Bay is one of the beautiful stops on the famous Garden Route in South
Africa. It is renowned for its endless, white beaches, beautiful lagoon
and river mouth, whale watching, nature reserve, pansy shells and night
life. This is what makes it a popular vacation resort for locals and
"Plettenberg Bay is
tranquil and charming, hospitable and rather special"
Plettenberg Bay (known
locally as 'Plett') is characterised by sweeping, unspoilt golden beaches, a
dramatic rocky peninsula called Robberg Peninsula which is famous for its Cape
Fur Seal population lagoons and estuaries, towering indigenous forests and
unpolluted rivers and sea.
Plett is the jewel of The Garden Route.
Originally christened "Bahia Formosa" (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese
explorers, it has developed
into a beautiful, modern town that combines buzzing activity with a peaceful
environment, lazy beach days with new malls for shopping, sleeping under a
palm tree with action activities like diving, hiking and bungee jumping (if
you absolutely must!).
With its exceptional
climate, and beautiful view sites over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay is
perfect for exploring, watching or just lazing. There are also a few
clubs and pubs for evening entertainment, but in summer parties often take
place on or near the beach. Life in South Africa tends to be very outdoors
orientated and fairly laid-back.
There are shopping
malls (even a Woolworths – the South African equivalent to Marks & Spencer),
Internet Cafes, restaurants and bars and clubs. You will have everything you
Lazing on the Beach
Plettenberg Bay is perfect for lazy days on the beach. The scenery is
stunning, the weather is hot, the sea is warm enough to swim in and the waves
perfect for body boarding. There can be some dangerous rip tides, but there
are lifeguards on the beach.
A lovely way to spend
the day is to lie on the beach or find a spot higher up the dunes where you
can watch the dolphins when they come close to the shore to jump the breakers
- an incredible sight.
In Plettenberg Bay, the temperature is influenced by the warm Agulhas
current meeting the temperate Benguela current. The result? A mild climate of
300 days of sunshine and mild water temperatures between 14 and 23 degrees
ACTIVITIES IN PLETT
The list of activities you can do in
Plettenberg Bay is almost endless. Many activities involve outdoor sights
and sports because the beautiful weather and stunning surroundings makes these
pastimes a very natural leisure activity. Things you can do include:
If you are keen on canoeing, you can hire a
canoe from the Angling Club (Tel 044-5359740) or from the Aventura Resort
(Tel 044-5359309) and canoe up the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve.
The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve is
situated 5 km from Plett, in the direction of Port
Elizabeth. This nature reserve stretches up the river for about
5-6km. To experience the beauty of the reserve you can either take a ferry
trip which lasts 2½ hours, or you can hire a boat
with engine from the Angling Club and travel up the river by yourselves.
There are a number of picnic spots next to the river with little beaches
where you can spent your whole day swimming, tanning, fishing etc.
Diving - There are excellent
diving and snorkeling opportunities, with two diving companies that can take
you out on a diving trip amd they can also advise you on where to snorkel.
There is also a snorkeling route at the Tsitsikamma National Park.
can be done at Storms River.
Sea Kayaking or river
where you can observe sea birds, dolphins, seals up close from your
- The highest commercial bungi jump in the world
is at Bloukrans River Bridge. The height is 216 metres with a 7 second free
fall! The adventure company Face Adrenalin will make sure you have an
experience of a lifetime! Booking is essential.
Blackwater Tubing -
Storms River Adventures (042-281 1836)
will take you tubing down the Storms River. The trip starts at 8h30 and
finishes back at the Center at 14h00. The cost includes wetsuits, helmets,
tubes, a trained guide and lunch.
Fishing and Angling:
Good rock angling sites include Nature's Valley, Keurbooms, Lookout Rocks,
Beacon Island and Robberg Beach.
Rock anglers can expect to catch Galjoen, Elf,
Roman or Steenbras. Deep Sea anglers may expect Tuna, Leervis, Hake and
Horse Riding -
There are two companies near Plettenberg Bay who
provide horse trails in the forest. (Unfortunately no horse riding allowed
Golf - three
unique as a primate sanctuary. It is home to many varied species of monkey
from several continents which were captive bred prior to their release at
Monkeyland. Situated 16 km east of Plett, it offers safaris conducted by
game rangers. This is the world’s only multi species, free roaming primate
sanctuary. Go to
http://www.monkeyland.co.za to read more about Monkeyland.
