Plett in July

Plettenberg Bay is bursting with wonderful things to do at this time of the year.

We are in the middle of the July holidays and Plett is having a MAD Festival.

The Plett Music Arts & Drama Festival is all about showcasing our heritage and culture.  Everybody can get involved and everybody benefits with profits been ploughed back into the community.

The Whitehouse & Kids of Kurland brought us the 3rd Plett Fringe Festival which ran from the 26th June to the 1st July. We got to see poetry, drama, magicians, musical comedy and theatre at its best. These superb well-polished Fringe acts continue on their way to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown.

The first South African Food Film Festival was also being presented here in Plett as part of the part of the MAD Festival. Plett Tourism and iKasi Media have worked hard to bring us The Plett Food Film Festival. We believe it will become a national event.  Over a period of 3 days our senses were delighted with a feast of exclusive screenings of local and international movies and documentaries about everything to do with food and passionate foodies preparing their food.

We were privileged to be entertained by well-known chef Karen Dudley with her creative “love sandwich” that made her famous. She has also published two recipe books and is a fire ball of passion and fun.

Plettenberg Bay the perfect place to chill out in the July holidays and have all your senses spoilt.

love sandwich Karen Dudley the kitchen Karen Dudley

 

Plett Agility Club

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Cornerway House is one of Plettenberg Bay’s pet-friendly establishments and we really do love animals!  Plettenberg Bay now has its very own Agility Club. Plett Agility is a newly affiliated SADAA (South African Dog Agility Association, established in 2011) club and hosted its first dog show at Kurland Pavilion in … Continue reading

Robberg Nature Reserve

This gallery contains 26 photos.

Robberg Nature Reserve  – right here in Plettenberg Bay, in the Garden Route, you can enjoy an amazing hike that is jam packed with a variety of terrains and the most spectacular views of the Garden Route Coastline. While the Robberg Peninsula protects Plettenberg Bay from the full force of … Continue reading

Adventure and Passion at AfriCanyon

This gallery contains 18 photos.

  One of our guests had the opportunity to try out kloofing,  a good local name for canyoning, right here in the  Garden Route, specifically the Crags near Plettenberg Bay. This is his story….. “As everyone knows trying out new things can be a bit daunting. I was pleasantly surprised … Continue reading

Plett Downhill Rage

Since the birth of skateboarding in the early fifties, downhill skating has been transported to another level and in the last 10 years has become a phenomenal culture attracting the adrenalin junkies. It is both dangerous and fun and has to be the most thrilling experience on four wheels. Along with the growth of the sport we have seen incredible technology and there are a wide range of wheels and boards that are highly functional and innovative.

Last year we saw the final leg of the world series – Hot Wheels Africa 2012 – held in Kogelberg Biosphere Nature Reserve, close to Cape Town. It proved to be the right type of hill – long enough, fast enough and technical enough! It was a huge event attracting the largest crowd to date. We saw downhill gravity racers from all over the world competing. Douglas Silva from Brazil won the world title.

corners

On the 29th November – 1st December we will get to experience this amazing sport right here in Plettenberg Bay. Plett Downhill Rage Longboarding Event is set to take place over three days, we will get to see gravity powered longboard racers speeding down Plett’s very own Oddland Drive. The skaters are excpected to reach speeds of 100km per hour… there is no room for error. Top riders from around the country and our very own locals will get the opportunity to skate legally down Oddlands. Plettenberg Bay has such awesome hills, Natures Valley offers a scenic forest stretch that is full of turns and excites most skaters.
This event forms part of Plett Rage Student Festival and the organisers Nature Sport Company have made every effort to ensure the safety and well being of both participants and spectators. Sector 9 is one of the many sponsers and there is R40 000 worth of prizes up for grabs.

We are so excited to be hosting an event like this in Plettenberg Bay, allowing people the chance to experience the adrenalin rush of this sport. we trust it will become an annual event, just like Plett Rage has. For a taste of whats to come visit:

Radical Raptors

Radical Raptors is a real treat for those who are interested in birds and even those who aren’t; because you will certainly be left intrigued! Radical Raptors is a must visit- located at the Heath on the N2 about 7km out of Plettenberg Bay towards Knysna .

Adult raptors have few predators and can live up to 20 to 30 years in the wild. Unfortunately because of their slow breeding rate and high mortality (only about ¼ survive their first year), population is reduced. Human impact,  poisoning, illegal trade and hunting, inexperienced hand raising, also contributes to further drops in survival.

At this Birds of Prey Rehabilitation and Awareness Centre – they rescue, rehabilitate and release these magnificent birds of prey. The centre trains the raptors to ensure they are able to hunt and take care of themselves, then releases them as soon as possible. If the birds are non-releasable they are trained and free flown in order for us spectators to experience their amazing abilities in their natural surroundings. You can watch their outstanding flying performances, some will even land on your gloved hand. These birds play a huge role in creating community awareness of the impact of humans on their environment. It definitely stopped me using poison to eradicate mice.

