Buffalo Bay Beach

Buffalo Bay beach is also known as Buffelsbaai and you will find this small coastal town in the Goukamma Nature Reserve just a few kilometres from Knysna. The beach is part of a 14 kilometre stretch of sand that is pure paradise to all visitors. The area is absolutely unique – offering splendid white sandy beaches and dunes, continuous blue waves as well as coastal fynbos, which in itself are stunning, bordered by a coastal forest.

This is a favourite beach for holiday makers, both local and foreign as the area offers a great selection of activities which include fishing, boating, surfing or just relaxing in the shallow waters and basking on the beach. If you are visiting from July to October you might be lucky enough to see a dolphin or two skipping in the waves. When your stomach starts to grumble and you forgot to bring a picnic basket along, head up the beach towards Brenton-on-Sea and Knysna.

A great restaurant to visit is Nautical South – they offer superb dishes and are Sophie Joubert from Sophie’s Properties’ personal favourite!

Who is Sophie Joubert? Sophie is the finest estate agent in Brenton-on-Sea – she always go that extra mile to make your purchase as smooth as possible – she literally takes all the pain and stress out of buying and handles it with great professionalism.

Contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729 to buy your home in the one of the most spectacular parts of the Garden Route on the southern coast of South Africa.

Buffalo Bay Trail

To reach the Buffalo Bay Trail you need turn off from the N2 towards Buffalo Bay. This turnoff is in the Goukamma Valley midway between Sedgefield and Knysna – park in the parking lot at the main beach.

As you come closer to Buffalo Bay you will see the Goukamma River to your right on its final approach to the ocean as you pass the Goukamma Nature Reserve. On the hill to your left is the Buffelskop Caravan Park, and to your right the Wild Side. The actual Buffalo Bay Trail starts near the Buffelskop Caravan Park entrance across the road from the Wild Side parking lot.

The trail follows a clockwise loop starting alongside the coast before heading through the dunes to arrive at the beach again. The trail is almost totally sand the first part, from the parking lot to the Wild Side beach, and you could easily get by in sandals or even barefoot. The track is well cleared which make the trail easy to walk for young and old. Clever wood and wire “ladders” have been laid on the slopes to slow erosion of the dunes.

Take a few snacks and plenty of water with you on the hike as there is no water on the trail and it can get very hot in the dunes. A part of the trail is shaded as it passes under milkwood trees and there is a bench where you can catch a rest in the shade. Be careful on the track, as there are low hanging branches on the route.

There is a well-stocked mini supermarket and restaurant at the main beach with a deck overlooking the beach from where you can see spectacular sunsets. You can catch a well deserved break here.

You will arrive at a parking lot, from where you can head back out and up the road that you drove in on – Walker Drive. As you reach the waterfront properties on the Wild Side, choose where you want to make your way down to the water’s edge; you can walk along the road or the beach, your decision will be influenced by the tide and how much sand is available for walking.

As you approach another parking lot; you will notice that the beach stretches ahead of you towards the Goukamma Marine Protected Area. Cross through the parking lot towards the road and you will see the sign at the trailhead. Head up the trail as it curves its way up the back of the dunes until you reach the dirt road at the top of the hill. Turn left towards the cell phone mast, and pass the mast on the left down the hill into the grove of milkwood trees.

The trail finally heads down the dune and spills onto the main beach several hundred meters from the parking lot.

The full distance of the trail is 4,5 kilometres and it is an easy walk with an easy-to-follow path.

If you stand on one of the highest lookout points, you might see Brenton-on-Sea in the distance on a clear, sunny day. Brenton-on-Sea is a small coastal town on the outskirts of Knysna which offers stunning sunsets and beautiful fynbos landscapes. This area is still in development, which means there are lots of open, cleared land areas up for grabs. Would you like to build a home for you and your family here? Then contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729. Sophie is a well respected estate agent in Brenton-on-Sea for more than 10 years. She greets you with a brightening smile and a sparkling personality that puts you at ease from the start – you just know you will enjoy professional service.

