This area (being a protected South African National Park) is controlled by SANParks www.sanparks.org although maritime matters are dealt with by SAMSA www.samsa.org.za Mossel Bay.
SANParks directive forbids anchoring on the Knysna Estuary for a period longer than three days or in the case of an emergency situation.
Visitor swing moorings are available for rental at current rates via the Knysna Yacht Club subject to availability via the contact information below. A permit for your vessel, issued by SANParks, will be required for vessels moored on the estuary for the duration of visit.
Functional black water tanks are a requirement on the estuary.
Approach and Entry
Because of heavy breakers across the Heads at times, it is not easy for low powered craft to maintain proper way in this channel. It is recommended that entry should only be made when conditions are fair in swell/wave conditions no higher than 2.0m, the best time being in the last hour before high water and in daytime.
It is strongly emphasized that it can be dangerous to attempt entry during the period of the outgoing stream, especially if there are breakers over the bars with the resultant effect of overfall.
From the west, an offing of at least half a mile is recommended to avoid the above-water rocks which extend south from the Western Head to 34°05.3’S.
From the east a similar situation exists. Rocks extend to 34°05.4’S from the Eastern Head and East Cape over a mile from the Heads.
A safe position of 34°05.5’S 23°03.5’E in more than 20m depths will bring vessels onto the leading line, 006° The lights (not functional during periods of electricity outages) are; Front – Fountain Point FlW 3sec, 910m behind this is the QR Leisure Island Light.
After passing close to Needles Point close alongside which there is usually a strip of smooth water even when the breakers over the bars are relatively heavy, a course along the leading line should be maintained whilst passing to the westward of Emu Rock position 34°04.87’S 23°03.64’E.
When Duiker Rocks are abeam to port, course should be altered gradually westward so as to pass Fountain Point in the deepest part of the channel at a distance of around 30m.
Just before Fountain Point beacon comes abeam, a sharp alteration to port becomes necessary in order to avoid the possibility of being swept by the in-going tidal stream pastthe point on to the shallows to the north of it. The channel now runs close to the SW shore of the estuary, and you will be heading towards a conspicuous house at Green Point., When Green Point is abeam course should be altered towards Best Cove.
From Best Cove the channel runs even closer to the SW shore to Monkey Point where the first of the Red-White-Red buoys appear, shape a course towards it and follow the safe-water buoys, and be guided by the two white transit beacons on the lower west headland, on range astern, heading 006° to Thesen’s Island.
The larger boat swing moorings (passing fine to port) will indicate the channel that leads past the SANParks offices on the end of Thesen’s Island jetty to KYC. Depth reduces to around 2m at the Knysna Yacht Club jetties at MLWS.
For visitor facilities, alongside docking and swing mooring enquiries contact the
KYC manager at 044 382 5724, email: email@example.com No VHF channel watch is maintained.
Immediately past the Yacht Club on the starboard hand is the Knysna Quays Harbour www.knysnaquays.com No VHF channel watch is maintained.
Harbour Masters Office: 044 382 77891
Mobile: +27 82 494 1607