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The sweet taste of Knysna in 60 hours!

A few weeks ago, my team and I decided to drive from Johannesburg to Knysna and document our short time (about 60 hours) in this wonderful town located on the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

I’ve been telling people for a while that Knysna is amazing, but in this instance, I decided to SHOW you rather. This article gives you some behind-the-scenes info on that trip and shares all the places we visited so that you will feel inspired to visit Knysna too!

But first, let me give you some context. Up until recently, I didn’t fully understand just how amazing Knysna really is. That all changed when one of my best friends (his name is Dwayne but I fondly call him the Mayor of Knysna) moved there and I visited him a while later. The crazy part is that Knysna was meant to be a pitstop for him for about three months before moving onto Bali, but he landed up enjoying Knysna so much that he never went to Bali.

I never understood why he would stay in Knysna because I always thought of it as an antiquated town where old people go to retire. Boy, was I wrong.

After visiting him in Knysna about two years ago, and having him show me around as if he was my personal tour guide, that’s when I truly realised that Knysna is one of my favourite destinations in SA.

A beautiful drone shot off Thesen Island. I can’t get enough of the beauty!

In the weeks that have passed since our trip to Knysna, the video we made has gone relatively viral when you consider that we only had 39 subscribers before we uploaded this video.

If you do take the time to watch this video, we can’t say thank you enough. If you shared it on social media, we are forever indebted to you. If you liked and subscribed to our channel, you are a legend.


It took us around 14 hours to drive from Johannesburg to Knysna with a good few stops along the way. The drive might be long but the closer you get to Knysna, the more beautiful the scenery becomes.

One of my favourite parts of the drive is stoping to admire the Outeniqua Mountains ❤️

I could spend hours just admiring the natural beauty that the Outeniqua Mountains offers!
The crazy part is, even though this picture is beautiful, it still doesn’t do this place any justice!

Once we arrived in Knysna, we checked into The Lofts Boutique Hotel and had a quick shower so that we could head straight to the Knysna Gin Distillery. Ever since my first visit to Knysna, it’s become a tradition to have a gin or nine at this legendary spot on a Friday night.

The Knysna Distillery was launched in 2018 by Rion, Kay and Bob Merryweather. When buying a bottle of gin as a gift for his father, Rion noticed that there was quite a lot of South African Gin on the shelf but no Knysna Gin. After a long chat and a few gin and tonics, the family decided to make it happen. Since opening, the distillery has quickly morphed into a thriving cocktail bar.

The best part about going to the Knysna Gin Bar is that you also get to order the most incredible sourdough pizzas from Maillard Bakery which is situated right next door. I am a pizza fanatic and I regularly dream about ordering my next pizza from them.

What’s really incredible is that both these two small businesses work together to create a beautiful Friday night experience because you can order your pizzas from Maillards and have them delivered to the Gin Bar while you’re having the best time with your mates.

Needless to say, we had a great Friday night but it had been a long day and it was time to get back to The Lofts to get some rest. We had two more days in Knysna and a bunch of cool shit to do.

Side note: I love the pizzas from Maillards so much that I went back the next morning to make this video above where I get to make a pizza with the guys and find out more about why it’s so good!

Picture this. You wake up on day two and as you open the curtains in your room, you are greeted with this picturesque view above.

The Lofts Boutique Hotel is a family owned hotel on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon and it’s located inside the renovated Boatshed on Thesen Island. It is a stylish yet laidback hotel offering both escape and entertainment.

The hotel pays homage to the building’s heritage by retaining elements of its maritime charm and there’s no better place to absorb the island’s long history as well as Knysna’s awe-inspiring natural beauty.

Besides the beautiful views, The Lofts is also situated right next door to île de païn which is a buzzing café-style restaurant that bakes all its own breads and pastries. Whenever I come to Knysna, I always start the second day by going here for breakfast.

It’s hard to describe how good the food is île de païn. The only way you will ever understand is if you visit yourself.

Ok, so breakfast at île de païn was an absolute hit and we were feeling very ready to explore Knysna. My mate Dwayne (The Mayor), has recovered from his cute 24-hour tummy bug and he suggests we drive to the East Head View Point. We are game.

Pictures just don’t do the views at the East Head View Point any justice.

