Get the Phantom Knysna experience

Dawn view up Knysna River from Chutzpah deck at Phantom ForestDawn view up Knysna River from Chutzpah deck at Phantom Forest

Surrounded by incredible natural beauty, exciting activities and a gentle climate, Phantom Forest offers the perfect home base from which to explore the richness that greater Knysna has to offer.

Perfect weather all year round

Knysna is permanently green, no matter the season. Its warm, temperate climate makes it the perfect year-round destination. The mild winters (May-August) on the Garden Route, often referred to as the “secret season”, ensure sunny and beautiful wind-still days. If anything, Knysna has a phantom autumn. The forests don’t shed their leaves and people don’t hide indoors. With average daytime temperatures hovering around 19ºC, winter in Knysna easily rivals a balmy European summer.

A Natural Paradise

Between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a protective mantle of world-renowned Afromontane forests, this piece of Eden offers up a delightful mix of beaches, lakes, mountains, forests and rivers. Whether you are into flora and fauna or adventure activities, there is something special for everyone.

Our Animal Kingdom

Knysna boasts an array of remarkable species. The unique Knysna seahorse, delicate Pansy shell (found in the lagoon), endangered dwarf chameleon, and Brenton Blue butterfly are just some of the many creatures to inhabit this part of the world. Knysna is also home to the only wild forest elephants in South Africa. Check out Gareth Patterson’s latest research on this fascinating subject.

The Southern Right and Humpback whales migrate to our coastline from June to November to breed in the Indian Ocean’s calm, warm waters, keeping spectators entranced as they frolic and blow.

Bird life is equally abundant. The enchanting Knysna Loerie with its bright red wing feathers and lime green crest is not only highly visible in flight, but also easily recognizable. Not to be outdone, the rare Narina Trogon, Knysna warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Chorister robin-chat and Forest canary are all near endemic avian wonders in their own right too. The rivers and lagoon also have their own variety of feathered inhabitants, including the Malachite Kingfisher and African Fish eagle, while the endangered African Black Oyster Catcher prefers to hang out at the beach.

Adventure and Sport

With so much to do, chances are you’ll reach the end of your visit without having tried everything on offer. Phantom Forest’s private nature reserve is a playground on its own, with walking trails and canoeing, then of course there’s horse riding, hiking, yachting and fishing nearby, not forgetting golf, with 6 great venues within easy reach.  If you’re more of an adrenalin junkie, we have a bunch of more extreme sports too. How about abseiling, paragliding, scuba diving or water skiing? Boasting some of the best mountain bike routes in the country, there really is something here for everyone.


If retail therapy is what you’re after interesting outlets are tucked away around every corner, and with the quaint Waterfront shopping complex and authentic African traders, you’ll be literally spoilt for choice.


Definitely worth a visit is the Knysna Elephant Park, where world-class guides will unravel the story of the Knysna elephants. The park offers a rare and exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with these rescued gentle giants, who live in a controlled, free-range environment.

Thanks to Visit Knysna for inspiring us with their reasons to visit the area.

The Phantom Forest Team

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