The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival

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The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival

It’s that time of the year again when the diverse, tasty and fun-filled fest returns to the Garden Route

The five hour drive from Cape Town to Knysna is notoriously picturesque as you meander your way along the Garden Route and the southern coastline of South Africa. This natural beauty is one of the rewards for making the road trip to this year’s Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, which takes place from Friday, 1 July to Sunday, 10 July 2016. This 10-day fiesta offers a smorgasbord of events and activities for foodies, families, athletes and everyone in between, which constitute some of the other rewards for making the journey.

This year’s event promises to be popular once again, with hundreds of things to do on and off the official programme. Of course, the mouth-watering molluscs still remain the main attraction, and patrons can get their fill of the shellfish prepared in variously creative ways for a bargain at numerous ‘Oyster Hotspots’.


Though there are plenty of opportunities to work up a sweat at the annual festival, those looking for a lazier, more leisurely 10 days can look forward to wine and oyster tastings, gala evenings, breathtaking views and the chance to savour the good life. Visitors can meander through the pretty sea-side town, wandering from the local food markets to the pop-up shops at the festival pavilion before heading to one of the fabulous events, like the bubbly, oysters and chocolate experience or the whisky and live jazz cruise.

Sports fanatics can take part in the famed BIG5 challenge (no, we’re not talking rhinos and lions) – think mountain biking races and forest marathons instead. Now in its seventh year, the BIG5 Sport Challenge has a reputation for being a bucket-list event on the global endurance and adventure race calendar. Participating athletes will need to take part in the following events, with rankings done according to cumulative time:


Type of Event



Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour

MTB race


2 July 2016

Knysna Dragoon’s Lagoon Mile Swim

Open-water swim


3 July 2016

The Featherbed Trail Run

Trail run


5 July 2016

Momentum Health OatWell Dual X powered by PeptoPro  

Off-road duathlon

5-km run, 30-km MTB, 2.5-km run

7 July 2016

Momentum Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon

Half marathon


9 July 2016

If you’re not that hardcore, you can still get in on the action with less taxing sports, like golf, hiking and bowls. Even the kids can get involved with junior events and a family forest walk on the cards. In fact, the young ones will be more than catered for with arts and crafts programmes, magicians and jugglers, cooking and art workshops and loads more fun activities available. So, whether you have a tiny tot or a tough-to-please teen you’ll be happy to know that your loved ones are likely to have just as much fun (if not more) at this year’s fiesta.

Don't miss out on the Knysna Wine Festival, which takes place on Monday, 4 and Tuesday, 5 July 2016 at the Main Pavilion on the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Grounds. This premier wine festival will showcase around 50 of South Africa’s top wine estates, with over 250 quality wines to tantalise your taste buds. After sipping on the local vino, you can purchase bottles at special prices and stock up your wine rack at home. 

Let’s not forget the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Flavours of Knysna competition, in which local restaurants will showcase their 'best-dressed oyster', and, of course, it wouldn’t be an oyster fest without a shucking and eating contest. Pair this with a side-order of comedy, and you get The Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Shuckle, where you get on with shucking whilst renowned comedians will keep you chuckling.

While we could go on about all the things there are to do, see, smell and taste at the 2016 affair, there are simply too many highlights to even mention, so if you want to get the full programme details, we suggest you visit What we are certain of is that the journey to this sweet little haven will be worth every calorie gained.


General access to the event is FREE! However, many of the individual events require an entry or booking fee to be charged and paid for separately.  The festival runs from 11am to 10pm on weekdays, from 1pm to midnight on the Fridays and from 8am to 6pm on Saturdays.

Tickets to the Knysna Wine Festival are available online via and cost between R115p/p and R130p/p.

For more information, email or phone +27 (0)44 382 5510.


Experience one of the most popular spots on the Garden Route in sophisticated luxury and home-feel comfort at aha The Rex Hotel


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