It’s business as usual in Knysna. That’s the message from Elmay Bouwer, chairperson of the Knysna Tourism board, who today confirmed that despite the extensive fires experienced in the Garden Route town this week, Knysna has resumed normal business activities and is welcoming visitors.
“We would like tourists to know that it is safe to visit Knysna, and that almost all tourist activities are fully operational,” said Bouwer.
“Although a number of accommodation establishments have been damaged or destroyed, there are many others which have not been affected. If any visitors who have planned a stay in Knysna are unsure about the status of their accommodation booking, they should call Knysna Tourism on +27 44 382 5510 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bouwer said that one of Knysna’s biggest tourist attractions, Featherbed Nature Reserve suffered severe damage, however the company’s three restaurants are still fully operational as are the boat cruises on the John Benn, Paddle Cruiser and Heads Explorer Catamaran.
The iconic Knysna Waterfront with all its restaurants and shops had not been affected in any way.
The popular animal sanctuaries between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay including Knysna Elephant Park, Birds of Eden, Monkeyland and Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre are all operating as usual. In addition, SANParks’ picnic areas at Jubilee Creek and Diepwalle and the camping sites in Diepwalle are open and unaffected by the fires.
Simola, Pezula and Knysna Golf Courses are also open.
The town of Sedgefield is also welcoming visitors and has not lost any accommodation establishments. All tourist activities in the area are fully operational including the popular Scarab and Wild Oats Famer’s Markets.
“Knysna is recovering from the devastation of the fires but for local businesses to survive, tourism must play a vital part,” says Bouwer. “We need to get the message out there that we are open for businesss and the Knysna visitor experience will be as good as ever.”