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I’d barely hauled my car up the sloped driveway (and yanked on the handbrake) when smiley-eyed Bianca wondered if I’d like a world-famous (ok, maybe Knysna-famous) frothy coffee. Well, if they’re as Italian as Ross and as plush as their guest house, I certainly would.…
… Posited up in Paradise - I’m not gushing, that’s truly the name of their locale - Villa Afrikana could put the swank into Hilary. Bianca (whose family live down the hill) and Ross (who hails from Florence) met working on a cruise liner - he in hospitality management, she in administration - and pooled their gifts for care and design into a tightly-run guest ship. White floors stretch through cool, clean living areas, parting for deep white sofas, zebra-skin rugs and floor-ceiling windows revealing panoramic lagoon vistas. I plumped for perusing the villa library in the starboard reading snug, propped in front of a porthole peeping out to the gleaming pool. Upstairs, in unfussy, roomy, balconied suites, things are no less glam. Subtle African touches tug at modern Euro-minimalism: local painter Niel Nieuwoudt’s bespoke interpretations of Knysna grace each room while every pillow sparkles with a cheeky Ferrero Rocher (thanks Ross!). This stylish crow’s nest towers over Knysna: from Bianca’s pancake-prepping kitchen we watched yachts wriggle round the lagoon, ant-people exploring the Waterfront and a controlled fynbos fire billowing over the Heads. Releasing the handbrake and plunging my car back into reality, I knew I’d dream of Paradise that night.
More information from the owners…
Knysna - Out of Africa out of this world!
Knysna is one of the Garden Route's best known travel destinations – situated between lush forests and the shores of the peaceful estuary.
"People - Beauty - Mystery" is what comes to mind when describing Knysna. The town nestles between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains and the Indian Ocean, with the world-renowned forests encircling it like a protective mantle.
The 21 ha estuary is protected from the sea by the monolithic sandstone "Heads" - silent sentinels down the centuries of the rich history of this unique part of "Paradise on Earth"
In and around Knysna one will find a selection of fine restaurants, activities, cultural & heritage experiences, adventure and natural encounters, to match your mood, age, physique or budget. For the shopper, there are interesting shops tucked away around every corner, authentic African traders and for the person with a passion for art and history, well, Knysna will intrigue you.
Knysna is the ideal Garden Route base, offering visitors an unforgettable holiday, from the very adventurous holidaymakers, to those who prefer relaxing in the sun, strolling through the cool forests or taking scenic day drives. It is an excellent day trip base and we advise that you plan your trip to stay at least five days in the heart of the Garden Route – Knysna.
Begin your journey to this fascinating and still mysterious place, and sample a taste of the beauty and a whisper of the people, in this, South Africa's favourite town.
"Adventure and Attractions"
Experience the thrill of high-speed mountain biking through indigenous forests or pe the depths of the lagoon. Hire a kayak to tour the winding Knysna river, or, for an aerial view , raise the heartbeat with an abseil above the ocean's crashing waves. Ride a horse along the water's edge. Try fly fishing, rock and surf angling or deep-sea fishing. or, for the daring, kite-surf on the waters of the lagoon or paraglide over the hills and lakes.
For the more leisurely inclined, three premier golf courses offer the best in golf with views to match.
Take a cruise across the lagoon or out to sea on a stylish yacht. Hire a bicycle and tour the town...or visit the Elephant Park and experience closeness with nature unlike anything you've ever felt before.