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Leisure Isle Knysna

SDC10591Leisure Isle, a tiny island set in the Knysna estuary, is undoubtedly one of the town’s most sought after residential areas and vacation destinations. What makes this Knysna suburb, less than 5km in circumference, such a desirable piece of real estate? There is no simple answer here, except perhaps to sum it up as the perfect mix of location, lifestyle, tranquillity, beauty and security! Seldom do these essential facets of a harmonious existence come together in our urban areas.

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In 1929 George Cearn acquired undeveloped Leisure Isle with the ideal of turning this inaccessible (by road) tract of land into an affordable, family oriented residential retreat. Cearn’s dogged determination to fulfil his dream laid the foundation in the evolution of today’s island community spirit and tranquil atmosphere. Some 450 houses have, over the years, been erected on the island – connected by a network of narrow, leafy lanes. In typical village style, visible security measures, such as high walls and razor wire, are non-existent! The island has managed to maintain its appeal as one of the safest Knysna residential areas either to reside in or to visit largely through the efforts of the residents themselves. The Leisure Isle Residents’ Association (LIRA) has instituted a variety of security measures that have contributed to the low crime levels on the island. These include a 24 hour manned security hut at the only road entrance to the island, video cameras recording all movements in and out of the island, as well as regular bicycle patrols. These successful measures have enabled the island community, and those who visit Leisure Isle, to enjoy a safe and secure environment somewhat rare in many South African urban areas today.


Being surrounded by the tidal Knysna estuary, Leisure Isle is indeed picture postcard perfection! The surrounding salt marshes are a birdwatcher’s delight. The 16ha Steenbok Nature Reserve on the northern shore is a diverse haven for walkers, joggers and cyclists – the reserve contains some 400 indigenous plant species. Roughly 100 bird and 25 butterfly species have been recorded. The Green Hole and Bollard Bay offer safe bathing in the estuary. Bollard Beach has spectacular, unimpeded views of the iconic Knysna Heads. The Leisure Isle Country Club is a must for bowlers, tennis, table tennis and bridge players. Keen anglers have a great opportunity to land that elusive catch from the sea wall at spring high tide. Water sports enthusiasts are spoilt for choice on their estuary options – boating, yachting, water skiing, kite surfing, stand up paddling and snorkelling are some of the many water-based activities on offer. Leisure Isle has a very active Garden Club and this is reflected in the many beautiful gardens one encounters whilst strolling or cycling on the island. Strict speed controls have resulted in Leisure Isle being extremely pedestrian, child and cyclist friendly. Leisure Island Coffee Shop is the perfect venue for leisurely breakfasts, teas and lunches. Why not peruse the adjacent antique shop and art gallery for those undiscovered treasures? The island even has its own library!


Our resident pair of Spotted Eagle Owls has opted to raise their young on Leisure Isle – a decision that says it all! The moral of the story? When next you visit the magnificent Garden Route, look no further than Leisure Isle in Knysna for a taste of paradise – and our Knysna accommodation is the ideal base from which to savour the magic of our beautiful island!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 January 2013 14:08 )  

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Telephone: 044 384 1319 | Fax: 044 384 1327
3 Kingsway Leisure Isle Knysna 6570 | PO Box 3420, Knysna 6570
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