Mountain Biking - The
Harkerville Cycle Route is the most popular. Permits and maps for this trail
are available at the "Garden of Eden" which is situated ±17 km from Plett.
The trails range from easy to difficult. Guided biking trails are also
available and also a mountain biking route at Storms River. Closer to Knysna
is the Diepwalle Forest Cycle Route.
There are many hikes and short walks,
of which Robberg (home to the Cape Fur Seal)
is by far the most popular walk. There are three
trails to choose from: 45 min., 2 hours and the 9,2 km or 4½ hour walk.
For information on guided walks, see
www.robbergwalks.homestead.com. Other walks include Kranshoek, Garden
of Eden, Nature’s Valley, Wittedrift, Milkwood Trail, Tsitsikamma National
Park trails etc. The most popular trail towards Tsitsikamma is the Otter
Trail which is 44 km long and which lasts 5 days.
Elephant Park -
The experience is somewhat of a closer kind than
at Kruger or Addo – visitors are allowed to touch and feed the elephants,
Harry, Sally and Duma.
Scenic Flights & Gliding - Fun
filled scenic flips and informative flights of the magnificent Plettenberg
Bay coastline. Whale watching flights concentrates on a unique aerial
encounter of these ocean giants.
Glider trips - The Plettenberg
Bay Glider Club offers daily 30 minute intro glider trips over Plettenberg
Bay departing from the Plett airport. They also offer glider training.
Mampoer Distillery -
To visit this distillery at Wittedrift is a
unique experience. The owner, Jack Mudd, has recently won prizes at an
annual agricultural show near Pretoria for his superior mampoer and witblits
Umthombo Theatre & Township Tours
- The Umthombo
Theatre Group was formed four years ago in Qolweni Township. The aim of the
group was to raise funds for the community as to improve conditions in the
townships, pay school fees etc.
Wild Waters Park -
This is an adventure park especially for children. It has a supertube,
mini-golf, jumping castle, kiosk, picnic spots and braai
[barbeque] areas. Situated in the Piesang River Valley, it is next
door to the Plettenberg Bay Health Center and swimming pool.
Forest Wagon Trails
- Experience the romance of a bygone era with a
leisurely 2-hour horse drawn carriage ride through the forests, once home of
the Knysna Elephants, down to a private and unspoiled krantz on
the rugged coastline.
Polo - Plett has become
well-known as the “polo mecca” of South Africa. Exciting polo tournaments
are being played at Bitou House and Kurland during Easter, December and
January with polo practices throughout the year . The first international
polo test match was held on 1 Jan 2003 between SA and England.
Buffalo Hills Game Farm -
Go on a game drive to see rhino, leopard,
giraffe, zebra, buffalo, kudu etc. and more than 150 species of birds in
this unique Malaria-free game farm.
Harvest Market -
Local producers sell direct to the public at
this open air country meeting place - each Saturday 08h00 - 12h00
A BRIEF HISTORY OF PLETT
Plettenberg Bay was
named after Governor Joachim von Plettenberg, who incorporated the bay under the
administrative sovereignty of the Dutch-East India Trading Company in 1778. The
Company used the place primarily as a shipping port for the hardwood timber that
grew everywhere. Later on there was a whaling station built here, which was
active until 1920.
Long before Van Riebeeck
landed at the Cape, Portuguese explorers like Bartholomew
Dias in 1487 charted the bay, followed 90 years later
by Manuel da Perestrello, who aptly called it
Bahia Formosa or the Bay Beautiful. The first white inhabitants were the 100 men
stranded here for 9 months when the San Gonzales sank in 1630. In 1763 the first
white settlers in the Bay were stock farmers, hunters and frontiersmen from the
Prehistoria Man: Archeological findings in Nelson's Bay Cave and
Matjes River Cave indicate that Middle Stone Age man and then later by ancestors
of the Khoisan inhabited these caves for over 100,000 years.
The caves are still being excavated, but one can visit them
and view the Khoisan (KhoiKhoin) tools, ornaments and food debris
which have been discovered there. One can also
observe the geological changes over the past millions of years which affected
more about the history of Plettenberg Bay, go to
Got any questions? Please email us:
Close encounters - whale-watching!
Watching the dolphins play in the ocean is quite
amazing, sometimes so close you can almost touch them
Peaceful Inlet leading down to the ocean - note the
beautiful white sand
Volunteers with Monkey Atlas at Monkeyland
Travellers' Jim Morel with a Maribou Stork at a Sanctuary
in Plettenberg Bay