Coney Glen Knysna - hike to cave and rock pool 1fHike: Coney Glen Parking Lot to Rock Pool
Time Required: 2hrs
Difficulty Level: Medium

Beach hikes such as this are proof to my claim that Knysna is one of the prettiest towns in the world.

Coney Glen is a majestic cacophony of jagged rocks and colours. Located on the East Head, it’s easily accessible via tarred road (N2/Main Road -> George Rex Drive).

I’ve previously shared photos of its two beaches and the view from Lookout Point above it but this time we headed up the coast towards the rock pool. I’d never done it before so was keen when Keith (owner of the Forest Lodge in Sedgefield) suggested we do it.

Coney Glen Knysna - hike to cave and rock pool 1w2The rocks are sharp so the first lesson i learned was that my so-called Hi-Tec hiking sandals from Cape Union Mart were inadequate. This was made more treacherous by sticky spume. The presence of this sea foam carried a positive as it was a sign of recovery after months of red tide in Knysna. It meant that there had been a breakdown of the harmful algal bloom that had plagued our coast. This dissolved organic matter was being smashed into the rocks so that air bubbles were being trapped, resulting in a spectacular, salty, bubble bath view.

What i never knew then was that the escaping aerosols can cause breathing problems. As an asthmatic whose found the wet air of Knysna a challenge, i was totally unprepared (and unaware). Halfway into our hike, particularly after getting down from an awesome cave up the cliff face, i began seeing stars, a clear sign of oxygen deprivation. Even though i would take several minutes to breath deeply for control, they continued to anti-dazzle me. This was worst when low down in between 3 rock faces with the sea rushing in from the remaining side. Those aerosols were toxic so by the time we got to the rock pool (we’d intended going further), i couldn’t stop shaking and my legs kept buckling. As i never knew the reasoning then, i was assuming that i was more unfit than i already was.

However, we took time to absorb that beautiful rock pool (natural wonder) before heading back.

Coney Glen Knysna - hike to cave and rock pool 1w3I wouldn’t want my asthma experience to dissuade you from the beauty of Coney Glen. Red tides, and that consequent, naughty spume, are rarities. Rather let my photos do the selling:)

We finished our morning with a wonderful braai (there are facilities) and a six-pack of Windhoek beer. I’ll certain return for further exploration and fun.

PS: SANParks needs to clear the path through the bushy part. It’s so overgrown that we initially missed it. Walking sideways got us through it. Additionally, there needs to be a warning sign as the erosion on the path to the cave is dangerous. Thankfully, for the casual hiker, you can avoid it by travelling nearer to the sea’s edge.