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Knysna Literary Festival and More

Now in its 7th year, the Knysna Literary Festival will take place from 17 to 20 March 2016 and has become a highlight on the Garden Route calendar. The festival was founded by Ling Dobson from Pam Golding Properties in Knysna. Her dream was to expose both locals and visitors to South Africa’s rich fount of literary talent.

With a passion for the written word and leaving a literacy legacy, Ling also has a mission to: “stimulate the children of the greater Knysna area by encouraging reading and writing, and by contributing to local charities that focus on childhood development and education.”

Hosting an exclusive group of hand-picked authors from South Africa, it is a bibliophile’s dreams come true. In 2015 a staggering 2 300 guests attended the festival. This nearly doubled the numbers from 2014 and many events sold out.

The festival is passionate about supporting the local community both by channelling money back into local businesses and suppliers, as well as selecting venues to showcase Knysna’s hospitality, talent and most unique settings.

The full programme is available on the Knysna Literary Festival’s website, Pam Golding Properties Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, and Bargain Books in the Knysna Mall and The Market Square, Plettenberg Bay. The fantastic line-up of authors includes Hugh Masekela, whose autobiography, Still Grazing, was released in South Africa last month; Lauren Beukes, author of The Shining Girls, Zoo City (winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award), Moxyland and Broken Monsters; Ferial Haffajee, editor of the City Press newspaper and previously editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper; and Pete Goffe-Wood, celebrity chef, MasterChef South Africa judge and author of Kitchen Cowboys.

Last year the festival had close to 1000 learners at the Children’s Theatre performance. The Young Writers’ Competition enjoyed great appeal amongst a broad group of diverse young minds. The competition attracts entries from rural schools, to include English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa entrants and all the winning entries will be published by the Knysna Literary Festival.

You can contact them on 044 382 5574

Find them on Facebook at

Or visit their website at

While you are visiting the Festival, don’t forget about Knysna Montessori School’s Friday Night Market. The initiative of school founder Taddy Beyleveld, in conjunction with parents, the school decided on one big fundraising project instead of continuous smaller fundraisers. It also enables the community to raise funds for the school, a responsibility that usually falls squarely on parents’ shoulders.

The market, started in 2000, remained true to its roots as an exclusively food market, even though craft stalls were introduced in 2004. It now forms an ideal platform for students, aged 12 – 15, to showcase and sell the products of the small businesses formed within the school.

With a bar, run by the parents of Knysna Montessori, and food dishes as unique and exotic as bush pig goulash and pizzas topped with brie or camembert, this market is not to be missed. There are wooden tables scattered around the grounds but many loyal attendees take their own chairs or picnic blankets – truly a market with a unique and amazing ambiance.

Scarecrows will lead you into the market, taking place on the Knysna Montessori School’s grounds off Welbedacht Road. Open from 16h00 to 20h00 every Friday during the summer, the last market for the 2015/2016 season will take place on 27 May; grab the opportunity while you can.

You can contact Knysna Montessori School on 044 382 5316

Find them on Facebook at

South of Knysna is the delightful village of Hoekwil that boasts the Hoekwil Primary School. Reminiscent of the rural schools our parents or grandparents may have attended, it has about 150 learners and makes individual attention from teacher to learner an everyday occurrence.

With a strong cultural and academic focus the school has been ranked as a top school for mathematics, Afrikaans and English while 6 learners received the accolade of an A+++ for their visual art in a recent Eisteddfod. All classes have a garden to tend to as part of their TLC – the living classroom and parents are passionately involved with the school.

The historic school building will shortly celebrate its centennial anniversary and, as only 3 of the 7 teachers receive a salary from the Western Cape Education Department, the school started the Kingfisher Mountain Bike Marathon as their much needed annual fundraiser. As the forerunner for almost every other mountain biking event in the Southern Cape, the Kingfisher celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2016.

A picturesque race, the route of the 40km and 70km races traverse diverse terrain not normally open to the public with the Bergplaas forest section offering a challenging route through plantations and indigenous forest. As both a Cycling South Africa sanctioned race and part of the Eden XCM series, the race attracts upwards of 800 riders on the day.

For the little ones there is a 200m, a 3km and a 4km kiddies’ race with a nominal fee of R30. Jake Crowther, the route planner said: “The kiddies’ routes have proved exceptionally popular in previous years, and we’re delighted to be able to offer an improved route through Hoekwil as well as an enhanced 20km race route.”

The mountain bike race on Saturday 19 March is preceded by a trail run on Friday the 18th with both an 8km and a 16km route.

Spectators can enjoy a bite to eat or enjoy a craft beer from Devil’s Peak Brewing Company while parents can rest assured that their kids will be well cared for through a childcare service offered by the school. The school is situated on the corner of Kerk Street and Duiwerivier Road in Hoekwil.

Race queries can be directed to TriSport on 044 850 1059

Riders can register at and registration fees are as follows:

20km – R60 per person online (or R90 per person at the gate)

40km – R150 per person online (or R250 per person at the gate)

70km – R180 per person online (or R280 at the gate)

You can contact Hoekwil Primary School on 044 850 1079

Visit their website at

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