Knysna - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Knysna


The town of Knysna, clustered around a vast tidal lagoon which opens to the sea through a narrow inlet guarded by two sandstone cliffs known as 'The Heads', is the holiday hub of the Garden Route, drawing more visitors than it can cope with, particularly during the peak summer holiday season.

The town has an interesting history, having started as a point of export for timber cut from the surrounding dense forests (which have been badly denuded as a result). In the early 19th century the town was almost solely owned by the enigmatic character George Rex, who was believed to be the illegitimate son of King George III of England. Rex fathered 13 children and is a legend in the Knysna area.

The town features some quaint Victorian houses, a modern commercial waterfront development, a lovely sandy beach at Leisure Isle on the east side of the lagoon, and some good shopping for local arts and crafts in the crowded town centre. There are some lovely scenic drives through the remaining indigenous forests in the area, and sampling Knysna oysters and locally-brewed Mitchell's beer while on holiday here is highly recommended. The best time to visit Knysna is during its annual Oyster Festival, held every July, which includes music, food, sporting events, and of course oysters!

Information & Facts

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.

Local time is GMT +2.
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