Featherbed Nature Reserve

Featherbed is a privately-owned, registered Nature Reserve and a South African Heritage Site. It is a unspoiled piece of paradise situated on the Western Head of Knysna and is accessible by ferry only. The owner of the Featherbed Nature Reserve is William Smith.

In order to protect the grandeur of the natural magnificence, access to the Reserve is controlled. Numbers are restricted and visits are only allowed in the company of the Reserve’s professional guides.

This four hour tour departs daily and reservations are essential. It is a breathtaking outing for all ages and fitness levels. Good walking shoes are suggested and remember to bring your camera, hats and sun block in summer and a warm jacket for the ferry trip in winter.

The nature reserve offers exciting activities not to be missed. An ideal outdoor family holiday activity to be enjoyed by both young and old.

The Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the Western Head of Knysna, is the premier eco-experience on the Garden Route.

The Featherbed ferries give visitors to the Garden Route a memorable experience on the Knysna Lagoon. The Lagoon, actually an estuary, has five fresh water rivers flowing in from the adjacent Outeniqua Mountains meeting with the surge of sea water from the Indian Ocean through the mighty headlands known as the Knysna Heads – the majestic sandstone cliffs towering above the opening to the Knysna Lagoon.

There are a variety of family activities in Knysna, of which The Featherbed Company offers numerous activities, such as a cruise on the lagoon, scenery nature reserve trails and hiking the Knysna Heads, as well as hosting private functions, conferences, and weddings at any of the venues.

The boating fleet includes a 45 feet Catamaran sailing yacht, a Paddle Cruiser, the famous John Benn and a Rivercat ferry. All (except the Rivercat) offer restaurant and bar facilities to cater for luncheons and dinner cruises, perfect for private charters, weddings, conferences, and other functions such as product launches.

Brenton-on-Sea is about 3,5 kilometres west of the Featherbed Private Nature Reserve. This small coastal town offers a wide variety of houses and vacant land for sale. These prime properties, with ocean views, are situated in one of the most diverse and upcoming areas in the Garden Route. To own your piece of paradise, contact Sophie from Sophie’s Properties today on 082 572 2729.

Garden Route facts

The Garden Route runs along the Western Cape coast from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and is so called because of its abundant plant life. Grootbos Nature Reserve alone has more than 750 species of Fynbos. The Garden Route are nestled between the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean. The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests offer hiking trails and various eco-tourism activities. Almost 300 species of bird are found in a diversity of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.

Ten nature reserves embrace the varied ecosystems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and numerous other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right and Humpback Whales which come there to calve from July to December.


The Garden Route has an oceanic climate, with tranquil to warm summers, and mild to cool winters. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Garden Route has the mildest climate in South Africa and the second mildest climate in the world after Hawaii. Temperatures hardly ever fall below 10°C in winter and seldom climb beyond 28°C in summer. Rain occurs year-round, with a slight peak in spring, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean rising and releasing their precipitation along the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountains just inland of the coast. Summers are perfect for the beach and in the winter months it is normally warm and sunny during the day and a little chilly at night ideal to curl up around a log fire.

Oysters are King

Each July Knysna boasts with its annual Oyster Festival. Therefore, oysters, fresh line fish and shellfish feature prominently on most restaurant menus. The farms of the Little Karoo provide fresh ostrich meat and organic mutton or lamb. Many vineyards are also found along the Garden Route and definitely worth to visit. Walker Bay and Elgin along the Whale Route are renowned for their Sauvignon Blancs, while Route 62 is well known for producing some excellent brandies and ports.


The Garden Route is home to many natural wonders including the Cango Caves, the Knysna Heads and some of the most beautiful and magnificent mountain passes in the country. The landscapes range from Karoo scrub land to thriving coastal forests.

Whether you are into surfing, bungee jumping or just sunbathing on the beach, the Garden Route has something for everybody. It is a great place to take the family with attractions such as Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Canopy Tours in the Tsitsikamma Forest.


