 7 rooms from £98

    Local exploring  -  Boasting an excellent location, this property is walking distance from many of Knysna's attractions
    Tennis  -  Rackets are available to use and there are courts nearby
    Kayaking  -  Available to rent - head out on the Knysna River
    Great walks  -  To the picturesque The Heads, just 1.5km away
    TennisSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Boasting a fabulous location, on the waterfront of Leisure Island, provides charming accommodation in a traditional white wood-clad exterior. Its seven guestrooms provide nautical styled interiors with sit-out balconies and excellent views. There are kayaks, bikes, and plenty of activities on site. See More

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  • Roseroc Knysna 6 rooms from £101

    Total relaxation  -  Adults only accommodation: rooms boast far reaching views across the lagoon
    Local exploring  -  Exellent location and walking distance from many attractions
    Great walks  -  Knysna Waterfront is just a half mile stroll away
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 14 can be accommodated
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Nestled along The Garden Route this pretty in pink Cape Colonial house provides elegant accommodation overlooking Knysna Lagoon. Six stylish rooms boast private balconies with beautiful views. The owner's do not miss a trick: excellent staff plus lots of little extras. Perfectly located. See More

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  • The Elephant Hide Guest Lodge Knysna 9 rooms from £108

    Local exploring  -  A perfectly relaxing stay to explore picturesque Knysna
    Kayaking  -  With views across it, Knysna Lagoon is the perfect kayaking spot
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll along the lively Knysna Waterfront
    Sailing  -  Take a boat out on Knysna National Lake Area
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    Luxurious lodge with far reaching views across Knysna Lagoon. Beautiful rooms with exposed beams and lake views are made for lingering. There's an inviting pool, sunny outdoor lounge areas, plus massages are available in-room. All ages are welcome, even your pets. A great base for outdoor exploring. See More

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  • THEBLOEM Knysna 5 rooms from £145

    Local exploring  -  An excellent location with very professional staff
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises provides trips spotting for seals, sharks, and much more
    Sights nearby  -  Lindsay Castle by Noetzie Beach is nearby and well worth a visit
    Great walks  -  Down to Knysna Waterfront with its many bars and restaurants
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    This family-owned, contemporary guest house includes stylish interiors and a personal touch. An excellent buffet breakfast is served in the morning and a welcome afternoon tea out on the terrace. There is also an honesty bar. Staff are more than happy to help with any activities and arrangements. See More

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  • Headlands House Knysna (Western Cape,) 6 rooms from £145

    Total relaxation  -  Massage, superb food, plus seaviews: ultimate relaxation
    Great walks  -  To Linsay Castle by Noetzie Beach - worth a visit and within easy reach
    Sights nearby  -  Swimming in the rock pools of the nearby Coney Glen Beach
    Sailing  -  From the Heads View Point
    Air conditioningSpaSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Located on a cliff overlooking Knysna Lagoon, guests can enjoy drinks out on the deck or a massage in-room. Pristine rooms are decorated in nautical palettes and include private balconies. Excellent dining and within walking distance of many attractions. Great for couples. See More

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  • The Lofts Boutique Hotel Knysna 18 rooms from £150

    Active Holiday  -  Nautical interiors overlooking the Knysna River with plenty of activities on site
    Sights nearby  -  Located along the Knysna Waterfront with its many restaurants and pubs
    Kayaking  -  Along the Knysna River - available at the hotel
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Quaint, charming, nautical interiors - rooms boast private balconies with views overlooking the Knysna River. Excellent dishes are on the menu at The Atrium restaurant and a fabulous English, Continental, and buffet breakfasts are included in the rate. Great coffee too! A charming stay. See More

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  • The Greens Guest House Knysna 8 rooms from £151

    Local exploring  -  Stylish, modern interiors, in a great location
    Restrictions on children  -  Children cannot be accommodated at this hotel
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises
    Kayaking  -  Along the Knysna River
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolDisabled accessParkingNo pets

    Located right next door to Knysna Golf Course this family-run guest house is a great stay for those in search of an active break. Stylish, modern interiors are decorated with African accents. There is an outdoor pool with plenty of al fresco seating, plus spacious living and dining areas. See More

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  • Villa Afrikana Knysna 6 rooms from £161

    Eco break  -  Boasting excellent eco credentials, this hotel provides clean living in more ways than one
    Sailing  -  What could be more glamorous than champagne and oyster cruises on the placid Knysna Lagoon?
    Kayaking  -  Along the Featherbed Nature Reserve
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Bright and contemporary accommodation with spacious rooms boasting outdoor terraces. All include tea and coffee facilities and large bathrooms. The hotel is proud of its eco credentials and guests praise the excellent service and personable staff. Inviting outdoor pool and delicious breakfast. See More

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  • Belvidere Manor Knysna 28 rooms from £163

    Families  -  With private cottage accommodation and plenty of activities - it's great for families
    Birdwatching  -  There are over 270 species of bird to be spotted on the property
    Kayaking  -  Are available for guests to use
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Charming colonial cottages ideal for a family stay. There are acres to explore and plenty of activities on site. Choose from double and twin rooms, all with tea-and-coffee-making facilities and private terraces. All this plus a sun-dappled pool and sumptuous breakfast included in the rate. See More

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  • Alkira Lodge Knysna 5 rooms from £219

    City Style  -  Stylish interiors on a quiet coastal setting
    Sailing  -  Take a trip with Featherbed Boat Cruises
    Kayaking  -  Along the Knysna National Lake Area
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Air conditioningSpaSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    Sleek, stylish, contemporary villa boasting panoramic sea views. Each of the suites opens out onto nature: hear the ocean's siren call from the comfort of your bed! Enormous bathrooms and all the mod cons make this a very comfortable stay. Walking distance from beaches or simply relax by the pool. See More

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  • The Mount Knysna Knysna 6 rooms from £274

    Beach Life  -  With far reaching ocean views you're never too far from the beach at this beautiful nautical hotel
    Local markets  -  Wild Oats Market, held every Saturday morning, has an array of locally sourced produce
    Sailing  -  Featherbed Boat Cruises take trips from sunrise to sunset
    Sights nearby  -  500m from the East Head View Point
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolViewsParkingNo pets

    State of the art B&B with impressive views across the Indian Ocean. Contemporary rooms include private balconies. An excellent breakfast is served, and the bustling town of Knysna is just a short distance away. All this plus an infinity pool, well-stocked wine cellar and a home cinema. See More

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