Stretching along the southern coast of South Africa from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route is characterised by ancient forests, secluded beaches, hidden wine estates and unique wildlife sanctuaries.
On June 7th, 2017, fueled by strong westerly winds from “the Cape Storm of 2017” a fire swept through Knysna and its surrounds, wreaking havoc on vast areas of the Garden Route and displacing around 10,000 people from all walks of life.
The fire might have burned out weeks ago, but the perception that the area is no longer operational for tourism continues to smoulder. Knysna suffered a fair amount of damage but is by no means destroyed. The town and the Garden Route as a whole are open for business and welcoming visitors.
Springbok Atlas CEO, Glenn McKeag visited Knysna recently to meet with our valued suppliers. While there are a few establishments that suffered damage, and some that were destroyed, the town still has thousands of beds available, and 90% of activities are still operational.
Knysna Tourism is encouraging local establishments to work together to accommodate guests and tour groups whose bookings have been affected by the fires, to ensure that Knysna retains its domestic and international bookings, both current and in the future.
Garden Route tours after the fires
Planning Garden Route holidays cannot be more valuable right now as the affected towns need tourism income generation more than ever before.
The latest reports from Knysna Tourism confirm that the indigenous Knysna forest and animals, such as the Knysna elephants, leopards, and baboons were unaffected. Almost all tourist activities are fully operational. The restaurants and shops at the Knysna Waterfront were not affected, and the popular animal sanctuaries between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are all operating as usual. Simola, Pezula and Knysna Golf Courses are also open.
We can assure you that as guests of Springbok Atlas you will be 100% safe in our hands and will still be able to engage in the full experience the town of Knysna and the Garden Route as a whole have been offering for so many years.
According to Knysna Tourism, the best way to keep supporting Knysna as “Knysna Rises” is by the following:
Don’t cancel your plans. Knysna has always been a favourite for families with young children and lovers of the outdoors. Do not cancel plans and if you do not have plans, put Knysna on your itinerary.
Play your part: be a tourist, but also be a model citizen. Learn more about how Knysna Tourism and other relief organisations are working to rebuild the affected areas and be responsible when using renewable resources such as water.
Share your Knysna stories: now more than ever the global community needs to know that it is back to business for this small town. Documenting and sharing your experiences of Knysna getting back on its feet will go a long way in attracting others to visit the town.
Support “Knysna Rises” and book Garden Route tours with Springbok Atlas today. The best way to experience Garden Route holidays is definitely by road. And with us, on a fun, hassle-free and expert guided Garden Route trip by luxury coach, you’ll experience the best that this diverse region has to offer.
While most travellers kick off their Garden Route holidays from Cape Town, it is just as easy and rewarding to travel east to west from Port Elizabeth. You choose the Garden Route packages that suit you, and we’ll do the rest.
Embark on a 3-night Garden Route safari through the Klein Karoo and discover charming towns, unique fauna and flora and striking landscapes.
Take in all the classic highlights of the area on a 5-night Garden Route safari that starts in Cape Town and ends in Port Elizabeth.
Sit back and relax on a 4-night Garden Route tour that takes in the incredible scenery of the Tsitsikamma and Outeniqua mountain ranges, the stunning southern Cape coastline and large stretches of indigenous hardwood forests and expansive lagoons.
Do your part. Spend three nights in Cape Town followed by a Garden Route safari that gives you the opportunity to get involved in a conservation experience at the Big 5 Gondwana Game Reserve. During the three-night stay, you will have the opportunity to participate in wildlife and veld management and learn valuable bush skills. The research findings are used to assist with enhancing the reserve management plan. Your base will be the recently opened Gondwana Eco Camp, offering comfortable tented accommodation with all meals provided.
Learn more about our commitment to Responsible Tourism here.