Maybe you’ve visited Plettenberg Bay before, and maybe you haven’t; maybe you’ve heard about our world’s-highest bungy, indescribable Robberg nature reserve and wonderful whale-watching, and maybe you haven’t.
There’s always something more to explore in and around Plett: hikes, mountain biking, scuba diving, restaurants, winelands, zip-ling and, and, and… it can seem a bit overwhelming to plan your holiday when there is so much from which to choose. And we wouldn’t presume to tell you what was absolutely unmissable (except, maybe Robberg) however, we will share some of our coastal town’s best-kept secrets – just to keep you thinking and dreaming, and make your planning just a little bit easier (and your decision making just a little bit harder 😉)…
Nature’s Valley is the only residential area that actually falls within a South African national park – the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park, to be precise. The little hamlet itself is nothing more than a few narrow roads lined with log homes – some holiday homes and some permanent residences, but it’s what surrounds Nature’s Valley that makes it so precious. There are a series of hikes, the best-known of which is the Salt River hike (accessed either along the coast or down into the valley from The Crags), but there is also a magnificent lagoon, beach and indigenous forest just waiting to be explored. Flora and fauna abound and there is a sense of peace and wonder in driving the winding road into the valley – surrounded by ancient trees and vines, birdlife and emerald ferns. It’s well worth the short drive from Plettenberg Bay (35km from Amakaya Backpackers).
SIMON’S BAR AT EMILY MOON
As if you could tire of looking at ocean views in Plettenberg Bay, but if you ever do, take a trip to Emily Moon and visit Simon’s Bar – it’s like stepping into another world. Located above the popular Emily’s Restaurant, Simon’s Bar is a casual dining experience with exceptional flavours and truly magnificent views (especially at sunset) over the meandering Bitou River and Bitou River Valley. Beautifully designed with vintage boat engines and water-skis, Simon’s serves up artisanal pizza – wood-fired and brimming with locally sourced ingredients. The barman also makes a mean cocktail. You’ll find Simon’s just off the N2 (7km from Amakaya Backpackers).
STAND-UP PADDLE KEURBOOMS RIVER
That thing that you feel when you’re exploring an area on foot, that heightening of your senses? Well, that’s a bit like taking a paddle up the gorgeous Keurbooms River (also a nature reserve, incidentally). The Keurbooms Lagoon stretches from Lookout Beach, across to Keurboomstrand and then passes under the N2 to meander inland. It’s a haven for birdlife and marine life and, on a given day, you could spot flamingos, Cape fur seals, Knysna turaco, kingfishers, and a solo black swan. To explore the nature reserve, you’ll take a boat trip up the river and spend an hour paddling and taking in the incredible natural surroundings. (8km from Amakaya Backpackers).
PLETTENBERG BAY GAME RESERVE
A Big Five game reserve in the heart of the Garden Route? Yes, it’s true! The reserve, although on the smaller side compared to some (at 2000ha), is a marvellous chance for those travelling the Western Cape to experience a true South African safari. Lions, rhino, giraffe, elephants, springbok and much more. An exciting addition to the usual safari experience is the reserve’s Horse Safari. Don’t worry, you don’t visit the predators, but rather experience our indigenous wildlife as it was intended – listening to the sounds of the wild and moving amongst them as a vehicle never could. For experienced riders only. (22km from Amakaya Backpackers).
PACKWOOD WINE & DAIRY FARM
The best-known region of Plettenberg Bay for visiting wine farms is Redford Road in the Crags and, with good reason, this is where most first-time visitors choose to start. However, tucked away in the forest, with surprising ocean views, between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, is the lovely Packwood Country Estate. Part dairy farm and part vineyard, Packwood gives new meaning to a cheese & wine experience. The restaurant is set amongst lovely gardens with views across the vineyards to the ocean in the distance and is the perfect place to while away an afternoon surrounded by homemade bread and cheese and Packwood’s award-winning wine and MCC bubbly. (20km from Amakaya Backpackers).
Have we helped you to plan your Plettenberg Bay holiday, or made it more difficult to decide how long to stay? Luckily, we’ve got you covered with our accommodation options: apartments, dorm rooms, private rooms – you choose here.