Plettenberg Bay hotels

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Partying Plettenberg Bay

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Plett’ by the teenage school leavers who descend upon this South African coastal resort in droves come November, Plettenberg Bay is either a congested tourist hub or an idyllic escape depending on which time of year you visit.

Plettenberg Bay’s sandy white beaches are where most of either the partying or mental repose takes place. But regardless of when you go, you can count on experiencing an aquarium-like marine atmosphere (without the entry price and floury hot dogs), plus no end of surfing, diving and snorkelling opportunities. Get stereotypical and send the boys for a round at the beautiful Goose Valley Golf Estate while the girls shop on Main Street, check out the dolphins, or just check out the lifeguards. Because Plettenberg Bay’s landscape isn’t the only photo-worthy thing!

Plettenberg Bay’s Top 10

10. Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary Take the one-hour guided tour for the best experience.

5. Gardenroute Wolf Sanctuary Emus, mountain tortoises and ponies keep the big bad wolves company here.

9. Storms River View the indigenous ferns at this amazing lunch stop.

4. Birds of Eden Duck! This is the world’s largest free-flight bird aviary.

8. Trumilk Dairy If your Plett vacation isn’t cheesy enough, sample some of Trumilk’s feta or camembert.

3. Monkeyland A monkey safari with amazing up-close moments. Hold on to your wallet!

7. Elephant Sanctuary Kinda pricey, but worth it to touch, feed and walk through the jungle with these amazing creatures.

2. Game Reserve Lions, zebras, hippos, giraffes, water buffalo, wildebeest, crocodiles, rhinos and antelope. Spend a day or stay overnight.

6. Harkerville Get lost in the labyrinth of little shops and cafés in this part of town.

1. Robberg Nature Reserve You’ll be kicking yourself if you miss the views from this walk along beaches and cliffs.

Plettenberg History

  • Nelson’s Bay Cave – Situated on the Robberg Nature Reserve, this cave contains evidence of human inhabitation from 100,000 years ago.
  • Beacon Isle Beacon – A stone replica of the original beacon erected in 1772.
  • Old Timber Store – Built in 1787, this was once the centre of the timber industry.
  • St Andrews Church – A national monument dating back to 1851.
  • Formosa Cottage – Built in 1885 by a mission schoolmaster from Wales.

Plettenberg Arts & Culture

  • Barnyard Theatre – Literally located in a renovated barn, this theatre showcases plays and musical events.
  • Lipschitz Gallery – The largest gallery on the Garden Route, representing developing and established local artists.
  • Qolweni Township Experience – A cultural tour of the neighbouring township.
  • Cradle of Mankind Khoisan Village – Situated just 45km away, the village offers guided tours and art classes.
  • Nyati jjj Distillery Tour & Mampoer Tasting – Buffalo Hills Game Reserve offers a unique insight into the production of mampoer.

Plettenberg Shopping

  • Old Nick Village – Housed in a 19th-century Cape settlement, the village has an array of galleries and shops.
  • Mohair Millshop – Now houses an extensive retail outlet for mohair, as well as other local products.
  • Porcupine Galleries – A unique collection of Raku ceramics and hand-embroidered shangaan cloths.
  • The Art House – A range of locally crafted goods is a great place for essential retail therapy fix.
  • The Old House Shop – Built in 1910, this house has retained its original charm.

Gay & Lesbian Plettenberg

  • Pink Loeire Mardi Gras – A gay-pride kind of carnival held each year in the neighbouring town of Knysna.
  • Tamodi Lodge and Stables – Same-sex wedding venue and romantic honeymoon destination.
  • Gay and Lesbian Film Festival – Showcasing local and international talent.
  • Cairnbrogie Barn – Hosts an annual Halloween party.
  • Plettenberg Park Hotel – Offering gay-friendly luxury accommodations.

Plettenberg Outdoor

  • Monkey Land – A unique primate sanctuary situated on 12 hectares of indigenous forest.
  • Plettenberg Bay Elephant Sanctuary – The perfect introduction to these dignified African giants.
  • Bloukrans Bridge – At 216m, this is the highest bridge bungee jump in the world and is situated just 40km from Plettenberg Bay.
  • Birds of Eden – The largest, free-flight bird aviary in the world.
  • Adventure Land – This enormous water park has a 75m-long super tube and a stuka 12m-high free-fall slide for the strong at heart.

Plettenberg Sport

  • Plettenberg Bay is one of the top South African destinations for polo enthusiasts.
  • The area boasts two 18-hole golf courses: Goose Valley and the Plettenberg Bay, which is considered one of the top 50 courses in the country.
  • A number of adventure companies offer guided sea kayaking tours.
  • With a number of popular surf spots, the bay was also host to the 2010 Wedge Classic surfing competition.
  • Horseback riding from beginners’ rides to champagne breakfast trails.

Plettenberg Bay Events

April camps it up for the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival . Performances and exhibitions (and a few exhibitionists) can be seen across the city.

The Cairnbrogie Easter Trail Run isn’t as gastronomically rewarding as an Easter egg hunt, but you’ll feel pretty special just for finishing it.

July bring the surfers into town for the annual Wedge Classic Competition. This is held into the lead-up to the South African Championships.

The 10-day annual Pick ’n’ Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, one of the country’s longest-running festivals, is packed with sport, entertainment and 200,000 oysters.

November and December see the Matric Rage take place as thousands of students descend on Plett to celebrate finishing school and annoy all other tourists.

When To Go

  • Plettenberg Bay has very mild temperatures. October through March is the peak of summer, with temperatures sitting around 30ºC (86ºF).
  • Winter can be rainy, especially in June, but averages a pleasant 19ºC (66ºF).
  • Summer is the busiest period for tourists, with many hotels booked out and the beaches swarming with bodies.

Getting Around

Walkingwill get you to the beaches and around the town centre. Taxis are a quick and easy way to get around, and are also reasonably priced and safe.Car hire is another good option. Rental companies abound!

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Hotels in Plettenberg Bay

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1 NH Plettenberg Bay

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