Words and photos by Shaen Adey
SUP up to the Old Drift
I might be lynched for revealing one of the local’s best-kept secrets. The Old Drift was the original road or “drift” across the Knysna River in the late 1800’s. On special request Tony Cook Adventures will take you SUPping to the secret spot. He says “It’s waaaaaay up the Knysna river, past the Red Bridge, only locals know about it, it’s not advertised …..Not exactly a secret but tourists don’t go there”. It’s quiet, peaceful and very beautiful in the forest….you paddle really slowly, swim, and spot birds, it’s amazing”.
And there’s a little bit of history too which is quite cool. On route you pass the monument where George Rex, (a British-born entrepreneur) laid the keel for a massive wooden brig (a ship called The Brig Knysna). When the water’s clear you can still see some of the old stinkwood sleepers under the water where they laid the slipway for the ship – it’s hard to believe a flipping great big ship was launched up there.
Slurp an Oyster
Knysna is famous for its oysters but sadly the oyster beds in the lagoon are a thing of the past. But no stress. If you stop at Oysters R Us, situated between Sedgefield and Wilderness, you can still tickle your taste buds. The owners Natasha and Natalie source fresh oysters from commercial permit holders along the Garden Route coastline and West Coast. While the staff chucks your order you can chill in the lapa with an icy cold beer.
Visit the Judah Square Rastafarian community
The community is in Khayalethu South on the outskirts of Knysna – the largest Rasta community in the country. Meet the peace loving locals who are also strictly vegan, avoid alcohol, and don’t smoke tobacco. You can arrange to do a walking tour, book by phoning brother Zebulon on 076 649 1034. Or if you want an authentic stay, phone sista Kerri, one of the elders of the community, and book a B&B’s or homestay 083 502 2229.
Spend a night in the forest at Diepwalle
Lay out your bedroll, pitch your own tent or hire a tent from SANParks then sleep out on a wooden deck under the forest canopy. The next best thing to sleeping in your own treehouse.