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Why did we hand pick Knysna Belle?

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  • Great location, right on Bollard Beach
  • Mountain bikes, hiking gear and canoes available as a complimentary guest service
  • Spacious, elegant rooms and friendly hosts make for a great stay

Knysna Belle

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: 12 years and older

In Knysna


-34.0674, 23.0562


Named after a schooner that frequently visited Knysna in the late 1800s, the Cape Cod style Knysna Belle is a true celebration of the area’s history and immense natural beauty.

Only a few steps from the pristine Bollard Beach, the guesthouse boasts picturesque views of the Knysna Lagoon and the famous Knysna Heads and thoughtfully allows guests to explore the natural surrounds by providing mountain bikes, hiking gear, two kayaks and a canoe for free use.

The six spacious guest rooms are individually decorated and nautically themed, with five situated on the ground floor and the spectacular Captain’s Quarters located on the first floor. Tribute has again been paid to Knysna’s history, with each room named after a ship that regularly sailed the Indian Ocean shores. 

Sleeping four guests in Queen and twin bedrooms, the Family Unit occupies the lowest price bracket and provides easy access to the pretty garden and swimming pool.

Up a bracket and also opening onto the garden, the Annie Benn and Pacquita Suites each sleep two guests in Queen-size beds, with the former featuring a luxuriant Victorian bath with hand shower, and the latter an en-suite shower. Emu and Nautilus have the advantage of full en-suite bathrooms and patios featuring beautiful views over the garden and onwards to the deep blue waters of the lagoon.

Upstairs, guests will revel in the luxury, stylishness and inimitable character of the Captain’s Quarters, a very spacious suite sleeping guests in either a King-size or twin beds. A perfect setting to pop open a champagne bottle, the huge covered balcony has very comfortable outdoor couches and showcases 180-degree views of the lagoon, the Knysna Heads and mountains.

On winter days, guests can cuddle up on the couches in front of the fire while sipping a tea, coffee or fine Cape wine. Special features of the room include an expansive full en-suite bathroom and the ‘Crow’s Nest’, a rooftop balcony providing a magnificent setting for a sundowner.

All the suites are fitted with modern comforts such as underfloor heating, satellite television and tea-and coffee-making facilities.

The communal areas of the guest house have four balconies, providing plenty of room for guests to enjoy a private sundowner drink while admiring the surrounds. Alternatively, you can relax on the loungers after taking a dip in the swimming pool.

The mountain bikes are convenient and fuel-saving modes of transport for exploring Leisure Isle and the charming attractions of Knysna.

A paddle on the lagoon is a tranquil experience that gets you up close to the water and surrounding forests. Take along your fishing rod to have a go at catching one of the indigenous fish species, or a pair of binoculars to scan the forests for some birding specials. Alternatively, pick up a water bottle, backpack and picnic basket at reception if you wish to explore the surrounds on foot and enjoy a tranquil picnic in the forests. To complete your outdoor meal, a small portable barbeque unit can be booked in advance.

Bollard Beach is a safe and scenic stretch of white sand, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for a swim.  

Knysna is packed with some great restaurants, and the guesthouse has implemented an innovative rating system whereby guests can share their dining experiences with other guests, sifting out the good from the great.

For some useful recommendations on attractions that suit your preferences, simply ask your hospitable hosts.

Rates & Summary

Emu and Nautilus Suites

Emu sleeps 2 in Queen-size bed
Nautilus sleeps two in King-size/twin beds
Full en-suite bathrooms
Patios overlooking Knysna Lagoon

Annie Benn and Pacquita Suites

Each sleeps two in Queen-size bed
En-suite shower or Victorian bath
Open onto garden and swimming pool

Captain’s Quarters

Luxury suite
Sleeps 2 in King-size/twin beds
Extra-large full en-suite bathroom
Lounge with fireplace
Balcony with Lagoon views
Additional rooftop balcony

Family Unit

Sleeps 4 in Queen and twin bedrooms
Shared full bathroom
Opens onto garden and swimming pool


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Continental or Full English Breakfast included


Children 12 and older are welcome.

Why Stay Here?

