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.

The Knysna seahorse

There are between 30 and 40 different kinds of seahorses in our oceans, but only five of these have been seen around the southern African coastline.

The Knysna seahorse is the most well-known, and is the only seahorse that is in danger of extinction.

Knysna seahorses can be found only in the Knysna, Keurbooms and Swartvlei estuaries on the south coast of South Africa.

They are green to brown in colour and grow more or less12cm in length.

We normally find them at depths of 50cm to 8m, on sandy bottoms or around clumps of plants.

Kangaroo pouch
Seahorses have lived in our oceans for approximately 40 million years. Their heads are shaped like those of a horse, tails like a monkey’s and male seahorses have a ‘pouch’ similar to female kangaroos! The male seahorse gives birth to the offspring – the female lays her eggs in the male’s pouch and when they are ready, the babies hatch out of the pouch into the water!

Seahorses are mesmerizing to watch – you may be lucky to see male and female seahorses in a timid courtship dance or even a male seahorse giving birth!

Seahorses are fish
Seahorses breathe through gills just like fish, use their fins to move through the water and hatch from eggs. The biggest seahorse measures 35 centimeters from its head to the end of its tail and the tiniest seahorse is a mere 3 centimeters long!

Eyes like a chameleon
Seahorses swim upright, driven by its dorsal fin, while their small pectoral fins help to guide them as they move along. Seahorses feed on tiny fish and shellfish, which they suck into their mouths. The eyes of a seahorse are much similar to those of a chameleon and they can move independently, one eye would be looking for food and the other watching out for predators. Did you know that Seahorses can change in colour so that they blend into their environment?

Urban sprawl threatens Knysna seahorses
The biggest thread of the Knysna seahorse is humans. The development of towns puts the survival of the Knysna seahorses in danger. Houses and shopping centres are being built right on the water’s edge and polluted water flows directly into the estuaries where these seahorses live. Boats and people in the estuaries are also disturbing the unique habitat of these animals.

A costly cure
Every year about 20 million seahorses are being caught all over the world, for medicine or to be sold as ornaments. Some people believe that consuming dead seahorses will cure asthma, skin problems and baldness. Another one million seahorses are caught yearly to be displayed in homes and public aquariums.

We protect our seahorses
We have a strict law in South Africa that protects the Knysna seahorses. The law states that nobody is allowed to catch these seahorses or disturb them in their natural habitat. There are also firm laws about importing seahorses into South Africa from other countries in the world.

Brenton-on-Sea is a small coastal town that forms part of the greater Knysna municipal region. It is surrounded by several private and state owned Nature Reserves. This quaint little town on the border of the Indian Ocean offers properties for those who love nature and scenic sea views. Are you interested in buying a home or build your own on an empty plot? View all Sophie’s available properties online and contact her today on 082 572 2729 to reserve your special spot in this unique area.

The Outeniqua Mountains

The Outeniqua Mountains, named after the Outeniqua Khoikhoi, is a mountain range that runs in parallel to the southern coast of South Africa, and forms a uninterrupted range with the Langeberg to the west and the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the east. The mountains are part of the Garden Route of South Africa.

“Outeniqua” is said to be unoriginated from a Khoikhoi tribe that lived in the mountains, and means “they who bear honey”.

The range is characterized by moderate southern slopes and steep drops on the north side down to the low valley Little Karoo. High points include Cradock Peak and George Peak located to the north of George. Changing conditions create different habitats. On the south-facing slopes there is montane fynbos at higher, moister altitudes, while the north hosts karroid and renosterveld shrubland. On the mesic southern slopes there are Afromontane gallery forests.

The exceptional good rainfall on the range has formed numerous streams used for irrigation in the Olifants River valley. While the climate along the range is generally hot to moderate, weather conditions can vary greatly. In winter the temperature can drop to 5 °C or less and snowfalls can occur on the higher peaks.

Animals that can be found in the Outeniqua range are klipspringer, grey rhebuck, leopard and various rodents. The Outeniqua mountain range is also home to a very small number of African elephants. New sightings of these large animals, including that of a young bull give hope that the legendary animals might, with time, become re-established in the Outeniqua reserve. Birds include black eagles and other raptors as well as the Cape sugarbird as well as fynbos birds.

In 1908, work started on a railway route between George and Oudtshoorn. This required the building of seven tunnels and numerous long cuttings. Eventually the railway was opened in August 1913.

Cradock Pass was completed in 1816 and became known as the “Voortrekker Road”. The Pass did not have a very good reputation and was considered as dangerous in the years to come.

In 1847, a vastly improved Montagu Pass was constructed and named after the Colonial Secretary, John Montagu.

