More fondly called “Plett,” Plettenberg is found within the municipality of Bitou in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Its first name was Bahia Formosa which translates to “beautiful bay” given to it by the early Portuguese explorers. From south to north of Plettenberg Bay, you can enjoy a stupendous view of mountains facing the Indian Ocean surrounded by Fynbos and luscious forests. The bay waters are a surprising mix of warm and cold water temperatures which explains the biodiversity of marine life in the area. The bay’s peninsula is known as Robberg or Seal Mountain and includes the Nelson Bay Cave which is an archaeological site that dates back 120 000 years ago. The greater Plettenberg Bay, on the other hand, has wetlands, sand dunes, forests, and lagoons. If you’re an artistic soul you might want to bring along some art supplies to capture the scenery; and if you’re adventurous, Plett has much to offer…
Aside from Buffalo Hills, there are many other choices in accommodations scattered around the bay. Choosing one, though, should be based on proximity to the areas you plan to visit. Many of the upper scale accommodations offer first class suites, tents, lodges, and deluxe rooms where time almost seems to stand still owing to the fact that you feel encapsulated in a world unlike a modern city but equipped with convenient amenities and facilities.
The Robberg Peninsula
This peninsula is the habitat of the Cape fur seal colony. There are also whales like the Bryde’s humpback, killer whales, and Sei whales which can be seen from viewing decks and viewpoints in different high locations around the bay. Different dolphin species can also be found here like the humpback, bottle-nosed, and common dolphins.
The Robberg Trail is an hour-long breath-taking view of Plettenberg Bay that passes through a reserve. There is a fee to pay which includes the entrance to, and permit to use, the facilities. You have a choice of walking, hiking, or running through the trail, although you will have to pick your shoe wear carefully. The terrain is not constant and shifts between rocky to sandy and from beach to forest. If you’re lucky, you might see the infamous Robberg Express.
The Robberg Express is a famous 8.6m long great white shark. It occasionally gets in the news when a famous celebrity or personality swimming in Plettenberg Bay feels he or she has been stalked or close to shadowy figure swimming in the waters. One of the most talked about incidents was in 2008 when David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the UK, visited the bay with his family and was seen racing out the waters because of a shadow he saw in the water. Nothing happened and the family was back swimming the next day.
During the holidays, Plettenberg is usually filled to the brim and bursting with the influx of visitors, many of which are local South Africans from nearby areas.