Our beautiful gardens at Cornerway House are often alive with local birds so we really appreciate the work of Radical Raptors towards the survival of indigenous birds in the Plettenberg Bay area.

Radical Raptors, which is run as a non profit organisation, was opened 4 and ½ years ago by Janet and Dennis. They are both passionate about their raptors and educating the public. Every visitor contributes to the excellent work that is done here.

So if you are looking for a special experience with these majestic raptors – a visit to Radical Raptors in Plettenberg Bay is a highly recommended.

Plett welcomes the Whales

Humback Whale TailEach year with great anticipation we welcome the first appearance of whales in our Plettenberg Bay. They are such welcomed visitors, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to visit our coastline and bask in our warmer Indian Ocean water.

Southern right whales were almost hunted to extinction, because they were the right whales to hunt – hence their name. They visit Plettenberg Bay between June and November to mate and calve; who wouldn’t want spend time in our beautiful bay?  A fully grown Southern right whale can weigh up to 80 tons – almost 12 african elephants and can live up to 50 years. A close encounter is something not to be missed , they are truly massive and magnificent. They are easily identified by their black colour and callosities on the head: “little bonnets”. It is difficult to distinguish their sex but if you happen to see them mating and are fortunate enough to be close, the 4 metre male organ makes identification relatively obvious! :)  The female’s gestation period is approx. 12 months and the calf’s birth occurs in the same waters of Plettenberg Bay a year later.

whaleHumpback whales pass our shores on their way to their breeding grounds of Madagascar and Mozambique. They are the most energetic of all the large whales and are well known for their spectacular breaching, lobtailing, flipper slapping and skyhopping. Bryde Whales, smaller and slender are seen all year round, their large upright dorsal fin makes them look like huge dolphins.

So jump at the opportunity to go out with one of our local Whale watching boats and get really close to these mammoth mammels. Boats with permits are allowed to approach whales within 50 metres. Plettenberg Bay has several species of whales, dolphins and marine birds. Along Robberg Nature Reserve Peninsula you can see our large colony of Cape Fur Seals, the peninsula is also a great place for viewing whales.

whales

Whether you prefer the close encounter, on a comfortable boat, an energetic kayak trip, a stroll on one of our beautiful beaches, or rather a bench perched at one of our look-out points with binoculars, take time out to watch the whales. Plettenberg Bay is known as the whale capital of the world!

Land Art 2013 in Plettenberg Bay

AndreaSPlettenberg Bay was recently privileged to play host to the 2nd Site-Specific International Land Art Biennale as the landscape of Plett was transformed into a canvas for the land artists – our terrific landscapes, stunning ocean and beautiful beaches making it the ideal location for this event. Cornerway House’s Dee contributed to the 2011 event, so we were really looking forward to seeing what the artists produced for 2013.

Plett welcomed South African, international and our local artists and offered our large, protected landscapes as their “blank canvas” and we weren’t disappointed as each artist expressed their creativity using natural materials to create their masterpieces. We saw the greater Bitou communities, like Kurland, Harkerville and Kwanokuthula, come together and learn from great artists. There were a variety of workshops that the public could attend. Andrew van der Merwe”s Beach Calligraphy workshop was so inspiring. The Youth from New Horizon Youth Project wrapped trees in red ,pink, white and green, representing Hiv, Breast Cancer, Domestic Violence and looking after our Environment.

margie ford land artWe started our tour at the Beacon Island car park and were fascinated by the beauty and simplicity of Margie Ford’s and Ken Heyn’s installation “Go with the flow!” Definitely one of my favourites, and it endured the bad weather and went on for days.

A meander up to the Hotel was full of surprises, Diane Victor ‘s Whale Bones laid out majestically on the lawn. A tribute to and reminder of the whales that were once hunted and killed during the days of the old whaling station, the site on which the Beacon Island Hotel is built.

Carol Sach’s installation on the rocks, close to the swimming pool, depicting Whale Tails and their sperm was so creative and blended so well with the surroundings . The big nest precariously perched on the rocks by Anja Wiehl, took us by surprise. Gordon Froud’s series of figures on the rocks , made out of wattle, beach sand and AB glue were sybomlic of the silent protest … we all go through daily.

Back down on Central Beach, the sand art & calligraphy: razor sharp cut outs in the sand were amazing. The child in me came alive and was truly delighted by the huge labrinthes . Sadly the tides did take their toll and these creations were lost. We saw amazing installations on Look Out Beach like the “Sea Urchins” and the “Earth Pods”

Another of my favourites was “Genius Loci” by Andrea Cristoforetti and driftwood man, Roger Trebilcock.

Land-Art-Plett

Those are just some of our favourites of the Land Art Biennale 2013 in Plettenberg Bay. We really enjoyed the show and look forward to welcoming the Land Artists back to Plettenberg Bay soon!