Due to increasing demands of modern traffic, construction was started on the Outeniqua Pass in 1943. The pass was opened to traffic in September 1951.

Two other road passes cross: the Outeniqua, the Robinson Pass west of George; and Prince Alfred’s Pass, which connects Uniondale with Knysna.

Stay in the majestic Garden Route

It is never too late to move and what better place is there than the beautiful Garden Route! Brenton-on-Sea is an ever expanding town on the shoreline of the Garden Route and offers various houses and vacant land to buy.

To find out more about what is for sale, give Estate Agent Sophie Joubert a call on 082 572 2729 now!

The Outeniqua Pass

The Outeniqua Pass is a fairly modern pass, connecting the coastal town of George with Oudtshoorn and the Little Karoo. It was first built in 1942 – 1951 to provide a different route other than the narrow and steep Montagu Pass. It was made wider and modernized a few times since then and today carries the bulk of the traffic flow between the two towns and Langkloof.

Rockfalls and trucking accidents cause disruptions in the pass from time to time. The higher reaches of the pass are subject to heavy rainfall and dense mountain mists which can reduce visibility to a few metres, which can make it dangerous if you do not drive with caution, especially due to the high volume of commercial traffic that it carries.

The pass has 40 bends, corners and curves – many of which exceed 90 degrees. The road is well engineered, but it is advisable to stick to the speed limits to get you safely over the pass. For south-bound traffic there are several excellent view-sites which are marked as “The 4 passes”. The third one from the summit is particularly impressive! From this vantage point all four passes can be seen, including one of which dates back almost 200 years!

The Outeniqua pass forms part of the Outeniqua Mountains which lies in the Garden Route of South Africa. The Garden Route is a spectacular part of the most southern side of South Africa and offers great potential for housing.

One of the most beautiful towns in this stretch of land is Brenton-on-Sea. With its majestic sea facing stands and houses it offers its residents prime spots for Whale and Dolphin watching from the comfort of their homes.

Fancy a home in Brenton-on-Sea? Contact the best and most professional Estate Agent in this small town today on 082 572 2729. Sophie promises nothing less than top quality service and value for your hard earned money.

Paragliding at Brenton

About FlyTime Paragliding
FlyTime Paragliding was established in 2006 by the German DHV/OEAEC and SAHPA paragliding instructor Joerg Bueble. In 2009 Lucille Bueble joined FlyTime. As a passionate paragliding pilot she became one of the very few instructors and female tandem pilots in South Africa.

The Garden Route offers one of the top 10 spots in the World to experience a paragliding. Whether it is with one of the highly experienced SAHPA (South Africa Hang gliding and Paragliding Association) rated paragliding instructors on a tandem flight, or take up control all by yourself, with a introduction or full license course. They also offer coastal marine wildlife scenic flights along the coast with their Paragliding Trike. All offered tandem flights are disabled friendly.

FlyTime also offers guided tours for pilots who are already in possession of a foreign or South African paragliding license.

FlyTime is based in Sedgefield, situated between Wilderness and Knysna, the heart of the Garden Route. This area offers numerous paragliding sites from Mossel Bay up to Plettenberg Bay and Oudtshoorn.

A tandem paragliding flight is simply the best way to experience the feeling of being completely free, depending on wind and thermals, to let you gain height without an external energy and power source. Everybody can join this adventure, young and old. FlyTime has taken disabled people up as well as seniors over 90 years of age.

Tandem Flights in the Garden Route: Down here at Sea Level, the air is more dense that high up on a mountain. This dense air makes it possible to take off much quicker and with slower speed and at the same time the landing will be much slower as well. Of course this makes it more ideal for a passenger as it is easier. Because of the strength of the African sun, the thermals are stronger which allows you to fly more consistently. This, together with consistent Southerly coastal sea breeze conditions, combines all this positive influences, let alone the mild climate, with mostly sunny days. There are no better conditions to experience this type of activity.

Safety: Many people ask this question. FlyTime explains it this way: Think about mountain biking. It’s a mass sport and because it is well established nobody really questions the safety. Paragliding flights in the Garden Route are conducted from grassy hills and dunes. This is the ideal environment for this sport as there are no rocks and hard obstacles. FlyTime has a 100% safety flight to date. The FlyTime team are proud to say that they do not take any risks and that they are working hard on keeping their admirable safety record.

Clothing: Because of the mild climate on the Southern coast of South Africa, it is OK to fly in a T-shirt. For those who don’t like the slightest chill, it is advisable to take a light jacket along. It is strongly advised to give to proper shoes, such as trainers or any other closed shoes. Please take note that Flip Flops and high heels are not really an option.

Paragliding at Brenton-on-Sea
Brenton-on-Sea is a small town with two take-off fields where paragliding pilots are flying in South Wester winds. It offers a picturesque area to fly.

