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Encircled by pristine forest, the tiny suburb of Kanonkop is a short distance from Knysna town centre along the Garden Route in South Africa. Kanonkop is reached via a single road off the main highway and the area is a mix of both farmland and upmarket residential properties.
Kanonkop experiences a moderate climate, the highest rainfall period being late spring, and this section of the Indian Ocean coastline is warm enough to swim throughout the year.
The Garden Route is considered one of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations and Kanonkop is at the centre of this utopian part of the country blessed with a richness of warm seas, sandy beaches, virgin forests, rivers and lakes. The area’s residents understand the importance of tourism and make an extra effort to ensure a stay in Kanonkop will surpass your expectations.
Top 5 reasons to visit Kanonkop
1. Water activities surround Kanonkop; swim at Brenton on Sea beach, hire a canoe to travel along the Knysna River and into the estuary, book a seat on a catamaran for a sunset cruise, fish for white mussel-cracker (catch and release) or venture out into the sea for deep sea fishing.
2. Visit the Knysna Elephant Park to walk with – or ride on – the gentle African elephants in the park. The park offers personalised safaris that include a quality meal.
3. Spend a day in Knysna to enjoy the town’s retail shopping, architecture and museums. The waterfront is popular too for the first-rate restaurants and cafés overlooking the water.
4. Hike the 20km Elephant Walk Trail through the dense Knysna forest passing ancient gigantic trees, vast birdlife and a chance to see the many elusive forest mammals. The trail has three loop routes for those unwilling to hike the entire trail. A permit is required to enter the forest.
5. Travel to Noetzie to enjoy the secluded beach and view the castles overlooking the small bay. While in the area, visit the nearby Brackenhill Falls that tumble down into a forested gorge.
The nearest airport is George Airport, located 70km from Kanonkop. Several car rental agencies are based in Knysna and at George airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online. There are a number of metered taxi companies in Knysna. Shuttle service operators transport visitors between George Airport and Kanonkop.
Did you know?
In the Knysna estuary, approximately 90% of the water mass is replaced with each incoming tide. Over 300 marine creatures thrive here, particularly filter feeders such as the oyster, barnacle and mussel.
Building of the Noetzie castles began in the 1930s when a property owner was constructing his stone house and a neighbour jokingly suggested that a few turrets be added for it to become a castle. The suggestion was duly carried out and others followed suit by building their holiday homes into small castles.
Many of the fish species found in the Knysna Estuary are on the red (endangered) list, including the white mussel-cracker, cob, garrick and white steenbras. If caught, please return them to the water.