Situated on the idyllic Leisure Isle, Knysna Belle accommodates guests in six comfortable, individually decorated rooms. The guesthouse is set right on the white sands of Bollard Beach and, apart from providing luxury seaside accommodation, offers guests the free use of mountain bikes, hiking gear and canoes. Guests can soak up wonderful lagoon views from their rooms and the Captain’s Quarters suite features a ‘Crow’s Nest’ rooftop balcony showcasing the most spectacular of these.


  • Great location, right on Bollard Beach
  • Mountain bikes, hiking gear and canoes available as a complimentary guest service
  • Spacious, elegant rooms and friendly hosts make for a great stay

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, fishing gear, binoculars for bird /whale watching and dolphin spotting.

Road Conditions

All the roads leading to the guest house are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Mountain biking
  • Canoeing and kayaking
  • Beach access
  • Picnics

Nearby: whale watching, scuba diving, sea kayaking, lagoon cruises, fishing, bungee jumping, sky diving, paragliding, golf courses, hiking, horse riding, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, elephant sanctuary, nature reserves, township tour.


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Ceiling fans
  • Heater included
  • Under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Swimming towels supplied
  • Hair dryer available
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Iron and ironing board available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast
  • No Restaurant
  • Limited alcohol license
  • Fridge or minibar


  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • No gym available
  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception
  • No business centre
  • No conference facilities available

Access & Convenience

  • Not wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • No pets allowed
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 5km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km
  • Shuttle service can be arranged


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted


  • Personal safe




Garden Route

Western Cape


The Garden Route encompasses a large section of the Southern Cape coast, bookended by Witsand in the west and Nature’s Valley in the east. In-between are the large towns of Mossel Bay and George, and the smaller, more touristy destinations of Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness and Sedgefield.

The region is a narrow zone wedged between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains; and is one of great natural beauty. Despite massive development in recent years, it remains the country’s Garden of Eden. There are gloriously long beaches, lush and mysterious forests, rugged coastlines, amber rivers, and tranquil lagoons. All overlooked by hazy mountain peaks.

The region has been a favourite with locals and overseas visitors for decades. The temperate climate makes it idyllic to visit at almost any time of the year. 

Although the beaches are promoted as the main attraction, the forests are equally important. In fact, they are the gardens of the Garden Route. 

With their magnificent giant Outeniqua yellowwoods (podocarpus falcatus), unfathomable gorges and areas of impenetrable trees, vines, and ferns, the forests have long been a passion for those with a love of nature. Much of their depths remain unexplored and, thankfully, unexploited. Perhaps their greatest treasure is that they are home to a handful of Knysna elephants.

Rivers tumbling from the mountain slopes have carved the landscape into deep gorges and twisting valleys, shaded by steep slopes and plunging cliffs. The Keurbooms and Knysna rivers flow into tidal lagoons at Plettenberg Bay and Knysna respectively. Sedgefield Lagoon, which is also open to the sea, is fed by Swartvlei, the biggest body of water in an area known as South Africa’s lake district. This chain of 5 lakes stretches from Sedgefield to Wilderness.

A large swathe of the region is protected within the Garden Route National Park. The park is made up of disjointed patches of land and therefore has no fixed beginning or end.

The Wilderness National Park, the Tsitsikamma National Park and the Knysna National Lakes area are sections within the greater park

Thanks to the habitats of forest, fynbos, coastline and wetlands, there is a plethora of wildlife, birdlife and marine life. Visitors can also enjoy a vast number of activities and attractions (adrenalin, adventure or relaxation). The innumerable accommodation establishments offer everything from 5-star luxury to basic camping facilities. In recent years, the Garden Route has become something of a gourmet route that will satisfy even the most discerning epicure.

Look out for

National Parks – the Wilderness National Park makes up the western section of the recently formed Garden Route National Park. Situated in the vicinity of Wilderness it protects patches of indigenous forest and fynbos, long stretches of unspoilt coastline and pristine beaches, coastal dunes, rivers and estuaries. It has a series of 5 lakes – something unique in South Africa. The park is renowned for its diversity of activities, which include canoeing, mountain biking, abseiling and kloofing.

Hiking includes the 7km-long Half-Collared Kingfisher Trail; the 5km-long Brown Hooded Kingfisher Trail; the Cape Dune Molerat Trail between Rondevlei and Swartvlei (3km- or 6km-long routes); and the Pied Kingfisher Trail, the longest at 10km.