Brenton-on-Sea is a quaint town on the South-Eastern coast of the Garden Route. This beautiful and majestic town offers houses and vacant land for those who wish to move closer to the beach. Would you like to stay in South Africa’s Most Awesome Garden Route?

Contact the one and only remarkable Estate Agent in Brenton-on-Sea, Sophie Joubert, today on 082 572 2729 to buy or build your next home!!

George Rex

George Rex born 29 August 1765, was a British-born entrepreneur who spent most of his adult life in the Cape Colony. He established the town of Knysna in the Western Cape and played a large role in its development. Rex filled a number of positions in the Cape Colony before settling on the farm Melkhoutkraal, in Knysna.

George Rex was the eldest child of John Rex and Sarah Creasey. His brothers and sisters were Sarah Rex (who only lived two years), John Rex, Sarah Rex (born 3 years after her sister bearing the same name) and Elizabeth Rex.

George Rex was articled for seven years to one of the Procurators General of the Court of Arches in 1780 when aged 14, and admitted a Notary Public by the Faculty Office in 1786 when 21.

He was-
• a Supernumerary at Doctors’ Commons in 1787
• appointed as Marshal and Sergeant-at-Mace of the newly created Vice-• Admiralty Court at the Cape of Good Hope in 1797
• Registrar of Courts Martial in 1797–1801
• Advocate for the Crown in 1798
• Marshal of the Vice-Admiralty Court in 1800-1802, and
• Postmaster of Plettenberg Bay in 1815–1820

He purchased-
⋅ four slaves in 1799
⋅ the homestead Schoonder Zigt
⋅ Table Valley, Cape Town, in 1800, and asked permission to sell gunpowder taken ⋅ from a prize of war, in 1801
⋅ Melkhout Kraal, Knysna in 1805 and had 33 slaved on this farm
⋅ Sandkraal, Welbedacht
⋅ Jackals Kraal, Portland in 1817, and
⋅ Uitzigt in 1830

In 1802 the Vice-Admiralty Court closed and he signed the Oath of Submission to the Batavian Republic in 1803.

In 1804 he sold Schoonder Zigt.

George Rex was part-owner of the ship Young Phoenix and became a timber exporter and trader. George Rex held game-shooting licences as well as a licence for 400 woodcutters. He quickly became a man of influence.

After he built the yacht Knysna in 1831 he regularly entertained at his estate distinguished visitors from overseas such as Lord Charles Somerset, Christian Ferdinand Friedrich Krauss, Jules Verreaux and Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester.

In his will George Rex said that he had not submitted himself to the matrimonial laws of the Colony, but he had four children by a former slave, Johanna Rosina van der Caap, and then nine children by one of her daughters, Carolina Margaretha Ungerer.

Rex died on 3 April 1839, and was buried in Lower Old Place in Knysna.

Interesting to know is that Mabel Malherbe was one of his descendants.

Estate Agents

Should you take the road towards the Indian Ocean, you will quickly reach Brenton-on-Sea. Brenton-on-Sea is an ever expanding town that offers luxurious holiday accommodation, stunning sunsets and a long stretch of idyllic beach with beautiful landscapes.

Being an estate agent in Brenton-on-Sea for more than 10 years, Sophie Joubert offers you prime spots and fine houses to buy at very reasonable prices.

Why wait? Give her a call on 082 572 2729 – NOW!!

Goukamma Nature Reserve

This 2500 hectare reserve lies between Sedgefield and Buffalo Bay and you can access it from both sides of the reserve though the main offices and primary entrance are just outside Buffalo Bay. The reserve falls under the auspices of Cape Nature.

Just outside the Goukamma Nature Reserve entrance, on the Buffalo Bay Road, are some picnic sites and canoes for hire. You can paddle all along the river and explore the area towards the river mouth. Be careful, though, as the mouth closes from time to time naturally.

As you paddle upstream, you will find that the river flows within the bounds of the nature reserve. This gradually gives way to peaceful farmlands and dairy cattle, horses and other farm animals.

