The quaint little town of Knysna lies 32km west of Plettenberg Bay. At about a 30 minute drive time, its an excellent day trip from Plett and Milkwood Manor. Along the road to Knysna, you will find a variety of farm stalls and crafts villages to visit. Halfway between Plett and Knysna, is the Knysna Elephant Park. You may not be aware, but the indigenous forest of the area was once populated by thousands of Knysna elephants trampling through the vegetation. Sadly, there may be as little as one wild elephant left in the forest due to massacres in earlier centruries. Where Plettenberg Bay is known for endless beaches and waves, the timber town of Knysna is bisected by the Knysna estuary leading to the magnificent Knysna Heads, two headlands that open onto the open sea. I would love to have been the first ocean visitor to this lagoon: traversing the Heads from the sea is tricky due to sea conditions, but once inside the Heads, the lagoon and estuary lie majestic and peaceful, surrounded on both sides by beautiful vegetation.
The East Head is populated by spectacular homes, with views of the town, the Heads and the open ocean, and it is a lovely easy walk to explore the East Head. You should stop at the East Head parking lot for a drink or a bite to eat, it’s the best place to relax and enjoy the views. Interestingly, the most famous wreck of the Knysna Heads is the Paquita Wreck which lies directly in front of the East Head parking lot. On a clear day, one can actually make out the outline of the wreck and it is a popular site for both scuba divers and snorkellers. Be aware, though, that the currents of the Knysna Heads can be treacherous and it is advised to only dive on the turn of the tide, when the currents are at their most gentle.
The West Head is almost entirely unpopulated and is a privately-owned natural reserve, known as Featherbed. It is only accessible by ferry and visitors are ferried across for guided walks on the reserve. Knysna is a charming, magical little town that will offer visitors a whole host of activities and restaurants and makes an ideal day trip for visitors to Plettenberg Bay.