Knysna and its surrounds

The earthly paradise known as the Garden Route consists of several popular destinations, and the narrow coastal corridor has become renowned for its bustling towns of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and George. The lush, green surrounds quiver with the whisper of the numerous histories seeped into the landscape, oozing into the hearts of travellers enjoying a train tour of South Africa.

One of the main towns of the Garden Route is Knysna, which gets its name from a Khoi San word, the translation of which oscillates between ‘place of wood’ and ‘fern leaves’, though it is speculated that the name’s most probable definition is ‘straight down’, referring to the famous Knysna Heads.

This picturesque town masks a treacherous inlet; the Knysna Heads loom like a daunting gateway to be passed through at a traveller’s own risk – the area is one of the few places in the world where Lloyd’s of London refuses to offer insurance for ships against possible wreckage. Despite its unfavourable reputation, the Heads flank a breathtakingly beautiful lagoon that ripples with a soothing influence which encompasses the spirit of the town. The alternative, whimsical lifestyle of Knysna offers a leisurely stopover for those traversing the Garden Route via luxury train travel.

Any visit to The Garden Route would be incomplete without exploring the nearby towns of George and Plettenberg Bay. The former was established in 1811 and offers some incredible architecture, like the Anglican Cathedral and Dutch Reformed Church; while Plettenberg Bay boasts pristine beachfronts and acts as a gateway to the majestic Outeniqua Mountains. Knysna and its surrounds comprise a strip of the South African coast which radiates an ethereal beauty unlike any other.