Say Knysna and you conjure up visions of elephants in a dense indigenous forest. Beautiful furniture made of yellow and stink wood. Narrow streets lined with quaint shops selling a variety of wares from antiques to kitsch. The estuary and The Heads, once treacherous and proud portal to the open sea, now slowly but surely being defaced by showy real estate. Knysna is all of these things and more. Sprawling down steep slopes towards the water, Knysna has an interesting history. It began life as twins: five cottages called Mellville, and Newhaven comprising 30 houses. These two combined in 1882 and became Knysna. The pretty little St George Church that Bishop Gray built at Newhaven in 1855 today stands in the main street. Knysna has always been closely related to the timber trade and forestry is still a major industry, although it now tends to take a back seat to tourism.