Head over to the Site Specific Pinterest Page for more of the artworks

A Vibrant Habitat

Birds of Eden is just off the N2 north of Plettenberg Bay, about a 20 minute drive from Cornerway House.  The sanctuary which is a huge dome, covers about 2 hectares of indigenous forest. It is home to about 3000 birds, that have been rescued, no longer wanted or are in need of a secure environment. Here they can live in a natural protective environment. There are over 200 species. One can take a guided tour or stroll on your own. They have a very comprehensive booklet which makes the identification process easier. Birds of Eden’s mission is to care for the birds and educate the public.   Jandaya Conure
One unintentionally seems to overlook the majestic life of the bird. Once we walked through the doors and into the “Garden of Eden” this changed within a split second. I felt humbled by walking into this vibrant mixed habitat of these colourful, complex creatures that I don’t often acknowledge, grateful that these birds have been taken in to flourish all together, kind of like a Noah’s Ark.

Ibis

We couldn’t start the journey until we had fuelled up on an English Breakfast at the stunningly positioned little restaurant in the garden. This overlooks the bird pond that is home to hundreds of brightly coloured ducks, ibis, flamingo and proud nesting weavers. You can’t help but become enchanted instantly!

We walked through the garden at a leisurely pace (keep your camera battery fully charged!) most of the way accompanied by friendly ring-necks perched on our shoulders, stuff out of story-tales.

Ringneck

The garden consists of an incredible bamboo suspension bridge, (that makes your tummy slightly tingle) an overhead flowing waterfall, that you pass underneath and boardwalks laid out in a magical mezzanine-like layout, that takes you from top to bottom of the valley that is Birds of Eden. You are lead from the birds on and around the water where the colourful creatures that prefer the ground to graze,
all the way to the parrots and enormous South American bats claiming the higher reaches of the enormous enclosure.
If you have the time, and love it as much as we did, definitely take a walk around again, we did!

Since I was exposed to the beautiful creation that is the “Birds of Eden” I have a new found respect and appreciation for these magnificent creatures!

We highly recommend “Birds of Eden” and will definitely be back sooner than later for another enchanting visit!

Birds of Eden was created back in 2005, and is the largest single free flight aviary in the world. Check out http://www.birdsofeden.co.za

Here are some more of our photos from the visit to Birds of Eden:

PheasantSpoonbill

Red Lory

birds of eden

curious birdsblack swans

Flamingo

Mute swan

Land Art Plettenberg Bay

Land art KeurboomsIn 2011, Plettenberg bay hosted South Africa’s first international Land Art event presented by Site Specific. The artist–led project was conceived by Strijdom van der Merwe and Anni Snyman in an attempt to create more opportunities for Land Art in South Africa.

Cornerway House’s Dee, was a “Gorilla” Land Artist for this site-specific week in 2011 in Plettenberg Bay. Her concept was an installation in the Square outside a popular Coffee Shop, Liquor Store, not a very sophisticated Supermarket and an Arty Video Store. This evoked the need to display THE DICHOTOMY of BITOU.
Dee used the tree in a giant planter situated in the middle of the Square and draped it with opposing items. The one side represented the beauty and natural resources including items of learning. The other side contrasted enormously with 3 mobiles hanging off the branches made of syringes, a condom circle and a large pomander of beer cans, wine and brandy bottles. This representing the destructive elements of our society! Needless to say we had no neutral comments passed on this installation!.Dee Land Art

Dee Land Art 2011

 It is with great excitement and anticipation that we will be hosting the 2nd International Land Art Biennale event in Plettenberg Bay. Between 10 & 17 August2013 our landscapes and open spaces will be artistically transformed into a visual ecstasy. This land art event celebrates the beauty of our natural environment and our rich cultural history. It allows the community spirit, that is in all of us to be enhanced and transported to another level….
This promises to be an awesome event, as we will have such influential artists from South Africa and overseas, sharing with our very own local artists. This year we see the inclusion of the Site Specific side artists, which allows artists to take part at their own exspense.

One of these fringe artists is Adriaan Augustyn who, together with Pletts phenominal Malcom Solomens, will create a work that has been inspired from their observation of the way man has become, through ignorance, arrogance and greed, unconscious and conscious agents in the destruction of nature. “The chain of ‘trash’ is suspended within the forest
tunnels and along the paths symbolizing the vortex nature of water going
down the drain. The aim is to raise awareness in those that witness this
work at how each action has a reaction. The days of dumping waste far
away, are gone and each individual is now challenged to evaluate his part in
the creation of the vortex drain of our natural resources. At this point
lies the opportunity for change and creating a new and inspirational vortex
with the potential to uplift rather than destroy.”  They will be sourcing their materials from the Win Win Swop Shop, a recycling initiative started last year.site specific

site specific

site specificFor more information on the International Land Art Biennale 2013, events and artists visit   www.sitespecific.org.za

If you would like to visit Plettenberg Bay for this exciting event, please contact us on cornerwayhouse@mweb.co.za or visit our www.cornerwayhouse.co.za