The Robberg Nature Reserve
Did you know?
The name "right" whales, as in Southern right whales, originated from the early days of whaling to identify whales that were the "right" ones to hunt.
The Robberg Nature Reserve lies along South Africa's gorgeous Garden Route and is famed for its flourishing Cape fur seal colony, whales, incredible southern ocean and coastal bird life and unique fynbos. Conveniently close - only 8 km south - to the town of Plettenberg Bay, Robberg is not only a marine reserve and favoured hiking destination, but is also a national monument because of its Stone Age caves.
The reserve stretches into the sea for about 4 km, so you'll get fantastic views of both the shoreline and ocean. Three beautiful hiking trails of varying lengths wind through and around this Garden Route nature reserve with its 110 million year-old rocks and plentiful whales and dolphins. You can fish off the rocks and in the surf, but you'll need a permit from the local Post Office.
If you want yet another view of the Robberg Nature Reserve on the Garden Route in South Africa, you can take a sea kayak ride with an experienced guide from Plettenberg Bay's Central Beach. You'll get a much more personal experience of the local seal colony, bottlenose and humpback dolphins and southern right, humpback and Bryde's whales. Back on land, try to spot the blue duiker, the peninsula's smallest antelope as you hike through very rare and protected Montane fynbos, which has adapted to the unforgiving coastal conditions.
The Nelson Bay caves is an important Stone Age site and offers detailed interpretation facilities. The area was first occupied 120 000 years ago and the historical first European inhabitation in South Africa also took place nearby. Survivors from the shipwrecked Portuguese vessel Sao Goncalo camped on a beach here for nine months in 1630 while building two small boats.
The Robberg Nature Reserve is one of South Africa's most interesting, beautiful and diverse reserves - don't miss it if you're in the area.