Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape
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Plettenberg Bay was originally called Bahia Formosa, or beautiful bay, by Portuguese explorers.
Plettenberg Bay is one of the major attractions on the Garden Route. Its location on the Indian Ocean coast, surrounded by mountains and nudging the famous Tsitsikamma forest, makes it one of the top visitor destinations in South Africa.
Understandably, with these abundant natural resources, there's plenty to do in the charming seaside town. Popular Plettenberg Bay activities include exploring the bay by boat, canoeing its waterways, dolphin and seal spotting, and - in season - whale watching excursions, when Southern Right whales come into the bay to calve.
Plett is also renowned as an adventure destination, with dozens of heart-stopping experiences to its credit. You can enjoy a canopy tour through the stunning Tsitsikamma forest, some 30m up. Skydiving is an exhilarating way to take in the bay and coastline from the air.
The town also boasts a number of wilderness experiences, including several walks and hikes through the forest, indigenous fynbos, gorges and mountains. You can do game drives in the Plett Game Reserve, which boasts 4 of the Big 5, as well as horseback safaris. For a personal wildlife encounter, visit the Tenikwa Widlife Centre and take a once-in-a-lifetime walk with the resident cheetahs.
Plettenberg Bay is also home to a thriving arts community. Visit the nearby Simunye Community Centre for a fantastic selection of locally-produced arts and crafts, including wood, metal and beadwork. You can also do the Cruise the Crags route, which includes a number of artists' workshops and farm stalls.
Take a break from the action with a relaxing stroll on the beach, a round of golf at any of the prized courses in the area or a visit to Plett's own wine estate.
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