Knysna Basin Project

The beautiful Knysna Estuary is the most important estuary in South Africa in terms of conservation. Home to 42% of all South Africa’s estuarine species, visitors and nature lovers will take pleasure in this diversity hotspot. The estuary is also home to South Africa’s only endemic seahorse species - and the symbol of the Knysna Basin Project - the Knysna seahorse. As such, the estuary is a protected area and part of the Garden Route National Park.

The Knysna Basin Project is a scientifically focused Not for Profit organization based in Knysna. The overarching aim of the Knysna Basin Project is to ensure the future conservation of the Knysna Estuary and the surrounding catchments. We believe that this aim can only be achieved through ongoing scientific research and the education of those that depend on the estuary and surrounding environment. As an organization, we work closely with management authorities and local groups to ensure the implementation of tangible management and conservation actions.

We welcome visitors to the Knysna estuary and encourage users to play a part in its conservation. Please adhere to all fishing and bait collection regulations within the estuary. A copy of our Fishing and Boating Regulations Flyer is available upon purchase of a fishing permit at the Knysna Post Office.

Additional visitor and user information is available at the SANParks Offices at Thesen Island Harbour.

Knysna Basin Project has published a revised and expanded second edition of its field guide – A Field Guide to the Shores of the Knysna Estuary – the common creatures, seaweeds and saltmarsh plants. The Guide aims to help the community learn about and appreciate the Estuary and to raise funds for the Project. The field guide is available for purchase at the Leisure Isle library, and Nadine’s Corner on Leisure Isle.

For more information on the Knysna Basin Project and the research currently being conducted within the estuary, please visit our website at