04 February 2014 by Denise Slabbert

Fun things to do in Plett (and surrounds)

Situated along the scenic Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa’s prime tourist destinations, and both in season and out of season there are plenty of fun activities to do – from animal sanctuaries and organic markets to water sports and more on one of its many gorgeous beaches ...

Pink Plett sunset with the Beacon Island Resort in the background

Plettenberg Bay is one of South Africa's prime holiday destinations, with a great choice of beaches, adventure activities, excellent sporting options and lots more. So if you're heading to Plett, as it's known, any time soon, you might want to consider some of the following activities (in no particular order):

Foefie slide: Just outside Plett you'll find The Heath, a relaxed place to hang out and have coffee, browse the gorgeous deli, seek out the furniture and gift items on offer, and let the kids loose on the foefie slides (flying foxes/ziplines to those not from South Africa). On an extra hot day the trees provide welcome shade, and this hippie-ish glade offers a great space to relax and let the children be feral for a while. You can also find your mojo by taking a walk through the lavender labyrinth.

Foefie slides for kids at The Heath

The Harkerville Market is 10km outside Plett en route to Knysna. You can grab a great breakfast (eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato and sweetcorn fritter) and shop up a storm for everything organic and more. African curios, artworks, home-made craft, and delicious local produce and organic veg are all on offer. And the local DJ gets everyone into the spirit of things with tunes from way back when (yes, Neil Diamond and John Denver are both on his playlist).

Harkverville Market on a Saturday

Plett is all about the beach, and bodyboarding, surfing, splashing, sunning and swimming are all on offer until the sun goes down. The most popular beaches include Central Beach, Robberg Beach and Lookout Beach.

Bodyboarding in the waves off Central Beach

The Elephant Sanctuary: For a fun outing, visit this sanctuary and get close to these amazing creatures who once freely roamed this part of the world. The sanctuary also has a restaurant that offers good value-for-money breakfast and lunches, with a playground for children.

Connecting with pachyderms at the Elephant Sanctuary

There is no shortage of great places to eat in and around Plett, but if you want a relaxed meal in a gorgeous setting, try Zinzi Restaurant, part of the Hunter Hotels group. Situated in beautiful grounds, the place is kid-friendly, but you need to book your space in advance (particularly during peak season). Dishes are seasonal, and it's a good idea to start off with a gin and tonic in the gardens before enjoying a delicious meal from the varied menu.

Dining out at Zinzi

You'll find the Radical Raptors bird show at The Heath. The show is interactive, fun and informative, and the raptors are very impressive. The show is child-friendly, although not for toddlers (children from the ages of around five will enjoy the presentation).

The Radical Raptors show is a must-do

There are great walks in this part of the world, whether it's traipsing down the sandy mile of Robberg Beach, walking to the rocky outcrops of Central Beach, or visiting the Robberg Nature Reserve. You can also go to the Garden of Eden (run by SANParks), which is especially great on a very hot day when the shade of the indigenous forest cools and delights. Out of town you'll find Keurbooms Beach – take a stroll to Arch Rock, but watch out for those tides that can claim the beach quite quickly. And if you're there at lunchtime, stop off at Ristorante Enrico for a pasta with a view (the dolphins sometimes put in a star appearance).

Take a stroll on one of the many beaches

Boating up or down the Keurbooms River (depending on the tide) is an absolute must. If you're going up the river, you'll find private picnic/braai (barbecue) spots – great places to pull up a boat and hang out for an hour or two (CapeNature surprises with incredible ablution facilities literally in the middle of nowhere). You can also take the ferry (with a guide who'll tell you all about the area). You can hire your own boat through the Plettenberg Bay Angling Club.

Taking a boating trip on the Keurbooms River

There are some fun places to shop in Plett – the aforementioned Heath has some fun gift shops, while the Global Village & Earth Cafe has a range of creative offerings, and is a fun place for coffee. There are quite a few boutique shops down the main drag, not to mention beach-gear shops. There's also the Old Nick village – great for browsing for gifts and stopping off for breakfast or lunch. There's also a jungle gym for kids and art studios.

Shopping fun on offer in quaint village stores

The Wolf Sanctuary is a fascinating place – it was created out of necessity by the owner to provide a place for unwanted wolves that people had previously adopted as pets, but then found out they weren't very human friendly. This sanctuary is an interesting place and definitely worth a stopover.

Wolf encounters at the Wolf Sanctuary. All images by Ryan James/Darling Lama Productions

Adventurous visitors to the area might want to drive as far as Storms River, to bungee jump off the Bloukraans Bridge, the highest commercial bridge bungee jump in the world.

There are a number of fantastic adventure activities in this part of the world – but remember that Plett is also the ideal place for those who want to do not much more than naval-gaze with a view of the ocean.

Category: Adventure, Attractions, Food & Wine, Wildlife

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