Plettenberg Bay at a glance
The Garden Route has a Mediterranean Maritime climate, with moderately hot summers, and mild to chilly winters. It is one of the richest rainfall areas, most of which occurs in the winter months, brought by the humid sea-winds from the Indian Ocean. Any time of the year is good for visiting the area, depending if you enjoy a peaceful retreat during the winter months or a bustling holiday destination during the summer.
Originally christened "Bahia Formosa" (beautiful bay) by early Portuguese explorers, Plettenberg can now be accessed by first class national roads, by sea or by scheduled air flights.
The great forests lying at the feet of the fabled Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains are the gateway to the incredible indigenous African wealth of Plettenberg Bay, which lies on South Africa's spectacular south coast, 210kms from Port Elizabeth and ± 600kms from Cape Town. The Outeniqua / Tsitsikamma indigenous forests are a unique mixture of Cape fynbos and temperate forest and offer the nature lover world-renowned hiking trails and an exciting opportunity to see the last remaining forest elephants of South Africa. The entire area teems with birdlife. Nearly 300 species are to be found in the great variety of habitats ranging from fynbos to forest to wetlands.
No less than ten important nature reserves embrace the varied eco-systems of the area as well as unique marine reserves, home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. The bay itself is nursery to the endangered Southern Right Whale which comes here to calve in the winter and spring (July to December).
The area is of course a sports paradise and boasts fabulous trails for hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders and canoeists. The highlight of the area is undoubtedly the rivers, beaches and the bay with its ideal conditions for all facets of water sports, including sailing in the safe waters of the bay, superb rock and surf fishing and scuba diving spots. Alternately one can simply stroll along its clean, sandy beaches stretching for miles along the Indian Ocean or enjoy its safe swimming areas.
At night, Plettenberg Bay is alive with pubs, night-spots and fine restaurants. A wide range of accommodation offers luxury hotels, exclusive country retreats, cosy bed and breakfasts, self catering chalets and excellent camping facilities.