You can beach your canoe when you reach the The River Deck restaurant on your can stop for a break. Here you can carry your canoe over the small falls and continue paddling up river.

As you paddle along you will pass under the N2 highway and shortly afterwards will come to the Black Waters River Lodge. The lodge is famous for its open-air restaurant.

Make sure that you start early in the morning. When night falls it can be quite easy to get lost in the tranquillity of nature.

There is no access for public transport in the main body of the Goukamma Nature Reserve, which means that the area can only be explored on foot. This provides adventurers with a real sense of being out in untrammelled nature that offers picture perfect scenes for photographers.

To get to the secluded hillside offices that are on the Buffalo Bay Road, turn right at the gate of the reserve and drive along a winding dirt road past the picnic site next to the Goukamma River to reach the car park. There you will be able to purchase various permits for fishing. They also have maps to familiarize you with the many hiking trails.

The added advantage of Goukamma Reserve is that it has a long stretch of coastline and the adjacent ocean is a Marine Protected Area. This can only be appreciated through walking the shoreline or boating out on the sea. Recreational angling however, is only allowed from the shoreline.

Near the outer limit of the marine reserve is a 12km2 unbroken length of submerged fossilised dune. It lies about 3,5 kilometres off shore. The ridge is roughly 10 meters below the surface and this reef provides a breeding ground and nursery area for several species of fish.

Goukamma Nature Reserve also includes Groenvlei. The calm water is a translucent sea-green colour and reflects the sky like a mirror.

It is the only freshwater lake on the Garden Route and has no river inlet – it is constantly refreshed by a subterranean spring. Here one can swim, boat and fish in clear water.

As the crow flies towards the west of Buffalo Bay, you will find Brenton-on-Sea. This small town offers beautiful, modern houses for sale. For more information, contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

Goukamma Walking Trails

The Cape Clawless Otter Trail starts off at Groenvlei and takes hikers alongside the lake through a exquisite dune forest before the path climbs steeply up the dune into fynbos where one gains increasingly wonderful panoramic views of the Outeniqua mountains, the lake and over the dunes to the sea and to Gerickes Point.

One can hike down into the valley, over the dunes and finally down to the oyster beds on the coastline. If you do not want to do the return journey you can walk along the beach and climb off it up the boardwalk at Platbank. Check with the Cape Nature Office first about the tides.

It is advised to take this walk in winter as there is no shelter in between the dunes during the scorching summer months. One can also see migrating whales from the top of the dunes in the winter season.

There is also the Porcupine Trail that starts at Groenvlei and ends after crossing the Goukamma River on The Point. Be well prepared as this is a distance of about 13,5 kilometres.

A number of walks can be taken from the Buffalo Bay side of the Goukamma Nature Reserve but you have to cross the Goukamma River at The Point first.

The circular Bush Pig Trail takes you inland up all along the dune, through a coastal forest down to the sea. On return you go around the back of the dune, alongside the river and the side of the dune back to The Point crossing.

The 12 kilometre Galjoen Trail is a beach walk from Platbank to Buffalo Bay. However, one needs to do this at low tide.

If the river mouth is open you will need to walk inland to cross over the Goukamma River via The Point. You will have to arrange for transport back to the starting point or a cross over procedure similar to the Porcupine Trail.

Going out the reserve gates and turning right to Buffalo Bay, drive a short distance and then turn right into the parking lot next to the sea. Cross over the road to do the Buffalo Bay Trail.

This trail takes you up a gentle slope to overlook the village of Buffalo Bay then down through a piece of forest and along the dune to give you stunning panoramic views of the bay area.

You then come down onto the beach and depending on your time frame can either walk left towards Brenton-on-Sea and back again or turn right walking along the beach to the Buffalo Bay outdoor restaurant overlooking the sea.

Otherwise you can continue to walk towards the caravan park and in the quiet season request permission to walk through the resort that is situated on a grassy peninsula completely surrounded by the ocean.

