Often when we plan a holiday, it is the "combination" of the places we visit. that make a memorable holiday.

Knysna Heads frame the entrance to the quite spectacular Knysna estuary - lagoon - which provides a haven for water sports and sunset cruises - and this was to be the first stop on our journey.

Aside from having spectacular beauty, Knysna still retains a "village" feel with narrow streets.  This despite recent exciting real-estate developments.

The venue we chose to stay, was originally established in 1859 - the then family home and "Hill House" of Charles Thesen, the prosperous timber merchant (Knysna is forest country), encompassing enchanting architectural detail, original period fittings, high ceilings, gleaming yellowwood and lounges with large, elegant Victorian fireplaces.

The magnificent manor has fabulous views of the Knysna Lagoon, and is situated on a steep hill, 700 metres from the lovely little village.

We chose January 1st for our stay, and were joined, on the balcony, by fellow guests, interesting tourists, and South Africans, having already enjoyed an amazing candlelight, tasty, gastronomical, meal, accompanied with the best wine; and were treated to a spectacular fireworks display as the clock struck 12 midnight.  True to form with such an amazing start, the year ahead proved to be an amazing one for our family.