“A tranquil and charming coastal village offering miles of sweeping, unspoilt golden beaches, a dramatic rocky peninsula, intriguing lagoons and estuaries and towering indigenous forests.”
Welcome to Plettenberg Bay, originally named Bahia Formosa (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, nowadays better known as Plett.
This gorgeous coastal town is a tourist hotspot, loved for its central location and stunning expanse of white sand beaches and azure seas.
With its exceptional climate and beautiful views over the Indian Ocean, Plettenberg Bay is perfect for tourists interested in exploring the Garden Route, watching dolphins and whales frolic nearby or just relax in nature, awakening their 7 senses.
Plett hosts one of the largest seagull breeding colonies along the South African c Reserve is home to a large colony of Cape fur seal, often seen playing in the surf. This is also great location from which to spot other frequent visitors to the bay: Southern Right, Bryde’s and Humpback whales; Killer (Orca) and Sei Whales as well as 3 species of Dolphins (Bottlenosed, Common and the endangered Humpback).
Local vegetation varies from Cape Fynbos to Knysna-Amatole montane forests. There are many pelagic birds in this area as well as the endangered Oyster catcher. The distinctive pansy shell is endemic to this part of the coast, and is used as the symbol representing the town.
The river, lagoon, bay and white beaches are very popular with tourists, also fishermen and boating enthusiasts. There’s a choice between Robberg Beach (great for surfing and swimming), Central Beach (at the Beacon Isle Hotel), Lookout Beach & Keurboomstrand.
The Crags, a scenic 20 km’s drive from town, has fast become a Must See. Polo fields, wildlife sanctuaries, theatre and an abundance of arts and crafts along its vibrant Cruise the Crags route make it a definite add-on to your Garden Route Itinerary.
- Robberg Nature Reserve. Nature-lovers simply have to spend time at this untouched Reserve, where beautiful views of the Indian Ocean from a bushveld brimming with fynbos leave visitors in awe of the South African scenery. The local Cape Fur Seals colony delights spectators with their funny antics and indulgent laziness in the African Summer sun. There are a number of walking trails on offer.
- Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Home to Africa‘s Big 4 (rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) and malaria free, this reserve is situated on over 2000 hectares of indigenous beauty. There are over 150 different species of game and birdlife. Children are welcome, with a wonderful enclosed play area.
- The Elephant Sanctuary. Found at the Crags, directly adjacent to Monkeyland and Birds of Eden. Learn all there is to know about these gentle giants – their behavior, different personalities, eating habits and anatomy. Get up close and personal when you touch, feed and walk hand-in-trunk, or enjoy an interactive elephant back ride.
- Birds of Eden, the largest single dome free-flight bird aviary in the world. Boasting more than 220 species of birds with a total of about 3 000 birds. This stunning aviary includes an indigenous forest, a walk-behind waterfall plus an amphitheatre, all a mere 16km from Plett.
- Monkeyland, the first free-roaming, multi-species primate sanctuary in the world. There are about 450 primates living within the safety of this facility. Found next-door to Birds of Eden (same owners) and adjacent to the Elephant Sanctuary, this trio makes for a perfect day outing.
- Bloukrans Bridge Bungy. Itself an engineering marvel, this bridge holds another claim to fame –the highest commercial bridge-based bungy jump in the world! Bloukrans attractis adventure seekers from all over the globe – at 216 meters (almost 70 storeys); it is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Plettenberg Bay has gained the reputation of a ‘pleasure seeker hotspot’, with many leisure activities on offer. From polo at Kurland, to yachting at the Keurbooms River mouth and marina, to swimming in the warm, gentle waters or lazing on miles of pristine beaches.
Other popular activities include charter boat cruises, hiking, canoeing, abseiling, surfing and snorkeling.
- A meal at the Beacon Isle Hotel. Built literally straddling a small strip of land between a lagoon and the sea, it almost seems when seated in the restaurant that the hotel is floating on the water.
- Cocktails at The Lookout Deck! This iconic restaurant is an extremely popular hangout spot, especially during the whale season.
- Day trip to the Mampoer and Witblits Distillery where one can view the making of, and sample, these strong, locally produced alcoholic beverages.
- Bramon Wine Estate. A boutique vineyard is the only estate this far east of the Western Cape. Set on 5ha in a mountainous area called The Crags, this family estate has produced an award winning Methode Cap Classique as well as a gorgeous still wine. The first vines, Sauvignon Blanc, were planted in 2000 and this kickstarted wine growth in Plettenberg Bay. The area has now been classified as a wine of origin region.
- Trio full day trip to neighboring Elephant Sanctuary, Monkeyland and Birds of Eden.
- Radical Raptors. A rescue & rehabilitation centre with the aim of releasing the birds back into the wild as soon as possible. Visitors can have a close, intimate encounter with the raptors, learn about them and take magnificent photographs to keep as special memories.
- Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness & Rehabilitation Centre. Enjoy a unique wildcat experience with a one hour guided tour. Meet some furry felines that are captive-bred and live in a semi-natural environment. You’ll be so close you can even hear them purr! Residents include cheetah, leopard, servals, caracal, African wild cat and the rare black-footed cat. Also home to South Africa’s national bird the Blue Crane as well as cheeky but cute meerkats. A walk with the Tenikwa Cheetahs through the Tsitsikamma Indigenous Forest is an experience not to be missed!!
- Horseback Safari and/or Game Drive at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Experience this hidden gem, where abundant wildlife roam the plains and where the African sunset leaves an unforgettable memory. Just a few minutes’ drive outside of town.
- AdventureLand, a waterpark boasting a 75m supertube, 25m mini-tube, a ‘Kamakazee’ slide, a ‘Raging Rapid’ plus a 12m Free Fall slide (there are alternate versions of both the Free Fall and Kamakazee slides for young children as well as a baby pool). If you’d like to make a day of the adventure bring all your BBQ/Braai goodies as there are facilities onsite. Ideal for those that love the water but not so much sand!
- Swim with Seals Plett Seal Adventures offers unforgettable marine experience, snorkelling with these playful and curious creatures.
- Puzzle Park featuring an amazing life size 3-D maze, the first of its kind in South Africa. Also an exciting Forest Puzzle Walk, leading you through the natural forest. Kids love the rope maze!
- Golf. Play 18 holes at one of the superb golf courses of which one is nestled in a private nature reserve and the other is set above the beautiful lagoon.
- Scenic Hikes through Robberg Nature Reserve, also dolphin & whale watching.
- Sea Kayaking with a qualified guide to Robberg Nature Reserve and the seal colony.
- Scuba Diving.
- Surfing Robberg Beach.
- Bloukrans Bridge Bungee Jump.
- The Khoisan Village, found nearby the Bloukrans Bridge, offering insights into the lives of the native peoples of this area, as well as opportunities to buy local arts and crafts.
- Plett Market on Main Street, a place to meet locals and experience the vibe that makes Plett so unique and popular. From food stalls with something to satisfy all tastes to great items for sale including skins and leather, antiques, African art, second hand clothing, books etc.
Getting There (approximate figures)
Situated along the N2, to the West: Knysna 35 km; George 94 km; Oudtshoorn 142km & Cape Town 520km. To the East: Nature’s Valley 30 km; Tsitsikamma 85 km & Port Elizabeth 215km.
Click here for all listed accommodation in Plett and the nearby vicinity.