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- Getting to Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
- Plettenberg Bay Accommodation
- Plettenberg Bay Restaurants
- Things to do in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
- 1. Old Nick Village
- 2. Robberg Nature Reserve
- 3. Abseiling
- 4. Hog Hollow Horse Trails
- 5. Monkeyland
- 6. Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre
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Getting to Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Here are the approximate distances to get to Plettenberg Bay by car:
Distance from Knysna to Plettenberg Bay: 30 minutes, 30km
Distance from Cape Town to Plettenberg Bay: 6h, 520km
Distance from Port Elizabeth to Plettenberg Bay: 2.5h, 230km
There is a small airport at Plett Bay where you can fly in to. Otherwise, you can fly in to George or Port Elizabeth and drive from there.
Check out the best time to fly on Skyscanner or Momondo!
Plettenberg Bay Accommodation
The Old Rectory Hotel
During our long weekend trip in Plett Bay, we stayed at The Old Rectory Hotel. The oldest building in Plett Bay dating back to 1777, records show it was built by the Dutch East India Trading company. Read my full review in my upcoming post.
Check review on TripAdvisor! Survey the best prices on Booking.com and Agoda.
Plettenberg Bay Restaurants
1. Fat Fish
One of the best restaurants in Plettenberg Bay, it’s got a great view overlooking the sea.
Prior reservations are recommended especially if you arrive during dining hours. Here are some of the dishes I ordered and recommend:
Tuna Tataki – The presentation of this dish made the dish absolutely appetising. With the dashes of pink radish, assortment of greens and seaweed against the black porcelain plate, I couldn’t wait to dig in the moment I set eyes on it. While the miso was too salty that it overpowered the taste of the tuna, I liked how the appetisers had all sorts of textures to it.
Oysters – freshly served and thick, there was nothing more I could have asked of it. Definitely whets the appetite!
Poke bowl – Generous servings of sashimi with the thick, sweet sauce and an assortment of greens make this dish more overpowering than I would expect.
2. The Table Restaurant
Great atmosphere for celebrations and gatherings, I can see why this restaurant is so popular with the locals. On our one visit, we witnessed a table celebrating a birthday and another bachelorette party group.
Both indoor and outdoor seating gets crowded quickly, so be sure to arrive early if you don’t want to wait long!
We ordered a starter platter which consisted of amazingly-grilled halloumi cheese, battered squid and potato wedges. Even though it was an appetizer, we were stuffed from this sharing platter! That is one dish I definitely recommend if you’re coming with 2 or more people.
3. Kay + Monty Vineyards
30 minute north of Plett Bay centre, an old orchid greenhouse that was thoughtfully converted into a modern-rustic venue resides. Kay + Monty is now a wedding venue, tasting room and restaurant. (One of the reasons why I say South Africa is the best place for a honeymoon!)
Even with less than 8 hectares under grape, this boutique wine farm produces crisp Sauvignon Blanc and their signature delicious dry Chardonnay MCC.
In total, they have 220 hectares under their ownership, so you can imagine the endless view of nature this vast, sprawling estate offers.
I can see why anyone would use this location to hold a memorable event given how picturesque this farm is, especially when the venue is capable of seating up to 200 people.
P.S. Can you guess the origin of the unique name? They were actually named after the owner’s parents!
In partnership with Hog Hollow Horse Trails, they also offer a unique way of wine tasting by horse-drawn carriages.
We had the privilege of sampling some of the wines grown on this farm, along with some Caesar salad and a Meat & Cheese combo.
Even though the wines are their main draw (after all, we’re on a vineyard), the food we tried were so tastefully made and beautifully plated. Don’t pass on their homemade spreads – their chutney and red fig preserve are what I loved most!
TIP: Make sure to order a Meat & Cheese combo to go with your wines so you can get a chance to taste the best homemade spreads ever!
Things to do in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
1. Old Nick Village
Old Nick Village is a little ways north of Plettenberg Bay along highway N2.
A creative little shopping destination on Plett Bay, it’s built around a 19th century Cape trading store.
You’ll get to meet individual, creative creators through stores filled with locally-made African products, gemstones, ceramic collectibles and designer clothing of Africa.
Indulge in Belgian chocolates from Shautany Chocolates, take a stroll around the blooming nursery, and visit an eco-preschool which believes in nurturing little ones through nature.
P.S. Did you know that chocolate can be used to treat depression and poor sex drive?
It is here where you’ll also find a homeware textile company, Mungo Mill. Founded in 1998, each clothing piece is individually woven on their 16 antique and repurposed looms at their boutique weaving mill here. Their product range includes throws, bedding, kitchen and table linen, apparel and their signature flat-weave towel collection.
Made on a small scale with quality, sustainability and conscious consuming in mind, the end products that they produce are modern and minimalistic, providing warmth and cosiness to every household.
Through a free walking tour around Mungo Mill, we went through the different stages of weaving, up til the final product is ready to be sold. We’ve seen antique looms as old as 200 years old.
With its artisan collection, handmade crafts and manicured gardens, Old Nick Village exudes an earthy vibe, like a little garden that feels like you’re stepping into someone’s home.
An amalgamation of contemporary design with ancient crafts, this village is definitely an attraction in itself!
2. Robberg Nature Reserve
A popular hiking destination in Plettenberg Bay, Robberg Nature Reserve is a rocky peninsula sticking out of the mainland in the far south of Plettenberg Bay.
It is open to the public from 7am to 8pm, with an entrance fee of ZAR50/ USD3.50, which you pay at the entrance of the gate. There is limited parking at the end of the road, but if there isn’t, you can park along the side road after you enter.
Home to Cape Fur Seals and the occasional visiting dolphins and whales, I think it’s the rocky shoreline that steals the show.
