About us

About Team Knysna Country House

As you can imagine running a guesthouse is a team effort, each member adding to the atmosphere at the guesthouse and contributing to our guests’ well being.


These are the people who make it all happen, and who you are most likely to meet when staying at the Knysna Country House:

Knysna Country House hosts Erik Ekkelkamp & Ypie Kingma

Erik Ekkelkamp & Ypie Kingma

Your hosts!  We are originally from The Netherlands, but made South Africa our new home in 1999.  We have been in the hospitality industry ever since, play golf, ride our mountain bikes, take our dogs for walks and love meeting people from all over the world.  We look forward to sharing the secrets Knysna and its surrounding areas offer with you!

With Erik and Ypie on the picture: our furry kids Tara (the labrador x rottweiler) and Meka (the rescue dog from Animal Welfare).  They love the attention, and ‘speak’ English and Dutch :).

Sandy van Rooyen

Sandy speaks fluent English and Afrikaans, but can say ‘welcome’ and ‘how are you’ in at least another dozen languages.  She will most likely be the person welcoming you upon your arrival at the Knysna Country House, making your dinner reservations, and advising you on where to go and what to do in Knysna and the Garden Route.  Don’t be mistaken by her size: dynamite comes in small packages!  Sandy loves animals, and has a small animal farm at home, where she lives with her daughter, son-in-law and her little granddaughter.

Sandy van Rooyen - Knysna Country House

Dot Knysna Country House

Dot du Preez

Dot has been the longest at the Knysna Country House, but has worked at other guesthouses in Knysna as well.  She loves to chat to our guests, while preparing their breakfast or coffee.  She has two teenage daughters and a little boy at home.

Toesie Brown

Toesie – as everybody knows ‘Jolene’ – had been without work for quite a while before joining the team at the Knysna Country House.  From a shy and rather introvert person, Toesie has grown into a confident, outgoing personality, who looks after her little boy when not singing her way through the guesthouse.  Her older son is being brought up in Cape Town by her mother.

Shireen Knysna Country House

Shireen Grootboom

Shireen lives close to both Dot and Toesie, with her sickly, elderly mom and her child.  Her childhood dream was to look after people, and this clearly shows in her care for our guests.  She is a hard worker, who not only enjoys looking after people, but also thrives on the odd painting or maintenance job.


Frank is originally from Malawi, and has been looking after the garden as well as doing lots of maintenance jobs at the guesthouse for more than 2 years.  Fortunately his wife and two little daughters have been able to join him here in Knysna.  Frank usually works at the guesthouse on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Anita & Jarle Gjerde Knysna Country House

Anita & Jarle Gjerde

A special mention must go to Anita & Jarle Gjerde.  You can count yourself lucky if you happen to meet them, as they are not always here.  They are the actual owners of the property and only come out when the winter is getting too cold back in Norway, from where they are.


  • Have enjoyed hospitality, great service and quality for the third time in a row!  Erik and Ypie arranged for us (...) golf (...) which was an unforgettable experience.  The pool in the beautiful garden was heaven on earth!

    Van Baarle, The Netherlands

  • (...) Die ganze Anlage (Garten, Terrasse, Pool etc.) ist sehr schön und sehr gepflegt.  Das Frühstück war superlecker, vielfältig und sehr reichlich. Die Gastgeber Ypie und Erik sind super nett (...)

    Tomba, Germany

  • (...) We couldn't have chosen a more convenient and comfortable venue than the Knysna Country House. Lovely swimming pool. Large generous breakfasts with delightful and attentive staff. Also a very beautiful and peaceful location. (...)  

    Mandy & Thomas, South Africa