Featherbed Nature Reserve, Knysna

Featherbed Nature Reserve, Knysna

Here’s another place I know I haven’t blogged about, the Featherbed Nature Reserve in Knysna .. also from our Garden Route holiday two years ago.

“The Featherbed property, encompassing the landmark headlands, commonly referred to as the ‘Heads’ was part of a larger tract of land originally owned by George Rex (1830).”  ” In the 1950’s the Western headland was acquired by the world-renowned ichthyologist, Professor J.L.B. Smith.  His son, William added a second portion to it and later inherited the first property in 1958.  A third portion was later added and opened to the public as Featherbed Nature Reserve in 1985.  The Western head and Featherbed Bay received South African Heritage Status in 1987.  The current owners of the reserve are the Smith family.”    Income generated by visitors to the reserve helps preserve this unique and special place.

To reach the Reserve there is a ferry trip from Knysna which crosses the Knysna Lagoon to Featherbed’s waters-edge restaurant.  A tractor-trailer ride ascends the Western headland, a 2.2km guided walk returning to the tourist info centre and restaurant, where a buffet lunch is served, before a return trip on the ferry completing a marvellous eco experience.

P1190254 There were three vessels tied to the jetty, including South Africa’s only paddle-driven vessel.  We actually hardly noticed the old one at the end.   Following our guide, Debbie, along the jetty we were hoping we’d hop on the paddle cruiser.  No  🙁 .. the John Benn was not an option as it’s a famous floating restaurant which cruises to the Knysna Heads – we had booked for the 4 hour Nature Experience … the Spirit of Knysna Rivercat Lagoon ferry was ours ..

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Bye bye Knysna and lovely looking cruisers ..  🙂


.. hello Featherbed eco-experience ..

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Our guide, Debbie was brilliant .. very knowledgeable on the area, history, flora and fauna …


.. trees and plants had informative signs ..

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Breathtaking views from the top of the Western headlands



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Walking through the Milkwood tree forest where some of the oldest Milkwood trees can be found, some as old as 1500 years !!!!!!


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Debbie making sure I keep up with the group 🙂    I look at everything .. plants, flowers, rocks .. I tend to lag behind 🙂

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I love hubby’s photo of the seagull !!

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The tiny Blue Duiker is facing extinction in its natural habitat.   Featherbed Nature Reserve started a successful breeding programme in 1985


Scrumptious buffet lunch on the deck overlooking the Knysna Lagoon


I can’t take all the credit for the photography .. hubby took some too 🙂


2 Replies to “Featherbed Nature Reserve, Knysna”

  1. I used to do Featherbed so often when I was still guiding but haven’t done it in years. Gotten a bit too expensive for me to do it with the family though so really miss it. An amazing experience and highly recommended.

  2. Thanks for the informative post – we’ll definitely make time for Featherbed when next we visit the Garden Route! Must one book in advance, and can you remember the approximate cost?

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