What’s remarkable about the hike, other than the animals you spot along the way, is the rock formations. Our guide pointed us to the differences between the quartzite, conglomerate and sandstone rocks that dot the trail.
The Robberg Peninsula is in fact, one of the Middle and Later Stone Age archaeological sites, because of how they date back 130 to 110 million years to the early Cretaceous period! You can almost see the erosion of the rocks and the wave-like formations as a result of the waves.
While you can hire a guide to take you on a hike here, it’s perfectly doable on your own.
There are 3 loop routes:
The Gap – 2.1km
An easy introductory route for beginner hikers to get a feel of Robberg.
Witsand – 5.5km
This was the loop route we went on. In the first half of the trail, there are really remarkable views that will make you want to stop and snap pictures all the time.
At the furthest point of this trail, you’ll arrive on a sand dune, where you start descending to a beach, or 2 bays/ beaches separated by a body of sand. Afterwards, the trail loops back on the same path you started out from.
The Point – 9.2km
The Point leads you to the furthest point of the nature reserve. This takes you about 4 hours.
Other options to explore this peninsula includes kayaking and surfing.
We had the chance to experience abseiling in Plettenberg Bay with Africanyon. While their core business is in taking guests on river canyon adventures, a side activity they provide is abseiling, which we embarked on.
We were taken in a van and transported further into the forest, where a container a clearing rests. There, we were equipped with harnesses, helmets and such, and given a safety briefing of what to expect on a via ferret and when abseiling.
Taking about 2 hours, we traversed through roughly 100m in distance and 100m in height. While it seems little by theory, it felt a lot more because there was a lot of climbing up and down unevenly-sized rocks, balancing on the edge and conquering the fear of heights (if you have one).
Along the way, you can see the majestic mountains of the Tsitsikamma mountain range and quite possibly imagine yourself surrounded by the thick of the jungle.
At the furthest point out, we then abseiled down 50m. That was the scariest bit out of the whole activity because of how high we descended from, and the fact that there was no one but yourself to rely on to descend.
After abseiling all the way down, we reached a little river at the bottom, and it was there that we hiked up the same distance we came down from to return. The trail up was almost uprooted and not maintained very well. Along with the steepness, climbing up the loose soil proved to be somewhat of a challenge.
To someone who’s rock climbed before, abseiling didn’t pose much of a difficulty. However, it was the first time abseiling for Daniela, and she was stuck not knowing how to abseil for a while while we shouted instructions from the bottom.
On hindsight, we thought the safety briefing can be improved to assuage the fears of those doing it for the first time. A more detailed walkthrough on what to expect and how to use the abseiling devices would have been ideal.
Nevertheless, it was a good adrenaline activity offered in Plettenberg Bay that you shouldn’t miss!
TIP: If you’re booked in with them, try to arrive 30 minutes before so you have ample time to get ready.
4. Hog Hollow Horse Trails
At Hog Hollow, they have a 10- or 16-seater horse-drawn carriages ridden by 2 beautiful Percherons to take you to explore The Crags Winelands.
Starting at Kay + Monty, you’ll go through their beautiful property and go on a trail surrounded by the Tsitsikamma mountain range, riding through views of mountains, forest, farm land and old woodcutters trails.
While we missed the chance to sit on a horse-drawn carriage at Kay+Monty, they offered a much more exciting opportunity for me – to ride on my own horse!
Together with Owen, my horse guide, I was taken on a 30-minute horse ride where I learned to direct the horse and almost gallop.
I’ve always loved riding horses, so learning to control the horse beyond just following my horse guide got me really excited. There are also hour-long horse rides up til full-day horse rides available at Hog Hollow.
When I got back, I did a walk around the stables to say hi to the horses there. Most of the horses at Hog Hollow are rescued horses. They frequently run community programs for school children to interact with and learn how to ride horses.
I was hanging around the farm longer than usual playing with the horses and getting to know them when Owen decided to let me pay a visit to their little piglet farm behind the stables. They were adorable, albeit with their dirty snouts. Be sure to say hi for me if you ever stop by Hog Hollow!
Most of the monkeys in Monkeyland are rescued animals taken from labs, private homes, zoos, etc where they haven’t been treated fairly. They are kept at Monkeyland for 6 months to get used to being with other monkeys, and then finally released in the enclosure to interact with the other monkey species.
It’s as if these monkeys are given a second chance at life.
At Monkeyland, you can find different species of monkeys from different part of the world.
You’d think that given how active these primates are, they can easily escape. The 7-metre-high electricity fence is what keeps them in.
Go on a guided tour and you can learn all about the behaviour, lifespan, and more of each of the individual species. Our guide, Elano, was very knowledgeable and entertaining in introducing the lemurs, gibbons, capuchin and howler monkeys that we came across on our guided tour in the enclosure.
We also watched how berserk they went when it was feeding time. They were all so adorable, though some looked menacing and aggressive. My favourite would be the lemurs just because of how close in proximity they are to us humans and their bushy, striped tails that lend them an innocent look.
Did you know, you can hear howler monkeys from 5km away? That’s how loud they were howling! It is the loudest primate in the world that originate from Costa Rica.
6. Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre
At Tenikwa, they offer ethical, conservation-based tours to experience the indigenous wild cats of South Africa. Tenikwa accepts injured, abandoned or displaced wild animals from The Garden Route. They are then rehabilitated at their centre.
When you enter the centre, don’t miss the enclosure on your left, which houses the most beautiful snow lion I’ve ever seen. While I’m used to my share of orange-coloured lions, this lion is so white I wonder why it isn’t the star of Lion King instead!
Read other useful South Africa posts!
Special thanks to Plett Tourism for this experience! All opinions remain my own.
19 – 21 October 2019, Sat – Mon