Knysna is a town located in the heart of South Africa’s famed Garden Route, in the Western Cape Province. This little town lies between the majestic Outeniqua Mountains and the glittering Indian Ocean. Because of the fantastic weather and recreational activities on offer here, during the summer, Knysna is incredibly popular and gets very crowded. The lagoon is perfect for water sports, and for those looking to take scenic nature hikes and treks, the surrounding forests are great for doing just that. Knysna is said to be home to a sizeable amount of Muslims. The first Muslims are said to have arrived here some 30 years ago. Due to its location on the Garden Route, Knysna is said to attract a large number of Muslim tourists, all year round. Because of this, Muslim visitors will find it easy to locate Muslim-friendly facilities in Knysna.
Knysna has many animal sanctuaries which will entertain the whole family. One sanctuary that visitors must not miss out on is the Knysna Elephant Park. Here, tourists will get the chance to feed and get up close and personal to the huge elephants. There are daily tours that can be taken, which last from about 45 minutes to an hour, where visitors can learn more about elephants and interact with them. This sanctuary for orphaned elephants makes a great morning or afternoon excursion. While here, visitors can also take an elephant back ride, and even a sunrise or sunset safari.
Another must-visit is the Featherbed Nature Reserve; which is on the Western Head of Knysna, and is only accessible by ferry as part of the Featherbed Tour. This reserve is privately owned and occupies 150 hectares of pristine paradise. After being taken across to the reserve by ferry, visitors are expected to ride 4x4’s to the top of the headland. From there visitors can walk through Milkwood Forests and then along a coastal track to the restaurant where they can have a fabulous lunch on the edge of the lagoon. Throughout the tour, visitors will be met with spectacular views that are more than worth a picture or two.
Tourists to Knysna can also take a scenic cruise across the lagoon on ferries which depart from the Waterfront or in front of Cruise Café restaurant. The ferries take cruisers across the estuary to the famous Heads. Those going on the cruise will be met with breathtaking views of the surrounding areas as well as the Eastern and Western Heads, Thesen Islands, Leisure Island and Featherbed Nature Reserve.
Kynsna also provides opportunities for visitors to try their hand at rock climbing, trekking, diving, abseiling, deep-sea fishing and canoeing.
Brenton on Sea and Buffalo Bay are two beautiful Blue Flag beaches which must be on every visitor’s itinerary. Buffalo Bay, which is in a SANParks Reserve, is ideal for swimming as well as surfing.
The nearest airport to Knysna is George Airport, which offers domestic flights and is located about 68 kilometres from the center of Knysna. For international flights, the closest major airports to Knysna are; Port Elizabeth International Airport; which is located about 275 kilometres from Knysna, and Cape Town International Airport.
Even though the city only has a small Muslim population, there are a couple of Halal restaurants in Knysna. Trio Flame Grills, Trio, Ocean Basket and Raasoie are said to serve Halal food. Well-known international fast food chains like KFC and McDonald’s also have an outlet in Knysna, which is said to serve Halal food. While these restaurants are either Muslim owned or Halal certified, it is best for Muslim visitors to double check on the Halal status of the food before dining.
There is one known mosque in Knysna known as the Knysna Musallah, which was established in 2004. The five daily prayers are performed here, as well as Jumu’ah prayers on Fridays. There is also a madrassah for children of all ages. Both the mussallah and madrassah are located in a rented facility, which is commonly known as the Lamco Building.