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Knysna fires

Port Elizabeth...
Level Contributor
342 posts
5 reviews
Knysna fires

The coastal resort towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay have recently been declared disaster areas by the provincial government after the horrific fires that occurred a fortnight ago.

According to news reports, one would expect the N2 to be surrounded by nothing but ash. In some areas, this is unfortunately the case. Last week, a portion of the road en-route to Plett was cordoned off as authorities removed the remains of a flatbed truck consumed by flames. As of last week, a thick smog still hung over Knysna but the town at large remains as picturesque as ever. The efforts of local firefighting authorities and volunteers cannot be praised enough. Knysna Waterfront still hustles and bustles but many Knysna hospitality stalwarts have been gutted by flames while their immediate neighbours appear completely fine.

This continues into the area of Rexford where many resorts and accommodations have been affected by the fires. Knysna Hollow Country Estate has unfortunately been completely consumed by flames. All that remains are the foundations of its hotel and its many cottages and its swimming pools are full of ashy water. The lodge has publicly stated on its website that neither its staff nor its guests were harmed by the fires. Lodges in Rexford which were spared from the fires only experienced a brief water and power shortage but have since largely resumed operations as usual. Back in town, Thesen Island remains completely fine. Its many shops, businesses and restaurants are up and running and the 5-star Turbine Hotel & Spa was even used as an evacuation point during the fires.

Knysna may be singed and scorched, but it is not gone. The town and the Garden Route remains one of the most beautiful places on earth and this is because of the tireless efforts of the volunteers, fire-fighting officials and disaster-relief staff who battled the blaze.

Tennessee
Level Contributor
16,706 posts
19 reviews
1. Re: Knysna fires

Highest regards for those who put themselves in danger to protect lives and property in the community. Firefighters and other emergency workers - hats off to them!

Having had the pleasure of visiting Knysna and Plett before, I know the beauty of the area, and am sad to hear of the damage done by the fires. My sympathy to any who have suffered losses or injury. I hope for a rapid recovery for the area and all communities affected by this disaster.

Knysna, South Africa
Level Contributor
259 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Knysna fires

Damage is mostly in residential areas. Town itself is unaffected, also Thesen Island, Leisure Isle, The Heads etc are unaffected. The 3 golf courses are fully operational.

Please visit Knysna. We need you :)

Edited: 24 June 2017, 04:08
1 post
1 review
3. Re: Knysna fires

Highest praise to all involved in the horrendous fires around Knysna.We love the area & all who live & work there & we are already booked to spend 2 months in the winter & nothing will deter us from returning to this wonderful place. We wish you all a speedy recovery & heartfelt good wishes to all who lost their homes.See you in January 2018.

Port Elizabeth...
Level Contributor
342 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Knysna fires

Carole, we're so glad to hear that you've booked a trip to Knysna and have not been put off by the fires. Tourism is exactly what Knysna needs now! Hope you have a fantastic trip in 2018!

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
31 posts
31 reviews
5. Re: Knysna fires

My accommodation in nov is affected but i will rebook another. Hopefully the town will continue to thrive!

Simi Valley...
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
6. Re: Knysna fires

We are booked for our first-time visit in January 2018 and were wondering if our presence would be welcomed or burdensome. We were horrified to read of these terrible fires and the toll they have taken on the residents and wildlife. I saw a poll in the local paper today (July 9, 2018) asking if the oyster festival should continue, and the majority of participants said no, due to lack of water for the visitors. This concerns me in that locals are still struggling with surviving with only the basics. I would love to support the community with tourism, but not burden a community who is not ready. How do I get real answers? Besides my hotel being open, are wildlife-oriented businesses up and running or are they, too, wiped out?

Simi Valley...
Level Contributor
2 posts
4 reviews
7. Re: Knysna fires

Just because some hotels are 'open for business' in Knysna, is the community ready for visitors? Today's local paper had a poll asking whether the oyster festival should go forward. The majority of participants said 'no, due to lack of enough water for visitors.' This concerns me that the community is still too burdened to be able to accommodate tourists. How do we get read answers to this? My hotel is 'open' but what about other businesses? Wildlife-oriented businesses? Are they wiped out as well? Thank you. We want to support the community, and not be a burden.

Long Island, New...
Level Contributor
6,588 posts
21 reviews
8. Re: Knysna fires

Knysha is open for business. Wildlife businesses are not in Knysha. Go. They need the tourism. The drought sucks but you visiting is not going to change that. Read the above posts.

Port Elizabeth...
Level Contributor
342 posts
5 reviews
9. Re: Knysna fires

Agree 100% with cbir. Knysna needs the tourism now more than ever.

If you would like more information on this, I would suggest getting in touch with Knysna Tourism directly at info@visitknysna.co.za or +27 (0)44 382 5510.

York
Level Contributor
22 posts
3 reviews
10. Re: Knysna fires

My husband and I are staying in St James of Knysna - as part of our Garden Route trip - in October and would be most grateful for any advise or information anyone can give on the region, including any updates on the recent fires. Have any of the local attractions been affected by the fires?

Any tips for places to visit, things to do and places to eat would be gratefully received! Thank you to anyone who can find the time to reply.

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