Elevation: 171m
GPS coordinates: 34°3’36” (34.06)S; 23°0’36” (23.01)E
Directions: Drive on the N2 and look for the Brenton on Sea turn off either before you enter Knysna from Cape Town coming, or a few kilometers after you left Knynsa once you crossed the Knysna Lagoon. Follow the road all the way to Brenton-on-Sea and drive down to the parking lot. There you will see a grass field next to the parking. This is the main take-off for this site.

A tandem flight is an easy and safe way to experience this amazing adventure at its best.

Book your FlyTime paragliding adventure by calling Lucille on
072 612 8168.

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!!

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

The Phantom Forest Eco Reserve is a 137 hectare private nature reserve situated on the Garden Route, a mere seven kilometres from Knysna. The reserve is an unspoiled natural wonderland incorporating Afromontane forest, Cape coastal fynbos, and estuarine wetland, with more than 150 bird species, bushbuck, grysbok, blue duiker and several other small game.

As you head south towards the Indian Ocean for about 9 kilometres, you will reach the well-known coastal town named Brenton-on-Sea. This small town is expanding rapidly and offers potential residents spectacular sea view vacant stands and houses for sale.

Sophie Joubert has been an excellent estate agent for 10 years in this area and she believes in only the best service. To buy your home or empty plot, contact Sophie from Sophie’s Properties today on 082 572 2729!

How the Phantom Pass got its name

The beautiful tree-lined Phantom Pass runs uphill from the Knysna Lagoon and over towards Rheenendal. Closer to Rheenendal you will find the Millwood Goldfields as well as Jubilee Creek between the Knysna Forests.

In these forests you will find many tragedies due to mankind’s awful ways. As you most probably know, men have been trying to rule in these forests for hundreds of years.

The name of the pass comes from a moth (Leto venus), named the phantom moth. But little do we know that the phantom moth has a very sad story to tell.

It all started when the French explorer and naturalist, Francois le Vaillant, spent six months in the Knysna district in 1782, recording all the most important natural phenomena that he could found here.

But if the phantom moth is widely spoken about, why did he never describe it? And why doesn’t it appear in any other texts from the early nineteenth century?

Did the phantom moth exist before 1881?

Apparently the Victoria Esposito was the most beautiful of the silk spinners of Gouna. And the silk spinners of Gouna were a group of about forty families who were brought to Knysna from Italy in 1881: the British Government had supported the dreams of a wealthy farmer in the district – the Honourable Henry Frederick Francis Adair Barrington – who hoped to create a silk industry here. The worms, he thought would thrive on the wild mulberries which grow abundantly in the Knysna Forests. But South Africa’s wild mulberry – Trimeria grandiflora – bears no resemblance at all to the real mulberry – Morus alba – upon which the silkworm only feeds.

Because of this finicky worm, these beautiful moths found themselves left to die in a clearing in the Knysna forest.

Proud and beautiful Victoria decided to take one of Barrington’s horses, and ride to Knysna to find a ship to take her and her family back home.

Victoria rode out on a stormy night in September. The path she travelled was lit by flashes of light that tore at the sky.

Both horse and rider were terrified, and the animal bolted. Victoria could only cling to its neck and hope.

Lightning struck just as the pair appeared at the edge of the forest at the very top of the Pass. It was a direct hit and girl and horse were killed instantly – but the power of the girl’s beauty was so great that, instead of transforming to ash, their bodies changed into moths.

Delicate brown and grey moths which appear again and again each year in spring – each one of them with Victoria’s beautiful, baleful eyes etched forever on its wings.

Fiction story as written by Martin Hatchuel

Close to Knysna is the beautiful, small coastal town – Breton-on-Sea – with its exotic ocean views. Sophie Joubert has been an estate agent in Brenton for more than 10 years and knows the area very well. To buy a piece of land or a house, contact her on 082 572 2729.

Prince Alfred’s Pass

The Prince Alfred’s Pass on the R339 gravel road between Knysna and Uniondale is probably Thomas Bain’s greatest work. Not only was this an extremely long pass, but it also presented almost every possible technical obstacle to the pass-builders.

At 68,5 km it is the longest (publicly accessible) mountain pass in South Africa by a considerable margin, as well as being the second oldest unaltered pass still in use.

This article is brought to you by the courtesy of Mountain Passes South Africa. The original post covers the whole length of Prince Alfred’s Pass and contains several videos. Please follow the link provided for detailed information about the Pass.

This information is posted by Sophie’s Properties, an Estate Agency in Brenton-on-Sea. Buy your next home on the shoreline of the Garden Route in the Western Cape of South Africa – the sunshine country! Contact Sophie on 082 572 2729.