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.