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Knysna (South Africa)
Coordinates 34 ° 3 ′  S , 23 ° 4 ′  E Coordinates: 34 ° 3 ′  S , 23 ° 4 ′  E
Basic data
Country South Africa


Western cape
District Garden Route
local community Knysna
surface 108.8 km²
Residents 51,078 (2011)
density 469.6  Ew. / km²
founding 1871
Website (English)
Special features:
City on the
Garden Route

Knysna [ ˈnaɪznə ] is a city on the Garden Route in the Western Cape Province of South Africa . The city belongs to the municipality of Knysna .


Knysna is located on a 20 square kilometer lagoon that is only connected to the Indian Ocean by a narrow rocky driveway - the Knysna Heads . In the hinterland of the city, the Outeniqua Mountains rise , which, like the rest of the area, show permanently green vegetation thanks to a balanced climate and rainfall throughout the year. In 2011 Knysna had 51,078 residents.

Knysna's climate is mild all year round. There is least rain in winter. The annual average is 770 mm. The average temperature in January is 26 ° C; in winter (from June to August) it sinks to around 18 ° C. The Indian Ocean near Knysna is so warm that you can swim even in winter.


The Knysna Forest is located in the Knysna area . In the past, the forest was partially exploited by forestry. Today it is particularly protected as a natural heritage of South Africa and is only managed sustainably under very strict conditions. This pristine forest is home to the Knysna elephants. These elephants live secluded in the woods. Their exact number is not known. According to recent studies by Gareth Patterson, five female elephants and one bull elephant were found in the forest area. There are also elephants in Knysna Elephant Park near the city.

The largest Rastafarian community in South Africa is located in the local township of Knysna Rastafari Community . The Rastafari living there receive guests who come to visit as part of a township tour and introduce them to the way of life of the community. Once a year there is a big festival in August, to which Rastafari come from far away.

One of the Rastafarians' projects is the so-called Eco-Trail . The non-local eucalyptus forests in the region are being cut down and reforested with local timber. The Eco-Trail is an educational forest trail that was created as a contribution to the community and as an ecological tourist attraction.

There is also a waterfront in Knysna ( Knysna Waterfront Quays ).


Until 1954 there was a port in Knysna, which was mainly used for the removal of wood. A narrow-gauge railway, the Knysna Forest Railway , connected this port to the logging areas and sawmills between 1907 and 1949.

In 1928 Knysna was connected to the network of the former South African Railways , whereby the port lost importance. A historic steam train, the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe , operated between the neighboring town of George and Knysna until August 2006 . This train was recently one of the few scheduled steam trains in the country and was popular with railway enthusiasts and tourists because of the spectacular route along the coast.

Knysna is on the N2 national road between George and Plettenberg Bay . A road leads north over Prince Alfred's Pass to Avontuur .


Annual events are the “Oyster Festival” in July and the Knysna Marathon from “Head to Head” in November.

In the summer of 2010, the city became a synonym for the negative events within the French national football team (" Fiasco of Knysna "), which had moved there during the World Cup finals .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. 2011 census , accessed November 22, 2013
  2. Mark van Wijk's 2008 documentary: South Africa's Shy Elephants