Knysna National lake Area is not a national park, but is
monitored by the Parks Board to make sure that ongoing development
is environmentally friendly.
lagoon has borne witness to centuries of trade in timber,
ivory and gold, but nowadays the shores are lined with residential
areas, a busy waterfront of shops and restaurants, a yacht
basin, boat yards and the famous Knysna oyster hatchery.
Boat trips of all sorts can be undertaken and boats can
also be hired, but as much of the lagoon is very shallow,
it is essential to keep to the buoys marking the deep channel.
inexperienced skipper should attempt to exit the lagoon
by way of the Heads, as this is a difficult and dangerous
passage strewn with rocks and strong currents.
The exceptionally beautiful Knysna National Lake
Area is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse, which clings
on to plants with its tail and changes colour to match its
The sandbanks and salt marshes of the lagoon and river
mouth, teem with life and in turn provide food for an immeasurable
number of organisms. Whales and dolphins are regular visitors
along the entire Garden Route coastline.
Elephant were all but hunted to extinction in the Knysna
area and only one remains. She is a grumpy old matriarch
who turned down the friendship of some playmates brought
in to keep her company.
She now roams the forests alone while the other elephants
have been re-located to a wildlife reserve.
There are a growing number of private reserves along the
Garden Route who have stocked up with game such as elephants,
zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo - all of which were
indigenous to the area once upon a time.
Many of the woodland birds are surprisingly colourful birds
including redbilled woodhoopoe, Knysna woodpecker, paradise
flycatcher, Knysna lourie and lesser doublecollared sunbird.
While at the lakes, wetlands and lagoon you may see fish
eagles, cormorants, kingfishers, blacksmith plovers and