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 the Indian Ocean, there is little protection from the elements on the hike and one must be prepared for changes in the weather. The Peninsula is managed by Cape Nature and is very accessible.
There are three hiking trails varying in length and difficulty. They are circular routes which are set out in a clockwise direction. The longest being the Point Circular hike, 9.2 km, some say 11km, I have never measured it but definitely felt it! A must for those with descent walking shoes and time. This is not for the faint hearted and is the most difficult route in the reserve. Starting on the north side you climb up the steep rocky slope. It leads along a ridge, here you get to hear, see and smell the Cape fur seals, who have their colony on the rocks below. They spend their days relaxing in the sun and swimming around. The Point is home to large numbers of Swift Terns and Kelp Gulls, who have decorated the rocks with their droppings. Above The Point you will see Plett’s new lighthouse, SA’s baby lighthouse, but it happens to be the highest light in the country, 129m above sea level. There is a fairly long section of dangerous rocky coastline on your return. It is rugged and beautiful, low tide is the best time for this section.You go past the wonderful Fountain Shack, that is always fun to stay in. It is tough but soon you are back at the beach, where you can regain your strength for the final section.
Witsands Circuit is 5.5 km and roughly 2 hours, anyone with reasonable amount of fitness should not miss out on this one. Start the same way as the Point Route but when you get to the huge sand dune you go right and slide to the bottom. The white beach is called a tombolo, an unusual strip of sand, which connects an island with the main land. An ideal place to take a swim. If the sun is shining definately a place to relax, swim and explore. A brisk walk around the the island is fun, there are boardwalks and you will get to see the black backed gulls squaking at you. When you finished you continue back to The Gap, a steep gully and some rugged rocks.
If you pressed for time definitely make an effort to do the 2km hike to The Gap. The section between the mainland and the peninsula, which is very distinctive and can be seen from far away. A well situated bench affords you such stunning views, I love to sit there and contemplate life. The view across the bay to Keurbooms River Mouth and our awesome Tsitsikamma Mountains is not to be missed.
Whatever route you decide – enjoy! Remember good shoes, a hat, sunscreen, jacket and of course full water bottles and a good snack will always be appreciated.