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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

The Knysna oyster cruise

As we sail the lagoon, you’ll get to taste fresh oysters and learn why Knysna is known as the oyster capital of South Africa…

By Brad Cable
Owner of Knysna Charters, Alfred&'s partner in South Africa

Sail Knysna lagoon while tasting fresh oysters accompanied by white wine. Knysna is known as South Africa’s oyster capital and was once a hub for Pacific oyster farming until the early 2000s, when SAN Parks ended the practice for environmental reasons. However, we were still seeing a lot of interest in our cruise, so we decided to keep the tour running but source wild rock oysters from the coastal side of Knysna instead – it’s been a real success.

We run just one two-hour oyster tour a day at 3pm. The boat holds 12 people and was custom-made from one of the original flat-bottomed farming boats. We sail from Thesen Island where the oyster boats used to launch and head out to the Knysna Heads, which is unbelievably beautiful. If you’ve come on the Garden Route but haven’t taken a boat trip on Knysna lagoon, you’ve missed out. This is the second-largest estuary in South Africa, it’s a national park and home to unique species like the Knysna seahorse.

There’s time to take some photos of the Heads before turning around and cruising back at a snail’s pace. Along the way, we’ll teach you how to open oysters and you’ll get six to taste, accompanied by very good sauvignon blanc. Our guides are all from Knysna and know everything there is to know about oysters and the lagoon itself. You’ll be able to recognise the difference between the Pacific and wild varieties, learn about their nutritional value and have the chance to ask questions.

Our oysters will probably be the freshest you’ve ever had because we drag them behind the boat in a net, so they’re kept in their natural environment where they’ve absorbed all the nutrients from the ocean, until the very last minute. Half the people on our tours have never opened an oyster before and they don’t know where the front or back is but that’s all part of the fun – it’s a raw, educational experience.


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Alfred & Brad Cable

In 2002, Brad Cable quit the Johannesburg rat race and moved to Plettenberg Bay on the eastern Cape with his wife Elke. Together they established Knysna Charters, which runs scenic boat trips on the famous lagoon, including the area’s original oyster boat tour. The former owner of an outdoor gear empire, Brad has always loved nature and is passionate about showing visitors the beauty of Knysna lagoon.  
Brad Cable, founder of Knysna Charters and the Knysna oyster tour

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

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