Adventure rules the roost in Knysna

At the heart of the Garden Route in South Africa, Knysna is the perfect base from which Indian travellers can explore the area with adventure as its biggest draw. The coastal town has been a destination for the Indian market for some time.

HAZEL JAIN

With close to 100,000 Indian travellers visiting South Africa annually, there has been a huge demand to experience the destination beyond the usual cities of Cape Town, Durban and Kruger National Park. South Africa Tourism (SAT) has, therefore, opened up new and unexplored regions of the country to the Indian market – one of them is the coastal town of Knysna on the Garden Route.

According to Ebrahim Windwaai, Visitor Centre Manager, Knysna Tourism, this town has been a destination for the Indian market for some time. “The first time we took our products to India was on a roadshow in 2007 which was organised by the SAT India office in Mumbai. However, this year was the first time we’ve hosted such a big group of travel agents from India on a familiarisation tour in Greater Knysna. It was wonderful to be able to give them a first-hand experience of what our area has to offer,” he says.

While it has not been possible to monitor numbers coming into the area, the response, Windwaai claims, has been positive to the extent that he expects members to participate in the Indian roadshow in February 2018. “In fact, we have tweaked the product offerings to suit the Indian traveller. Since 2007, two Indian restaurants have opened in town. For the rest, the Indian traveller appears to like us just the way we are. We have limited budgets so we can’t do as much as we would like to in this emerging market. But we are very excited about hosting more trade whenever an opportunity arises,” Windwaai adds.

“The first time we took our products to India was on a roadshow in 2007 which was organised by the SAT India office in Mumbai. However, this year was the first time we have hosted such a big group of travel agents from India on a familiarisation tour in Greater Knysna. It was wonderful to be able to give them a first-hand experience of what our area has to offer.”

The top five activities he thinks will do well with Indian travellers are whale watching excursions with Ocean Odyssey, hiking through the indigenous forests, ferry cruises across the lagoon, Cango Caves and ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn, and other activities such as shark cage diving and bungee-jumping. Knysna forms the perfect base to explore the area with four and five-star accommodation, excellent spas as well as numerous restaurants, cultural experiences and craft markets.

Fact File

Knysna has earned the sobriquet of Oyster Capital because of the amazing abundance and quality of oysters available here. It actually has an Oyster Festival to its name amongst other annual events where approximately 200,000 oysters are consumed over a 10-day period!

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