As far as old towns go, Knysna is most certainly not the oldest, but there are a few facts about the history of our town that we are sure you don’t know. After doing some digging and reading up about how the jewel of the Garden Route came to be, we’ve uncovered some interesting facts to share with you. Keep reading to find out more…
Around forty fossilized hominid footprints have been discovered in Knysna which have been found to date back around 90 000 years. This discovery suggests that early species of humans have occupied this land for more than 300 000 years!
It is said that Knysna was first founded in 1804 by a man who was said to be the illegitimate son of King George III. His name was George Rex, and through his discovery of Knysna and the logging of indigenous forests in the area, Knysna’s timber trade began. By 1817 he had built a harbour so that the timber could be moved via shop rather than ox wagon.
Knysna might seem like a strange name when you try to pronounce it for the first time, but there is actually a historical meaning behind it. The original word was of Khoikhoi origin and spelt “naizna”, which means ferns. Ferns have always been a prominent feature in this part of Garden Route and thus helped give Knysna her name.
If you haven’t visited the Big Tree in Knysna then you are missing out on a beautiful part of history. This tree is over 800 years old and stands more than 40m tall. The Big Tree is a stunning yellowwood which also happens to be South Africa’s national tree.
When making your way to Knysna, we’re sure that visiting the Knysna Heads is top of your to-do list! The Heads were formed due to the Knysna River exploiting weakened areas of rock. The constant weight and pressure of the water eventually split the rock in two, forming what we know today as The Knysna Heads. This is the perfect spot to laze about in the sun and feast your eyes on the view, but due to turbulent currents and sharp rocks, water sports are prohibited.
Our town has been admired for its beauty for decades, but we hope these fast facts have given you a new perspective on its history and made you all the more eager to visit again. Beautiful Knysna Villas offers a range of stunning places to stay, whether you are a family with kids, or honeymooners looking for a special getaway.