Festivals always cost more money than you think they will, with fuel, accommodation, meals and ticket prices leaving quite a dent in your wallet. Here are three budget accommodation options for the 2016 Knysna Oyster Festival on budget.
- Budget things to do at the Knysna Oyster Festival
- Budget places to eat at the Knysna Oyster Festival
Budget places to stay during the 2016 Knysna Oyster Festival
1. Island Vibe Backpackers, Knysna
Backpackers have come a long way from grungy dorm rooms and hair-infested showers. Today most backpackers are efficiently-run, clean establishments with options of a dorm room, a double room and some even have family rooms. Island Vibe Backpackers has all these options and, like most backpackers, is conveniently situated along the Main Street allowing you to walk to most of the hotspots in the town, the Knysna Waterfront and the Pick n’ Pay Festival Pavilion. They are also on the Baz Bus route, but if you do have your own vehicle there is secure parking available (note: being on the Main Road you may have to wait a while to get onto the road during busy times, like the festival).
If you want peace and quiet, ask for one of the rooms at the back, but backpackers are not the sort of place you go to for escaping the crowd.
I found Island Vibe a cheerful and clean spot to spend a few nights and I particularly loved the bright murals on the walls. They light a fire in the braai area next to the swimming pool each evening where you are welcome to braai if you wish. There’s a fridge to store your groceries in and they provide tea and coffee. You can also buy beers, ciders and soft drinks. In the evening you can sit and chat to other travellers by the fire or on a beanbag indoors, or play a game of pool or table football.
The staff are a happy bunch and will assist you wherever they can, whether it be a restaurant recommendation, directions to somewhere in town or a tour of the area. I did a canoe trip and a township tour with them, but there are plenty of other tours on offer too.
A bed in a dorm room will cost you from R140 a night, double rooms are from R500 a night a person sharing, and a family room (sleeps 4) costs R550 a night.
2. The Sedgefield Arms, Sedgefield
If you feel like escaping the crowds at the festival and don’t mind a 20km drive into Knysna, then the quaint olde-English-style Sedgefield Arms is a good budget option for the Knysna Oyster Festival. It’s also useful having a pub and a restaurant a few metres from your abode for the night. My lodgings consisted of a double bedroom, a lounge area with a couch, coffee table and TV and a small bathroom with a shower. It may have been compact, but it was all that I needed and I had one of my best night’s sleep on a very comfortable bed. There were flower paintings on the walls and brightly coloured cushions on the couch making it cute and cheerful.
Tea and coffee was supplied, along with linen and towels, as well as heater – which was useful as it was a cold night. There is also a ceiling fan for the summer months. Family accommodation is also available with two or three bedrooms, a dining area and kitchen.
The Sedgefield Arms is popular with the locals and you’ll find them in the pub from the late afternoon, quietly enjoying a pint. However, the pub closes at 9pm at night so you don’t have to worry about late night revelers keeping you awake into the wee hours. There is also a cosy restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner so you don’t need to go far to find a good meal.
From R350 a person a night for a double room, and R1400 for a family room (sleeps 4). It’s also pet-friendly.
3. Wandu@eKasi, Khayalethu Township
Mawande Kondlo also offers B&B accommodation (with a view) if you fancy staying somewhere a little different. I didn’t stay overnight, but got to peek into one of the rooms. It all looked quite cosy and it was clear that a lot of effort has gone into making the rooms comfortable with charming township décor. Guests who were staying there were very happy with their room and said the shower was the best! You are also provided with soaps, shampoo and body lotion, just like any good B&B. From R200 a person a night with breakfast.
You can take a tour of Khayalethu with Mawande where he’ll share local stories and legends, you’ll meet local residents and see the Township “Big 5”. The tour costs R350 per person, or R450 with lunch. He also serves delicious buffet dinners (no chicken feet here) for R250 per person, which includes a shuttle to and from town. You are welcome to bring your own wine – no corkage fee!
Everyone’s budgets are different and it was impossible for me to experience all the budget options that Knysna and its surrounds have to offer in a few days. If you know of anything worth doing, a restaurant worth eating at, or a place to stay that won’t break the bank, please let us know in the comments section.