The rocky outcrops along this part of the coast provide roosts for hundreds of white-breasted and Cape Cormorants. Within the Marine Reserve this is a popular and scenic campsite in the summer months as the bay has a superb swimming beach and is also a favourite for surfers. You can frequently see pods of dolphins surfing the breakers.

If you want to stay a while to enjoy the area to its maximum, you can overnight in the Goukamma Nature Reserve at bush camps overlooking Groenvlei or opt for the rondavels outside Buffalo Bay near the river and the beach.

Stay in Brenton-on-Sea

Brenton-on-Sea offers several luxurious houses and vacant land for sale. To buy here, contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.

Horse Riding in the Knysna Forest

If you are visiting Brenton-on-Sea, you can book for a leisurely horse ride at the Knysna Southern Comfort Western Horse Ranch.

They offer daily horse rides and have well-trained and cared for horses that welcome you on the green pastures.

Twice daily, visitors can go on an unforgettable forest horse ride, accompanied by experienced guides. From beginners to experienced riders can enjoy the lovely Knysna Forest, indigenous trees, giant strelitzia, ferns growing wild, fynbos, small streams, mountain views from a different angle on horseback.
Should you opt for a horse ride on the beach, you need to travel to Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape – about 2 ½ hour’s drive from Brenton.

Featherfoot Horse Ranch is conveniently situated in Kabeljouws on the Eastern side of Jeffreys Bay, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. They offer several experiences and services for your convenience and entertainment including horse trails, riding lessons, special needs and disabled riding lessons.

Enjoy a magnificent ride meandering through the Kabeljouws nature reserve and look out for bird life, including flamingos, spoon bills and even fish eagles. Pass through indigenous Fynbos, doing a river crossing and finally enjoying an exhilarating gallop around a quiet stretch of beach.

The guided trail is suitable for both advanced and intermediate riders, and Featherfoot guides always put safety first. They provide safety helmets and the guides are well trained.

Featherfoot horses are well schooled. Breeds available are mostly Frisian, as well as Shire and some Draft Horse Cross Breeds.

Riders of all ages and experience levels are welcome.

Properties in Brenton-on-Sea

Brenton-on-Sea is a green, quiet and scenic place to stay and offers vacant land and houses overlooking the ocean.

Sophie Joubert of Sophie’s Properties has been an Estate Agent in Brenton for more than 10 years.

Would you like to own a house or build your dream home in Brenton-on Sea? Say no more… contact Sophie today on 082 572 2729!!

Keytersnek Pass

The Keytersnek Pass is one of several passes between Sedgefield and Knysna. As the Goukamma Pass ends, the Keytersnek Pass starts.

This pass is short, steep and dangerous. It forms a bravura section on the N2 in the Garden Route between Sedgefield and Knysna and brings the N2 lower in altitude by 166 vertical metres to end at the crossing of the Knysna River.

The views are of densely forested hillsides with beautiful views of the Knysna Lagoon once on the overpass.

The pass is named after the railway station of the same name, hidden amongst the trees just to the south of the apex.

Houses and vacant land for sale

When passing through Knysna towards the coast, you will reach a lush small town with its small deer and other wild animals wondering between the houses. This is Brenton-onSea overlooking the Indian Ocean with the most spectacular sunsets!

Fancy a house in this little town? Seek no further, you’re at the right place, Sophie’s Properties is the go-to estate agent in Brenton-on-Sea.

Sophie will greet you with a bright, sunshine smile and you will know that you are going to find the best house uniquely picked specially for you.

Contact details: 082 572 2729 or email

Knysna Lagoon History

The history of the Knysna lagoon is very fascinating. First discovered in the early 1500’s by the Portuguese explorers in search of the sea route to India they named the area around the lagoon the Outeniquas.

From out at sea the Portuguese observed large columns of smoke coming from the forests that could be seen in the region of the lagoon. On further inspection they discovered that the fires were caused by the local Khoi folks who started them to smoke out bees so that they could harvest honey in the hives found in the trees. Observing the men overloaded with honey coming out of the forests they named the place, “The Outeniquas”.

