The roughly 30km drive from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay holds a treasure trove of fantastic stops to be discovered on holiday along the Garden Route. Road trip detours include Robberg Nature Reserve and Birds of Eden.

Wildlife Experiences from Knysna To Plettenberg Bay

Knysna Elephant Park

Established in 1994, Knysna Elephant Park is the first facility in South Africa for orphaned African elephants. These include relocated animals, orphaned calves and those rescued from captivity.

The experience includes a scenic elephant encounter, and a walk through the park at elephant pace with panoramic views of the Outeniqua mountains and Knysna Forest.


One of the most popular stops along the route from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay is Monkeyland; the world’s first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. The centre creates awareness of the plight of primates and aims to educate the public on how better to live in harmony with our primate cousins.

Birds of Eden

Take a walk through the indigenous forest at Birds of Eden – the Garden Route’s own world-class free flight bird sanctuary.

The unique two hectare dome (the World’s largest) spans over a gorge home to more than 220 birds species, with the main focus being African birds. Visits are usually self-guided, however guided walks are offered on request.

Trip tip: the walk is wheelchair friendly.

Other interesting stops:

  • Tenikwa Wildlife Rehab & Awareness Centre
  • Raptor Rescue Plett
  • Blue Hills Bird Farm
  • Garden Route Wolf Sanctuary
  • Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

Nature Stops Between Knysna & Plettenberg Bay

The Heads

The Knysna Heads are two sandstone cliffs that guard the entrance where the Indian Ocean washes into the Knysna Lagoon. Take a drive to the viewpoint at the top of the eastern head and take in the beauty and unbeatable views of Knysna from above.

The western head is only accessible by ferry, and forms part of the privately owned Featherbed Nature Reserve. There are excursions to the reserve departing from the Knysna Waterfront daily.

Noetzie Beach

A magical detour off the beaten track, Noetzie is an unspoilt beach, well worth the walk. Here you’ll find half a dozen stone castles dating from the 1930s, located next to the Noetzie River mouth.

Robberg Nature Reserve

Situated less than 10km south of Plett, Robberg Nature Reserve is one of the most popular stops from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay and for good reason. The World Heritage Site is known for its inspiring landscapes, dolphin and whale sightings, and excellent bird watching. For those who want to spend more here, an overnight hut can be booked.

Highlights of Robberg Nature Reserve include walking alongside the dunes, spotting the rare blue duiker and viewing the highest navigational light on the South African coastline, at the Cape Seal Lighthouse (146m above sea level).

Other notable stops:

  • Featherbed Nature Reserve
  • Harkerville Kranshoek Viewpoint (great sundowner spot)

With a range of regularly updated specials throughout the year, Turbine Hotel & Spa offers a fantastic base for all your activities between Knysna and Plett.

Book your ideal trip to the Garden Route

Use our website to book your ideal holiday and take a road trip up the Garden Route from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay. We offer a selection of packages to make your stay the best it can be.

Take a look here and make use of the seamless online booking process and start imagining your ideal vacation today.


  • Robberg Nature Reserve
  • Birds of Eden
  • Monkeyland
  • Noetzie Beach
  • Knysna Heads
  • Knysna Elephant Park

If you’re interested in exploring the Garden Route between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly reservations team directly at or +27 (0) 44 050 3500

We look forward to welcoming you to the Turbine Hotel & Spa.

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