These activities listed below are “casual” in nature (ie: not formal activities that need pre-arranging).
If you want to look for “formal” sports like bowls, tennis etc. or things like yoga, dancing etc. please click on the Clubs & Socials under the Directory and search for the one you want.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need an official licence to collect bait and this can be bought over-the-counter at the Knysna Post Office.
The most common bait used are sand or mud prawns and these are favoured by Spotted Grunter and White Steenbras.
Using live Mullet as bait will attract “Leervis” (Garrick). It will be useful for you to get the handy brochure that is published by SANPARKS. Around Leisure Island you will see various official notice boards advising you of any bait collecting (or fishing) restrictions in that area. Please read these carefully before collecting your bait.
One of the unique benefits of the sea-sand immediately surrounding Leisure Island is that these are virtually no rocks (other than the sea walls) to damage bare feet. Low tides open these vast sea-sand “flats” up for all to enjoy. The sand is clean and hard and ideal for family fun! But please be aware that, when the incoming tides are active, the water can rise quite quickly and the current is strong.
Knowing the tide table is a recommended precaution if you are unfamiliar with the Knysna lagoon.
Due to the temperate climate, the outstanding natural wetlands, estuary and the lagoon surrounding Leisure Island, there is an astounding variety of birdlife in our area. On occasions you’ll even see the rare (red-beaked) Oyster Catchers foraging for food in the shallows around the Island.
Moving around the island on foot brings you in contact with many seabirds and, if you’re lucky, Fish-Eagles, Kingfishers and the like.
Spending quality time ‘birding’ in this area will bring wonder to your eye and joy to your soul!
This can be good fun on the lagoon but we advise canoeists to stay well clear of the restricted lagoon area approaching the Knysna Heads. Ideally, canoeists should paddle together for safety. Currents can reach 6 knots and above so it’s prudent to know what the tide is doing when you launch your canoes. Consult the SANPARKS office for official safety gear requirements.
There is a wonderful maze of interesting and quaint little lanes on Leisure Island to explore at your own pace. Knysna also has a very active cycling fraternity and bicycles can also be hired. Organised casual cycling events occur quite regularly and a phone call to one of the local bike shops will get you the info you’re after. (Some of the Guest Houses and B&Bs on Leisure Island also make bikes available to guests.
FISHING (FROM ISLAND)
IMPORTANT NOTE: You need an official fishing licence to catch fish and this can be bought over-the-counter at the Knysna Post Office. Bait collecting is treated separately to this fishing licence.
Spotted Grunter and White Steenbras are amongst the most common fish caught in the lagoon and prawns are usually the bait.
Using Mullet as live bait should attract “Leervis” (Garrick). There are in the region of 200 species in the estuary and the ‘Salt Water Fishing in The Knysna Area’ brochure published by SANPARKS is worth getting. Around Leisure Island you will see various official notice boards advising you of any fishing or bait collecting restrictions that apply. Please read these carefully before you start.
From sunrise to sundown you’ll encounter many people enjoy themselves in this beautiful, scenic heart of the Garden Route. Strolling around Leisure Isle allows you the time to savour the natural beauty surrounding us. Places like ‘Steenbok Park’ give you a feast of birdlife, flora and fauna (visit www.steenboknaturereserve.org.za for more info).
Sometimes these wonderful sights change minute-by-minute before your very eyes, as the light changes with time (especially at sunrise and sunset).
KITE-SURFING / WIND-SURFING/PARA-SAILING
These “extreme” sports are often seen on the Knysna Lagoon and require special skills and a good level of fitness. Most of these people arrive with their own equipment and have usually already learnt the basics. We recommend that anyone wanting to try one of these activities first approaches a reputable sports shop or specialist tutor beforehand.
The natural beauty on and around Leisure Island offers a treasure chest of fantastic photo opportunities to both amateurs and professionals alike. Within short distances you can capture very diverse images ranging from beach, lagoon, sea and sand to forests, elephant and amazing birdlife plus a stunning myriad of others in-between!
Cameras plus accessories as well as developing or printing facilities are available in the town.
The well known swimming areas are at Bollard Beach (when the tide is suitable), at the “Green Hole” on the east of the Island, the “Hippo Pool” off Cearn Drive) and also at Kingfisher Creek in the Land’s End area at the north-western end. It’s very important to keep and eye on younger children and adults should also be aware of the tide situation when swimming. Tide charts are available at sports or fishing shop and in the local papers.
Please be aware that the estuary tides are very powerful and there are no flotation-rings (life-rings) nor lifeguards on duty.