Brenton

Brenton on Sea is a suburb about 15km’s from Knysna; travel along the N2 towards George and take a right after the White Bridge. The settlement cascades down sloping hills which eventually ends in a “far as the eye can see” white sanded beach. The settlement was named after Sir Jahleel Brenton, who declared Knysna a harbour in 1818. If you are lucky enough you may even be able to spot the endangered Brenton Blue Butterfly. With street names such as Agapanthus, Watsonia, Protea and Stinkhout the whole suburb is a testimony to the variety of both fauna and flora.

Adventure activities are countless at Brenton on Sea. Paraglide in safely off the top of a high hill (reachable only on foot) over the Indian Ocean or climb rocks that juts off the shore to fish for White Mussel Cracker, Garrick (Leerie), Kob and Grunter.

Brenton’s beach is not an ideal one for swimming and surfing because of the strong rip tides and rocks close to shore, but it is perfect for lazing on the beach or having a picnic. The kids will love looking for shells and might even catch a glimpse of jellyfish or blue bottles that have been washed up to shore.

If you’re feeling peckish after a fun-filled day, head up to Brenton’s choice of restaurants for a sundowner and snacks or a delicious pizza for something more substantial.

Are you travelling alone? Pack a picnic basket with cheese, biscuits and wine and sit on a wooden bench over-looking the Indian Ocean from one of the many spectacular viewpoints.

Film briefing

Opportunities for Businesses before and during the Film Festival

The Director for the Festival Patrick Walton would like to brief you on potential opportunities for businesses for supply & marketing during the build-up and the festival which takes place from 29nd October till 2nd November 2019

Opportunities for Businesses in the Garden Route Film Industry

Briefing on how to market and become a supplier for filming opportunities in the Garden Route. Estimated spend by production on various supply needs from Accommodation, vehicles, unit equipment, medical etc. is around ½-2 million per production. Presented by the Garden Route film office.

When: Friday 25th January 2019
Time: 11:00am to 12:30
Where: Knysna Tourism Office 

RSVP
info@visitknysna.co.za
Keagon 044 382 5510

Knysna Bull

Head out into the forest on your solo mission! For the Pros, the Bull provides a unique opportunity to test form over a multiday stage race, without being affected by riding in a team.

Dates: Evening Lagoon Prologue 3 Forest Trail Stages 20-23 February 2019 (Wed to Sat)
Venue: Starts at the Knysna Waterfront
Times: Wednesday, 20 February, 16h00 – 21h00 Registration
Races start at 08:00
Enquiries: ride@knysnabull.bike

Family foundation Training

Please RSVP

FAMSA is planning an event on Personal Growth, active listening and various other courses for the whole family.

The training is starting on 11 February 2019 until 13 June 2019 and is held at 21 Spring Street, Knysna, Western Cape, South Africa.

Sessions start at 8h30am.

Should you be interested in attending the training, please RSVP on the FAMSA Facebook Page.

Jaguar Simola Hillclimb wins the Environmental award

The Jaguar Simola Hillclimb continues to be known as one of the top sports events in the country having been awarded MSA’s Environmental Award at the annual MSA Gala Awards Evening. 

MSA seeks to recognise and show its gratitude to the circuit, organiser, club or individual, who is assessed to have made a significant contribution towards or have done something important to enhance environmental awareness and protection in the field of motorsport during the calendar year.

The Eden Regeneration Festival initiative supported by the Jaguar Simola Hillclimb, namely the Festival of Action, focused its efforts on multi-stakeholder engagement including local communities, local government, NGOs and academia to support and collaborate on existing initiatives by bringing their time, logistics and human resources.

Read the full story…

Blue Flag beaches

The Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has announced that 66 Blue Flags will be flown at 46 beaches, eight marinas and by 12 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2018/19 Blue Flag season.

The Blue Flag program is focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, and is designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase environmental practices.

To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained:

  • water quality,
  • environmental education and information,
  • environmental management, and
  • safety and services.

Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and practice effective and efficient conservation management.

This year 24 beaches across three provinces have been awarded ‘pilot status’ and throughout the 2018/19 Blue Flag season WESSA said it will work with beach managers stewards from these pilot beaches towards the longer-term goal of achieving full Blue Flag status.

You can find the full list of Blue Flag beaches below:

Exploring the enchanted depths of the high forest

Stretching for 177 kilometres between the mountains and the sea, the high forest of the Garden Route is one of Southern Africa’s richest botanical treasures. Slanting shafts of sunlight lance down into magic glades where trunks of ancient hardwoods rise like cathedral columns. More than 80 kinds of trees grow here, from venerable giants soaring towards the sky to exquisite small shrubs with dazzling blossoms and haunting perfumes. Many of the trees produce valuable timber used in building, the making of furniture and craft work. Elephants, leopards, monkeys and many birds have their homes in the forest’s enchanted depths. It is a place of beauty, mystery and, for those who wish to delve deeply into its secrets, a place to learn.

