Best things to do in Plettenberg Bay
Find out more about those top places in Plettenberg Bay
Originally named Bahia Formosa, meaning beautiful bay, by Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa’s most spectacular landscapes. Known affectionately by locals as ‘the Plett’, the town itself is a wonderfully laid back resort town with clapboard houses and deluxe hotels stretching down to a coastline of white sand beaches and rolling waves. While the town itself is perfectly charming, Plettenberg Bay is best known as the gateway to the pristine sub-tropical forests and tidal estuaries of the Garden Route National Park and for whale spotting off the coast of the rugged Robberg Peninsula.
Deep in South Africa’s verdant Garden Coast is Tsitsikamma Bay National Park. Encompassing some of the country’s most dramatic scenery, including a plethora of often-raging rivers, rocky ravines and a marine reserve measuring a sizable 80 kilometers, the national park is one of South Africa’s hidden gems. Like many of the country’s excellent national parks, Tsitsikamma is crisscrossed by well-maintained trails, including the Otter Trail, which lets you get up close with clawless otters, and the Mouth Trail that showcases a breathtaking suspension bridge over Storms River.
The Plettenberg Bay area is cut through with plunging canyons that are perfect for adventure sports, including adrenaline pumping canyoning activities. With the help of expert tour guides, visitors to the canyons will explore the region’s immense landscape via abseiling, swimming, scrambling and floating.
The Garden Route National Park is South Africa’s most varied encompassing the ravines of Tsistikamma, the plethora of lakes, rivers and marshes that make up the Wilderness Section and the lush vegetation of the Knysna Forest. Best explored with a tour guide over the course of a few days, the park lets you get up close to elephants, go on thrilling dolphin spotting tours of Plettenberg Bay and take the plunge at the world’s highest bungee jump.
Beyond the base camp for Mouth Trail in Tsitsikamma National Park, the Storms River remains an unspoiled paradise perfect for nature lovers. Kayak tours are the perfect way to explore this tranquil wilderness, as they let you paddle into a bat cave, embrace your thrill seeking side by cliff jumping and see the picture perfect suspension bridge from below.