Birdwatching is popular, with 230 species to be seen, and part of the park is a designated RAMSAR site. There are 3 bird hides - at Rondevlei, Langvlei, and on the Touw River. Accommodation at the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp on the banks of the Touw River takes the form of caravan and camping sites, rondavels and cottages. 

Hiking – the Garden Route is well-known for its large variety of short and multi-day hiking trails. Probably the most popular is the 48km-long 5-day Otter Trail from Storms River Mouth along the coast to Nature’s Valley. The Outeniqua Trail is the longest hike on the Garden Route. It commences at Beervlei hut at an old forestry station just off the Seven Passes Road inland from Sedgefield. From here it traverses 108km of forest and fynbos covering the slopes and foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. It finishes 7 days later at Harkerville between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. 

The Harkerville Hiking Trail is a 24km-long, 2-day circular trail aimed at fit hikers that don’t have a fear of heights. It starts and ends at the Harkerville Forest Station. 

Kranshoek Coastal Walk is a spectacular 9km-long circular route covering a section of the Harkerville coastline.

The 61km-long Tsitsikamma Trail starts at the Nature’s Valley Rest camp and heads for the slopes of the Tsitsikamma mountains, away from the coast. It finishes at either Storms River Bridge or Storms River Village.

There are also some beautiful slack packing options the 65km-long, 5-day, Garden Route Trail between Wilderness and Knysna; the 48km-long, 5-day Oyster Catcher Trail between Mossel Bay and Gourits River Mouth; and the 17km-long, 2-day Dolphin Trail from Storms River Mouth east along the coast to the Fernery.

Nature Reserves – there are 4 nature reserves in the region. These are the Outeniqua Nature Reserve at George, the Goukamma Nature Reserve between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay, the Robberg Nature Reserve at Plettenberg Bay, and the Keurbooms Nature Reserve, also at Plettenberg Bay.

All offer good birding and each has a network of hiking trails - except Keurbooms, which has river-based activities instead. 

Forests – these thickly-wooded areas are alive with unique life forms, birdsong, fungi, ferns, frogs and feathered creatures. The towering Outeniqua yellowwoods, some 800 years old, are the pillars of the forests and magnificent in stature. From George through to Nature’s Valley there are several sections of forest where visitors can walk or picnic beneath the canopy. These include the Groeneweide Nature Walk, at Groenkop Farleigh Indigenous Forest near George. 

Around Knysna, there are 3 main forest areas. Goudveld lies north-west of town and is accessed via the rural area of Rheenendal. It is home to the locals’ favourite picnic spot of Jubilee Creek, the worked-out Bendigo gold mine, and the isolated gorge known as Drupkelders. Gouna is north of town and links up with Diepwalle, which lies to the east. The Garden of Eden is a small patch of forest alongside the N2, accessed along boardwalks between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. Also here is the Harkerville Forest. In the east of the region, around Nature’s Valley, the forests of the Tsitsikamma National Park virtually spill onto the beaches and rocky headlands.   

Beaches and lagoons – for many the wide, sweeping stretches of beach that glint like a string of pearls along the coastline are what the Garden Route is all about. These are found throughout the region and most are accessible via minor roads off the N2. If the rough and tumble of surf isn’t quite your thing then the more tranquil waters of the Knysna Lagoon, the Keurbooms Lagoon at Plettenberg Bay, and the Sedgefield Lagoon are popular options.

The Maritime Museum – visitors who enjoy a good museum should head to Mossel Bay. Here the maritime history of the area can be explored at the Dias Museum Complex where you can board a replica of Bartolomeu Dias’s caravel. There’s also a collection of ancient maps from those days and a good shipwreck display. Here too stands the 500+-year-old Post Office Tree. The museum complex houses a Shell Museum, said to be the largest in South Africa. There is also an aquarium. The complex is open from 09h00-16h45, Monday to Friday, and from 09h00-15h45 on weekends and public holidays.

Golf – for those who consider golf to be a large part of a holiday, there are premier golf courses along virtually the entire Garden Route. These include the 18-hole championship course at Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay; the 3 courses of Fancourt at George; the Knysna Golf Club; Simola Golf & Country Estate (Knysna); Pezula Championship Course (Knysna); Plettenberg Bay Country Club; and Goose Valley Golf Club (Plettenberg Bay).

When to go

To Do

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