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Gavin Explores - South Africa (Part 4)

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Plettenberg Bay

Plett has the perfect mix of relaxation, as well as adventures. It has coffee shops and beachside bars, but also fine dining and fancy restaurants.

Oh, Plett. How I love you so. I was originally going to put this on the end of the last blog post about the Garden Route, but it had already amassed quite a few words outlining our trip, and I knew this wasn’t going to be a fleeting paragraph, so dedicated an entire post to Plett. That’s how much I love Plett, it gets it’s own post! Based at the end of the Garden Route and towards the end of the Western Cape, Plettenberg Bay is top on most peoples list of places to go to in South Africa. After igniting my love affair with this beachside town in 2016 and rekindling the flame this January, it is in officially in my top three places, up there with Koh Tao and Athens. The holy trinity of holiday chill out spots. I recently read a post by my friend AnyTravelingHeart about returning to a place you love so much



Plett is oozing with AirBnBs, regular BnBs and a big old hotel on Becon Island, in the heart of the bay. Last time we stayed in a lovely AirBnB flat just west of the town and close to the infamous Robberg beaches, this time we are staying in a family friend of Andrew’s lovely flat in Western Plett. There really is a lot of choice. Be warned, over the Christmas and New Years break most of the Johannesburg elope south for a few weeks of sunshine and Plett becomes Joburg-By-The-Sea, and accommodation gets booked up PDQ.

Eating & Drinking

Cornuti Pizzeria I had one of the best pizzas of my life here, I told the waiter, who brought out the two young chefs who were over the moon. Wonderful place.

The Table – Along the main street, lovely spot for dinner or lunch.

Ghillies Grill – Opposite The Table, only stopped here for a wine or two, as it seems to close pretty early. Very chilled though

Spurs – SOUTH AFRICAN INSTITUTION. They have those in London too, so don’t rush.

The Look Out – Beach side bar/restaurant

Equinox – Below The Look Out, it’s very glam, so obvs haven’t eaten there yet.

Fat Fish – Fat Fish has become our ‘last night in Plett’ meal place. It’s wonderful. You can’t book a table outside, but you can turn up and wait. Well worth it.

Things To Do

This itself requires an entire book as there are plenty of activities to occupy yourself.

Robberg 5 & Other Beaches

One of the biggest draws to Plett is it’s wonderful Blue Flagged beaches. The Robberg beaches (the beach sections are broken up by numbers 1 – 7) are famous throughout South Africa. Be warned, the waves are choppy and the rip-currents are strong, it’s been known to kill swimmers.

AP1Choppy wave, see.

Knysna & Wilderness

Although these two places are well trodden stops on the Garden Route, you are not that far from them if you’ve missed them and are staying in Plett. Both towns are stunning fishing towns where you can spend the day taking in the sights and have a delicious dinner before driving home.

Plett Puzzle Park

I love puzzles, so the Plett Puzzle Park is basically my Mecca. You start in the huge 3D maze where you have to navigate ourself around to the four corners and answer 4 questions. Once completed you can take on the Forest Puzzle Tour, a kilometer walk through a forest with about a dozen puzzle stops. As we were in a rush when we did this, we ran most of it, adding to the drama. I love Plett Puzzle Park


Jukani Wildlife Reserve

Located directly next Plett Puzzle Park (god I love that place), Jukani is a huge, Jurassic Park-esque wildlife sanctuary for big cats (and bizarrely, one Honey Badger) which have all been rescued from captivity. As they have all been reared by hand, these cats are unfit to be released back into the wild, so Jukani gives them as much freedom as possible. The tour guides will walk you around their facility, giving you more information than you can possibly retain on the residents. They have several tigers, including a white tiger slowly going blind (L), about half a dozen lions, including two battling male lions in opposing inclosures that put on a very macho display for us (it involved a bit of growing and the victor flinging it’s piss at the other lion in an act of ‘up yours mate’). They have cheetahs (which were very cool), panthers, leopards and jaguars, which I will confess I still don’t the difference.


Monkeyland & Birds of Eden

Monkeyland & The Birds of Eden all fall under the same company with Jukani, meaning you can buy admission tickets for the three for a discounted price. We were pressed for time (and actually just not that fussed by birds) so only opted for Monkeyland. I’m sure you can guess what goes on in Monkeyland, but I’ll give you a clue; MONKEYS! Again, you get a guided tour around their facility which has about 700 residents and 12 different species, all roaming free around their land. We saw more Ringtail Lemurs than you can shake a stick at, an actual Gibbon (which is actually quite something) and were given a full show by a group of boisterous Capuchins who it seem love a good pile on. I’m lead to believe the Bird Sanctuary is very much of the same ilk, and I whole heartedly recommend Monkeyland, especially if it’s a drizzly day and you want to use the canopy to get out the rain, or even use it to protect you from the blazing sun for an hour or so.


Knysna Elephant Sanctuary

Although it’s name may imply it is not in Plett, it very much is located closer to Plett than Knysna (I think Knysna’s name carries more class than Plett’s, but I may well be wrong). This Elephant Sanctuary gives you an amazing experience to get up close with elephants, feeding them fruit and even walking with them through some grasslands. Like the other sanctuaries in Plett, these elephants are all rescued from capture/domestic situations, and we were told these elephants were being groomed to be release back into the wild, although I’m dubious.


Tsitsikamma & Storms River

About 40 minutes East of Plett is Tsitikamma National Park, and the mouth of Storms River. We took a hike up to the top of Tsitsikamma, where you get a beautiful viewpoint across the seafront.

The Robberg

A large peninsular that marks the boarders of Plett, the Robberg can be hiked in about 4-5 hours, taking in the amazing views and scenery, with chances of seals. Alternative, it can be halved which, but you miss out all the good stuff.

On our TO DO list:

Bloucrans Bungee – I had planned on doing this, the tallest bungee from a bridge in the world, over 200. But I bottled it.

Kayaking – Both Knysna and Storms River offer kayaks to rent per hour

Surf School – Self explanatory

Snake Park – Andrew is deathly scared of snakes, but I’m working on him

Plett Waterpark – Reviews are a bit mixed with this mind

Kloofing – I’m lead to believe this involves rock climbing and jumping into rivers. ALL FOR THAT.

Golf – for those of you that way inclined

Quad Biking – Haven’t been on one of those since the little mishap in Santorini

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