Whether the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean and the majestic creatures that call it home spark your interest, or you are seeking on-land discoveries, Plettenberg Bay’s Ocean Blue Adventures promise lifelong memories and captivating discoveries. Often referred to as one of South Africa’s most beautiful holiday destinations, the Garden Route charms visitors all year around and is the perfect setting for a holiday escape with your loved ones.
While discovering the Garden Route, numerous adventure activities can be enjoyed and for those who aren’t familiar with the area, guided tours add valuable insight and perspective, giving you the chance to soak up the stunning surrounding without missing anything or leaving with unanswered questions. Something as simple as embarking on one of the areas scenic self-drive routes can unveil striking vistas and lovely features of the Fynbos Biome which is home to more than 45 000 species of plant, of which 69% are endemic to the area. Breathtaking forests and enchanting waterfalls, varied and unique ecosystems, indigenous forests and picturesque outstretched coastlines all form part of the natural splendour of the Garden Route.
Ocean Blue Adventures range from Dolphin Encounters and Permitted Close Encounter Whale Watching to Cultural Township Tours and Robberg Nature Reserve Hikes, capturing the essence of Plettenberg Bay and the best that it has to offer. With a passion for the community and qualified and experienced guides ready to share their extensive knowledge with visitors, prepare for a life changing, inspiring and wonderful journey.
Dolphin Encounters Excursion
Your summer, sunshine and sea adventure awaits! Ocean Blue Adventures hosts an amazing Dolphin Encounter excursion that accommodates children and adults for boat rides lasting from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. During this incredible excursion, it is possible to indentify Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins (considered rare), Brydes Whales and sharks of varied species, including the elusive and revered Great White Shark.
On the day of your Dolphin Encounter, check in at the Ocean Blue Adventures Shop, centrally located in the Milkwood Centre of Plett, about 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time. The trip includes refreshments, while it is advised to wear warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Before departure, a safety brief and life jackets will prepare passengers, while the boarding and beach launch through the surf sets the pace for the rest of the boat trip.
Although varying according to weather and animal distribution, the route usually commences along Keurbooms beach in the direction of Arch Rock, passing a bird sanctuary and offering idyllic dolphin spotting opportunities. Crossing the bay from Arch Rock, pelagic sea-birds can be sighted offshore. Reaching the Robberg Peninsula and cruising back, unique geology and the Cape Fur Seal Colony can be observed. Heading back and passing Beacon Island Hotel, the guide will shed some light on the area’s history, before an exciting landing brings the trip to an end at Central Beach.
Whale Watching Encounter
The best time for this permitted whale watching encounter is between June and November each year. While enjoying your time on the ocean waters with Ocean Blue Adventures, you can look forward to possible sightings of Southern Right Whales, migrating Humpback Whales and Brydes Whales. Bottlenose Dolphins, Common Dolphins and the rare Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins also hang out along the usual route followed, while the thrilling prospect of spotting a Great White Shark is one that delights many.
Check in at the Ocean Blue Adventures Shop about 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time and be sure to wear warm clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, and don’t forget your camera to snap up amazing photographs of this water based whale watching experience! Before the boat departs, a safety briefing and life-jackets will prepare passengers, while the beach launch through the surf starts the trip off on an exciting note. Mineral water and fruit are provided.
The skipper will consider the best route to take on the day, taking into account various factors that increase the likelihood for whale spotting. Most likely, the route taken will head offshore through a water passage from Robberg Point to Nature’s Valley, Keurbooms Beach and the Tsitsikamma Marine Reserve, known as “Humpback Highway”, where migrating Humpback Whales can be spotted heading to their feeding or breeding grounds. The trip may cruise along Keurbooms Beach in search of Southern Right Whales breeding in groups, and could also include encountering the Cape Fur Seal Colony at the Robberg Peninsula. This is perfect for your Winter in the Garden Route vacation!
Cultural Township Tours
Ocean Blue Adventure’s unique and insightful tour of Qolweni Township allows tourists to enjoy firsthand cultural experiences that are unlike anything else, led by a qualified tour guide for the length of 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. The tour guide for this excursion will be a friendly resident of the local Qolweni community and township in Plettenberg Bay, ensuring an authentic and down-to-earth tour with a personal touch.
Check in at the Ocean Blue Adventures Shop approximately 15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin, and wear comfortable clothes, shoes, a hat and sunscreen. This tour requires you to have your own transport – the tour guide will drive with you to a safe parking lot across the road from the township. The first stop is the welcoming Siyakhula crèche, were the eager school children will entertain with songs and show off their school grounds. The crèche is closed on weekends and school holidays, in which case the tour will instead include meeting locals and learning about the history and culture of this inviting area. A bottle of water and a snack are included in this tour.
Robberg Nature Reserve Hike
As one of the most alluring natural attractions in the Garden Route’s Plettenberg Bay suburb, the renowned and historically significant Robberg Nature Reserve is a national monument and World Heritage Site, displaying incredible scenery and home to prehistoric rocks and artifacts that date back to the stone age. Hiking here is a popular attraction, where you could spot the rare blue duiker (the smallest antelope in Cape), bushbuck, Cape claw-less otters and mongooses. Varied and captivating birdlife also adds to the appeal, while the reserve displays incredible vantage points across the Indian Ocean, where you could spot whales and dolphins from land. We also feature Robberg on our Top Hiking Trails in the Garden Route blog post!
Check in at the Ocean Blue Adventures Shop approximately 15 to 30 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin, wearing closed and comfortable clothes, shoes, a hat and sunscreen. This tour requires you to use your own transport – the tour guide will drive with you from the departure point to Robberg Nature Reserve, and you will then drop the tour guide at the return point at the Ocean Blue Adventures Shop afterwards. A bottle of water is included in the tour, which lasts for the duration of about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
From the moment of arrival, the breathtaking beauty of this setting will enchant you, while a qualified guide is well versed and will share knowledge on the area, plant species and wildlife that is spotted. Starting along the north of the peninsula to The Gap, you will climb up to the cliffs that overlook the beloved Cape Fur Seal Colony, with the potential to spot patrolling sharks. The next length of the journey leads you down a large sand dune towards the southern “wildside” across Tombola Beach, followed by a walk around the island before making your way back to the starting point. This tour involves plenty of walking and some climbing, and is best suited to those with a moderate level of fitness.
Ocean Blue Adventures take pride in offering environmentally friendly and conservation based tourism, as well as holistic and memorable experiences with an emphasis on safety and comfort. All tours are aimed at raising awareness of Marine Mammal Conservation and, in cooperation with Qolweni Community Development Trust, are orientated towards conservation and community development, education and research.
Book your Plettenberg Bay holiday accommodation through Hello Garden Route, your friendly experts in Garden Route accommodation, to enjoy every moment of your stay. During your stay, take time to explore The Crags in Plettenberg Bay or try out some of the Best Sundowners in the Garden Route!