Nestled in the easternmost part of the Western Cape is one of South African’s favorite places to get away from it all for a weekend (or a week). And if you’re planning a Garden Route adventure (as many do), you should definitely make a plan to stop in Plettenberg Bay, which offers plenty of opportunities to stay active and see the local wildlife of the area. Here are the top reasons to make your escape to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.
It has beaches that you can actually swim in
Plettenberg Bay has fabulous beaches including Robberg and Central Beaches. What differs from the beaches here over the popular beaches in Cape Town is that visitors can safely swim in the water. There are plenty of beachfront hotels lined up by the water, making it convenient for overnight visitors to access the family-friendly beaches. It’s also common to to see people playing volleyball and other games on the beach, making it a lively place to hang out in the summer. However, if you want a quieter scene, it’s recommended to visit during winter, when beach-goers are more likely to spot whales doing belly flops out in the ocean.
You can meet monkeys
While visiting the area, make sure to stop by Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary, a large protected portion of forest full of rescued monkeys. The primates were rescued from a lifetime of being caged in zoos, labs or kept as illegal pets. Guests can learn about the primates and observe them closely in their comfortable sanctuary of trees. The place has continually received awards for being one of the most “wild” places for monkeys in captivity to freely roam since the sanctuary is a genuine forest. It’s estimated that more than 500 primates currently live in Monkeyland.
Love to golf? Then this is your place
Plettenberg Bay is home to a handful of country clubs with pristine golf courses. What makes the courses so special is of course, the beautiful backdrop views (like the one above) golfers will get as they hit a hole in one. Golf courses like Pezula Championship Golf Course have a stunning cliff-side view of the ocean while other locations like Kingswood Golf Estate (above) and Fancourt Golf Courses have idyllic lakes with towering mountains nearby. So make your golfing buddies back at home jealous and book a round or two.
It’s a birding paradise
If you’re wondering where some of the world’s best aviaries are, you’ll find one right here in Plettenberg Bay. Birds of Eden is a 5.7 acre wide sanctuary of netted forest and is home to around 200 species. Guests can go inside the large enclosure of wild trees and a waterfall to see the birds flying freely in the sanctuary. Like Monkeyland, Bird of Eden also receives multiple awards for its welfare of the birds, giving them the best “wild” lifestyle as possible in captivity.
You can go kayaking
While you can explore the gorgeous land by foot, it’s ideal to hop on a kayak and get up close and personal with the ocean. There are two national parks where kayakers are permitted; Tsitsikamma National Park and Garden Route National Park. A water pathway tucked between mountains leads kayaks through some of the most breathtaking views in South Africa, where you can often see some native animals like bush pigs grazing nearby. Guests can also opt to sea kayak in designated portions of the ocean to spot whales and dolphins. You can rent kayaks in the area from Dolphin Adventures.
You can swim with seals
You can swim with the adorable seals in their natural habitat with the help of Offshore Adventures, a local outfitter that can assist you with all your snorkeling needs. For thrill-seekers, you may want to take advantage of the company’s other program, Swimming with Sharks. Whatever program you go with, you’ll make fantastic memories along with photos to make your friends and family back at home seething with envy.
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