One of the Garden Route's top holiday destinations, Plettenberg Bay is a horseshoe-shaped bay complete with long, sheltered beaches and wonderful views of the deep-blue Tsitsikama Mountains. The town itself may be small but it's the favourite seaside playground for South Africa’s big spenders as evidenced by the huge villas set in prime positions on the town's surrounding hills.
However, Plettenberg Bay - or Plett as it's usually called - is a destination for all. Local nature reserves will keep hikers and outdoor enthusiasts happy (head for the trails of the famous Robberg Peninsula for excellent walking) while families will be delighted with Plett's excellent child-friendly beaches - there's plenty of room, lots of sun and sand, and warm, shallow water.
There is one busy main street with enough restaurants, cafes and shops to keep you busy, but once you've had your fill of the lazy beach life, the best thing to do is get out of town and start exploring other Garden Route attractions such as the town of Knysna and the Tsitsikamma Forest.
A Plettenberg Bay holiday is also a top choice for animal encounters: go on boat trips to see the resident pods of dolphin and between June and November you can experience some of the best boat-based whale watching in the country. Back on dry land, interact with orphaned elephants at the Crags Elephant Sanctuary, spend a couple of hours at the entertaining Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary or take a walk through the forested “Birds of Eden” – the largest free flight aviary in the world.
During the midsummer months of December and February, Plettenberg Bay becomes a party town: its beaches attract big crowds, bars and restaurants fill up and there’s a humming nightlife. If you’re looking for a quiet seaside escape, visit during the later months of February and March when there's still plenty of heat and sunshine but far fewer people.
As might be imagined, there is a wide selection of accommodation available in the area, ranging from luxurious beach houses and treetop suites - perfect for a honeymoon hideaway - to off-the-beaten-track forest lodges and family-friendly country estates. Browse our recommendations or contact one of our African Safari Experts for advice in planning your Plettenberg Bay holiday.
At a Glance
South Africa's summer playground, 'Plett' sits at the heart of the Garden Route and offers a classic beach holiday experience plus golf, hiking and plenty of activities.