It was only after the arrival of the Dutch in 1652 that Europeans actually started exploring the surrounding area of the Cape and it took until the 1760’s for the travellers to reach Knysna. The first permanent settlement in the area came about in 1770 when the mortgage farm Melkhoutkraal, which surrounded great parts of the lagoon was allocated to a local farmer by the authorities in the Cape. Eight years later Governor Joachim van Plettenberg visited the region on a expedition of discovery and seeing the extent of the Knysna forests became interested in getting hold of supplies of wood for the Cape Colony.

The Cape had a scarcity of wood as most of the indigenous trees had been cut down and used for housing and ship construction by the Dutch colonists. When George Rex, a timber trader from Cape Town, arrived in the area in 1804 he found that shipping timber by ox wagon was an almost impossible undertaking. He then suggested to the authorities to transport the timber by sea and commissioned his friend George Callender, to consider the possibility of shipping timber from Outeniqualand by sea using the Knysna lagoon. As his farm, Melkhoutkraal, bordered on the lagoon he provided the property for the jetties to be built. Up to this point in the history of the lagoon no large ships had tried to enter the Knysna lagoon all the way through the two sandstone heads that guarded its opening so no one knew whether it would be feasible to export timber by sea.

The first vessel to attempt entry was the 188-ton Royal Navy brig “Emu” which did so on the 11th February 1817. The endeavour was unsuccessful as she ran aground on an underwater rock and had to be beached on a sandbank just within the mouth of the lagoon. Several months later in May of 1817, the “ Podargus” was sent to rescue the crew and recover the goods of the Emu. It became the first ship to successfully enter the lagoon paving the way for the expansion of the timber industry in the area. As a result the timber trade flourished.

Then in April 1870 the Thesen family arrived in the district and they were to have a great impact. They got a timber and shipbuilding industry going and soon afterwards followed it up with a transport business where goods and passengers were transported between Durban, Knysna and Cape Town using steamships owned by the Thesen Steamship Company. In October 1903 another important occurrence in the history of the lagoon took place. The Paquita, a German three ship’s mast iron barque weighing 484 tons came into the lagoon and offloaded its shipment of coal at Thesen and Company’s pier.

From there she sailed across the lagoon to Featherbed Bay where she loaded a ballast of sand before she was to set sail for Barbados. While there a blustery wind came up causing her anchor chains to rupture and the ship to drift across the lagoon where she stranded on what is today known as Leisure Isle. After offloading the sand ballast the crew were able to refloat the barque.

On the 18th October while sailing close to the mouth of the lagoon the doomed ship once again had her anchor ropes fouled and this time she ran aground on Beacon Rocks a rocky promontory near the front of the present day restaurant. There she rest with her bow sticking out of the water until 18 months after the wrecking she in the end vanished beneath the waves. The sinking of the Paquita raised a number of enquiries as it was out of the ordinary that her anchor ropes ruptured on two occasions.

Rumours were that most of her crew had been paid off before the first fouling of the anchors was questioned. When, after the second running aground of the ship, it was discovered that her anchor ropes was undamaged. The suspicion of foul play arose which eventually resulted in an insurance claim being dismissed by the insurers. All that remains of the ship today is part of its hull and this has become an important and easily accessible dive site near the mouth of the lagoon. The channel through the Knysna Heads looks very serene when viewed from the heads and no one would think that the entrance is one of the most hazardous to a port anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately for the Knysna waterfront, after the building of a railway line from George to Knysna in 1928 its trade began to decrease until finally in 1954 it was decommissioned and became a small boat harbour which it still is today. Knysna and the scenic lagoon are one of the gems found along the South African coastline. The town is an extraordinary holiday playground and a must visit destination on any vacation to South Africa.


Brenton-on-Sea is an expanding quaint little town on the border of the Indian Ocean and a mere few kilometres from the Knysna lagoon. Houses and vacant land are available on demand. To view or buy a home or land in Brenton-on-Sea contact the Estate Agent with the most experience in Breton-on-Sea – Sophie Joubert on 082 572 2729.