The high forest of the Garden Route is the largest indigenous forest in Southern Africa. Originally it covered more than 110 000 hectares, but fires and the predations of man have reduced this to around 40 500 hectares. This area of naturally growing trees is greatly enlarged by softwood plantations of pine and gum trees.

The name “high forest” refers to the height of the trees rather than the altitude at which they grow. The giant among them is the common Yellow-Wood, which can reach up to 50 metres and live for 1 000 years. In several areas, the forestry department has constructed special paths which take visitors to particularly impressive specimens. One of the most famous is a Yellow-Wood known as King Edward’s Tree, which is 46 metres high with a girth of 9,5 metres and thought to be about 700 years old.

The timber of the common yellow-wood, hard and handsomely coloured, is much in demand for furniture. Selected trees are auctioned before being felled and carted away by the buyers. The hard, pale timber of a slightly smaller species, the real yellow-wood, is also highly prized.

Many a pioneering railway has been laid on the hard, durable sleepers produced from another forest giant, the Black Ironwood tree. Today, railway sleepers are usually made of concrete, but Ironwood is often used for flooring and veneers. In March, the blossoms of the ironwood spread a creamy canopy over the forest.

South Africa’s history also owes much to the Stinkwood tree. Its timber was used to build the trek wagons, surely among the toughest vehicles ever built. This tree takes its name from the characteristic pungent odour of the wood when it is first cut.

Some of the smaller trees, while not so highly valued for their timber, nonetheless enhance the beauty of the forest, displaying attractively coloured foliage and sweetly scented flowers. Among these are the Keurboom, with its fragrant pink blossoms, the Wild Pomegranate, with its clusters of red flowers, and the mauve-flowering Cape Chestnut.

One of the best places for exploring the forest is an area known as the Garden of Eden, 16 kilometres from Knysna along the trunk road on the way to Plettenberg Bay. There is a picnic site with paths branching into the deeper parts of the forest, and many typical tree species are identified by numbers. The Garden of Eden is also a favourite haunt of elephants.

Wild pigs and small forest antelope such as the Blue Duiker can also be seen.

Because of almost permanent dampness of the forest floor, however, most of the wild life consists of tree-dwelling species, including monkeys, leopards, tree hyraxes, snakes and birds.

Many varieties of ferns and creepers decorate the forest, and the Dale of Ferns, is a happy hunting ground for specialists in this field. For all its marvels, Southern Africa has always been short of rain and the regions where forests flourish are comparatively few. This makes the great forest of the Garden Route more precious – a place of rare wonder.

Knysna history – European settlement

The first Europeans arrived in the area in 1760, and the farm Melkhoutkraal (literally translating from Afrikaans as ‘milk wood kraal’) was established on the eastern shore of the Knysna Lagoon. Stephanus Terblans, the first European farmer to settle in the area, was given a loan permit to farm here in 1770.

Upon moving to Knysna George Rex, a British-born entrepreneur credited as being the founder of Knysna, acquired the loan rights to Melkhoutkraal in 1804 and later, in 1816, to the farm Welbedacht, which he renamed Eastford. He gave 80 acres (32 ha) of Eastford to the Colonial Government, on which the Royal Navy established the township of Melville. Rex’s properties were sold when he died in 1839.

In April 1817, the transport brig Emu, belonging to the Cape Town Dockyard, was the first European vessel to enter the Knysna heads. She struck a rock, now known as Emu Rock, and was holed. Her crew ran Emu ashore to prevent her sinking. In late April HMS Podargus arrived to render assistance. After surveying the area, Podargus sailed safely into the Knysna and retrieved Emu’s cargo.

The next major settler in Knysna was Captain Thomas Henry Duthie, who married Caroline, George Rex’s daughter, and bought a portion of the Uitzigt farm from his father-in-law which Rex had named Belvidere. The construction of a small Norman-style church was commissioned by Duthie on his property, and was consecrated in 1855. The settlement’s population grew slowly, and Englishmen such as Henry Barrington and Lt. Col. John Sutherland, who established the settlement of Newhaven on a portion of purchased land, settled in the area. At the time, Knysna was a field cornetcy of Plettenberg Bay within the Magisterial Division of George. In 1858, Knysna became a separate Magisterial Division, new stores and accommodation facilities were opened, and Knysna became the new commercial centre of the region.

On their way to New Zealand, the Thesen family who were travelling from Norway fancied the little hamlet of Knysna so much that they decided to stay, bringing with them their knowledge of commerce and sailing. Soon, timber was being exported to the Cape from the vast areas of forest surrounding Knysna, and a steam sawmill and small shipyard were established. Later, these were relocated to Paarden Island, later known as Thesen’s Island.

Courtesy: Wikipedia