I have to tell you… The views were so incredible at this spot that I decided to write an entirely separate article about the experience and you can read it here. There’s even a short video in this article which will show you just how beautiful the views truly are. Again, words fail in this department.

After taking in the magnificent views, my team and I shoot back to Maillard Baking Company to shoot the video that mentioned above. Our morning has consisted of amazing food, beautiful views, and then more pizza. Life is tough.

But the fun isn’t over. It’s now 1pm on Saturday and we shoot back to the hotel because “the Mayor” is hosting one of his infamous “sunset sessions” on the deck at The Lofts, and he’s invited a few of his friends to DJ while a whole bunch of Knysna locals join us for some champagne, beer, and snacks.

Again, it’s hard to describe how much fun these “sunset sessions” are. The wooden deck at The Lofts offers you the most beautiful views of the lagoon and the various boats/yachts on the water. Add great music and amazing friends, and you can’t go wrong.

A few hours later, we are greeted by this incredible sunset. I genuinely feel like a child again that’s filled with youthful wonder and naive enthusiasm. This is a sunset that’s worth celebrating!

It’s Sunday morning and day three is upon us. I almost feel like I’m in a movie and I’m living my best life. I wish more of my friends joined us on this weekend adventure. Knysna is amazing!

We grab a quick breakfast at Nest. The pulled pork with poached eggs are an absolute highlight. As soon as we are done lining our tummies, Dwayne the Mayor suggests we go for a forest walk in the Garden of Eden before making our way to two wine farms located in The Crags, which is near Plettenberg Bay.

I am such a sucker for walks in nature and I can’t help but think that if I lived in Knysna, I would be going for walks just like these every weekend. The natural beauty on the Garden Route is such a treat.

A few sneaky glasses of bubbly at Bramon Wine Estate with my people!

With our forest walk done, it was time to visit two wine farms. Our first stop was Bramon Wine Estate and as you can see from the picture above, we were in our absolute element. First, we got seated at a table situated in the vineyard and the views are absolutely beautiful.

Then the bubbly and snacks we ordered were simply world class. Fresh bread baked on site, a variety of cheeses, and a selected of cold meats that made our taste buds dance in our mouth. We could have sat there for hours but because we were short on time, we had to get to the next wine farm.

A drone shot of the beautiful Newstead Wine Estate. When the sun shines, this place is impossible to beat.

The second wine farm we got to visit is Newstead Wine Estate. At this point, I’m running out of superlatives to describe our experience. The sun is shining, the MCC is flowing, and the even though we aren’t that hungry, the food we ate arrived with the same delight as if it were our first meal of the day.

Both Newstead and Bramon are literally located a few hundred meters from each other. There are many more wine farms in the area that we didn’t get to visit on the day, but I know from previous trips that they are of similar quality. All I can think at this point is that living in Knysna or Plett is a lot like living in heaven.

As we leave Newstead, we take out the drone because we have to show you how beautiful the drive is.

Our Sunday adventure was one for the books, and as we left Newstead, I couldn’t help but feel like we live in the most beautiful country on earth. The Garden Route is absolutely incredible and I can’t believe that I didn’t fully understand before just how incredible Knysna truly is.

As we arrive back at The Lofts, we decide to open the bottle of 2016 Cap Classique Blanc de Blanc that we bought at Newstead. We’re sitting on the deck and we have one last chance to enjoy a beautiful sunset while reminiscing how incredible the weekend has been.

One last sunset on the deck at the Lofts before we make our way back home. What a weekend!

If you’ve made it this far, I want you to know that I started Like a Tourist because of trips just like these. Whenever I get back from these kinds of adventures, I tell my friends how amazing our time away was but they just don’t get it.

The mistake I used to make was that I kept explaining in words instead of showcasing with pictures and videos. I hope this article has given you a small taste of the magic that exists in Knysna. And I hope it inspires you to equally act like a tourist in your own country.

The truth is, we barely scratched the surface in these 60 hours. There’s so much more to Knysna than we could ever experience in this short time, but it was still nothing short of majestic.

Knysna is genuinely heaven on earth and it only gets better every time I go back. But don’t take my word for it. Should you make your way to this incredible town, only then will you understand for yourself.

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