Ferry trip and a hike through Knysna featherbed nature reserve

On one of the docks at the Knysna Lagoon waiting to board a ferry!
On one of the docks at the Knysna Lagoon waiting to board a ferry!
Looking out over Knysna Lagoon!
Looking out over Knysna Lagoon!
Me loving the ferry trip across the lagoon
Me loving the ferry trip across the lagoon

Knysna is definitely the most beautiful part of the scenic Garden Route in South-Africa. It is here that my brother and I spent 3 lovely days relaxing during our Christmas holiday. At the heart of Knysna is a lagoon protected from the sea by the monolithic sandstone “Heads”. These two large headlands have become infamous due to the loss of boats and fishermen passing through their treacherous and unpredictable waters. We stayed right in town and the lagoon was only a 10min walk from our hotel. It was a lovely stroll through the small town pass quaint little restaurants and shops.

Armed with a sun hat and loads of sun screen I am ready for our Knysna ferry trip!
Armed with a sun hat and loads of sun screen I am ready for our Knysna ferry trip!

I loved the ferry trip across the beautiful lagoon and got to see a bit more of Knysna and the fauna that surrounds it.

The Knysna Lagoon is actually huge!!
The Knysna Lagoon is actually huge!!
Knysna Lagoon is filled with rocky outcrops close to the "Heads"
Knysna Lagoon is filled with rocky outcrops close to the “Heads”

Here in Knysna is Featherbed Nature Reserve, a unique private Nature Reserve that covers the whole of the Western Head of Knysna. It is a stunning piece of paradise accessible only by ferry across the lagoon. Or if you have a private boat you can also use the jetty at the entrance of the reserve. Featherbed is a privately-owned, registered Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site. This nature reserve was top of my list of things to see and the first morning in Knysna my brother and I signed up for a tour.

Looking out over the Lagoon and Knysna made it clear that this is definitely one of the most beautiful places in South-Africa
Looking out over the Lagoon and Knysna made it clear that this is definitely one of the most beautiful places in South-Africa

Magnificent view of the lagoon from the "Head"
Magnificent view of the lagoon from the “Head”
The 4x4 vehicle that took us up the "Head"
The 4×4 vehicle that took us up the “Head”

We booked an excursion through the Featherbed Company which included the ferry trip on the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head, a 4×4 vehicle & trailer drive up the headland onto the Reserve, and a guided hike. In order to protect the splendour of the natural beauty, access to the Reserve is controlled. Numbers are limited and visits are only permitted in the company of the Reserve’s specialist guides.

View of the opposite "Head" with its sandstone cliffs
View of the opposite “Head” with its sandstone cliffs
I thing the Western Cape Coast line is absolutely stunning!!
I thing the Western Cape Coast line is absolutely stunning!!
You can see that the ocean is quite rough and the coast line very rocky
You can see that the ocean is quite rough and the coast line very rocky
The trail that our guide took us on
The trail that our guide took us on

Once we arrived at the reserve we drove up the “Head” and stopping at some spectacular viewpoints. I could see most of the lagoon and the town of Knysna surrounding it. We also had magnificent views of the “Heads” where the lagoon meets up with the ocean.

Standing at a lookout point looking out over the clear open ocean
Standing at a lookout point looking out over the clear open ocean
Isn't this one of the most beautiful coast lines ever!?
Isn’t this one of the most beautiful coast lines ever!?
My brother celebrating making it to the top!!
My brother celebrating making it to the top!!
I take a small break before taking on the downwards trail back to the ferry
I take a small break before taking on the downwards trail back to the ferry
I couldn't get enough of this beautiful view!
I couldn’t get enough of this beautiful view!

Lastly the tour also included a lovely guide who gave us loads of information on the history and fauna & flora while she took us on a guided 2.2km walk through the coastal forest and fynbos back down to the ferry.

I am loving this hike through the coastal forest!
I am loving this hike through the coastal forest!
My brother at the beginning of our hike-before his feet were all blistered!
My brother at the beginning of our hike-before his feet were all blistered!

Good walking shoes are recommended, unfortunately my brothers shoes broke that morning so we had to stop and buy new ones before the hike. I would not recommend doing a 2km hike with new walking shoes!! He suffered through most of the walk but at least the scenery made it worth while. Unfortunately by the end of the hike his feet were full of blisters and he wasn’t in a very happy mood!

My very impatient brother having to wait for me again because I keep taking pictures of everything
My very impatient brother having to wait for me again because I keep taking pictures of everything

I think the temperature today was something like 31 degrees Celsius
I think the temperature today was something like 31 degrees Celsius

It was lovely being out in nature and having the opportunity to get to learn a bit more about South-Africa. I don’t get to really appreciate South-Africa much as every time I come for a visit I end up visiting friends and family and never actually get to “see” South-Africa. I was very glad that mu brother agreed to play tourist in our own country with me for a couple of days. 

Finally made it to the bottom of the cliff and could continue our hike along the coastline
Finally made it to the bottom of the cliff and could continue our hike along the coastline
I didn't realize the coastline was this rocky!!
I didn’t realize the coastline was this rocky!!
I can now understand why it is treacherous for boats sailing around this rocky coastline!
I can now understand why it is treacherous for boats sailing around this rocky coastline!

Our last stretch of hiking was on a raised wooden platform along the rocky beach
Our last stretch of hiking was on a raised wooden platform along the rocky beach

I was very glad that we brought sun hats and had loads of sun block on as it was a very hot day on the coast. I was also very happy that I packed myself a bottle of water, although here at the ens a sweet ice-cold drink would have been great!!

Thinking that the end is juts around that corner made my brother very happy!
Thinking that the end is juts around that corner made my brother very happy!

Before we got onto the ferry to take us back to Knysna harbour area we could at least get a cold drink from the little shop at the jetty. There is also a lovely little restaurant on the island but I think you have to book a tour that includes eating there or have your own boat to get her. It would definitely be worth it you would have a spectacular view while eating. 

Last look at the beautiful sandstone cliffs before our ferry took us back to shore
Last look at the beautiful sandstone cliffs before our ferry took us back to shore
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