Long before Van Riebeeck landed at the Cape, Portuguese explorers of the 15th and 16th centuries called in and charted the bay, the first being Bartholomew Dias in 1488. He named the mountains surrounding the bay 'Pic Formosa', meaning beautiful peak and till today Formosa Peak is still as the highest peak in the Tsitsikamma range. He gave the bay the name “Bahia Das Algoäs”, meaning Bay of Lagoons. Ninety years later Manuel da Perestrello aptly called it Bahia Formosa or the Beautiful Bay. The first white inhabitants were the 100 men stranded here for 9 months when the San Gonzales sank in 1630. In 1763 the first white settlers in the Bay were stock farmers, hunters and frontiersmen from the Western Cape. In 1778 Plettenberg Bay received the name as we know it today. This name was given by the Dutch Governor of the Cape, Joachim van Plettenberg.
Plettenberg Bay is the 'Jewel' of the Western Cape and the world famous Garden Route. Surrounded by nature reserves and National Parks, Plettenberg Bay is a paradise for nature-lovers. Whale, dolphin and bird watching, walking trails, kayaking, cycling and spectacular golf courses have resulted in Plettenberg Bay’s continued increase in popularity as a holiday playground for South Africans and also International visitors. Many of these visitors have retired to Plettenberg Bay or have purchased holiday homes.
Plettenberg Bay offers the best property investment returns for the discerning South African and International buyer. Property can be utilized solely for one's own means or be rented out by one of the many excellent home and accommodation letting agencies. Whatever method one decides upon, a property investment in Plettenberg Bay has always provided exceptional returns.
Perfect weather, perfect beauty, perfect atmosphere, perfect for exploring and perfect for if you just want to laze around doing nothing at all. This is what makes Plettenberg Bay or 'Plett' well known as a holiday resort and perfect for property investments
Flanked on three sides by the magnificent Tsitsikamma (‘place of clear or abundant water’ in the ancient Khoi language) mountains to the North and the Indian Ocean to the East Plettenberg Bay is surrounded by lush indigenous forests. The peninsula of Robberg (‘Seal Mountain') a nature reserve and historical monument to the South extends some 4 km eastwards into the sea and acts as our natural barrier against the prevailing winds. The Outeniqua (believed to be the Khoi word meaning 'man laden with honey') Mountains protect the back of Plettenberg Bay and follows the coastline to the town of George 102 kilometers to the West. Just a few kilometers away the rainfall doubles, providing excellent conditions for the wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna found there. Plettenberg Bay is famous as one of the most beautiful resort areas in South Africa, enjoying one of the world's mildest and most temperate climates in winter and summer, with over 320 sunshine days a year and most rainfall at night. It also boasts warm sea temperatures and less wind than many other coastal resorts
The small Cape Floral Kingdom between Cape Town and Grahamstown is one of the earth's six dedicated plant Kingdoms, and contains 8500 different plants; 5800 of which are endemic. This is more than what is found in the entire Northern hemisphere. The area also has 526 of the world's 740 Erica species, 96 varieties of Gladioli and 69 of the 112 Protea species, our special ones being Erica formosa and Erica newdigateae. There are a great many wild proteas and the list of geophytes that can be seen is extensive. Shrubs typical of fynbos are blombos, berzelia and bietou giving the local fynbos its particular character. Longstone Park on Beacon Isle Crescent is being developed as our local botanical garden.
Between 1777 and 1939 much of our indigenous forests were exploited in the timber trade. The immediate area has more than 65 000 hectares of spectacular indigenous forest, ravines, gorges and lakes, with magnificent walks and hiking trails. The Outeniqua yellowwood or kalander is a true forest giant reaching over 50m in height. Other magnificent specimens are the ironwood and stinkwood trees. Trees in our forests are often numbered to identify species. The forests harbour many species of ferns including the seven week fern which is prolific in the Tsitsikamma region.
Between 70 and 2 million years ago, the ocean stretched inland to the foothills of the Tsitsikamma mountains. The existing coastal plain is one of the best examples of wave-cut terracing in South Africa. The bay has a permanent population of some two thousand dolphins and between June and November each year is visited by schools of whales, which come into the warm waters of the bay to calve.
Licensed boats take visitors out to enjoy the splendour of seeing Southern Rights, Bryde, Humpback, and Killer whales in their natural environment. The Point at Robberg is home to a Cape Fur Seal population. 80% Of the Tsitsikamma National Park is marine reserve extending 5,5 kilometers out from the shore. Daily records of sea temperatures show an average of 10 up-wellings of cold water p.a., mostly in summer. These are caused by persistent easterly winds making cold water from the ocean depths rise to the surface. Dense fog results and occasional fish fatality occurs. A number of SCUBA diving schools provide daily excursions to the many spectacular reefs in the bay.
The Keurbooms and Bitou Rivers meet to form the estuary that flows out into the Indian Ocean. These rivers form part of a national park and are the breeding ground for many marine species, including the Pansy Shell, which has become Plettenberg Bay's emblem (known as the Sand Dollar in America), and the extremely rare Knysna Sea Horse.
When you see Plettenberg Bay for the first time the beach strikes you as endless, empty and unspoiled. But when you look more carefully, you will find a number of safe swimming spots that are, quite simply... Plettenberg Bay Perfect.
Keurbooms Beach is magnificent with its remoteness, its golden sand and spectacular rock formations and forest encroaching right onto the beach, and butts onto the Western boundary of the Tsitsikamma National Marine Park. A little wilder, but equally beautiful. Facilities include a restaurant, public toilets and parking (10 km / 15 minutes from Plettenberg Bay Central).
Situated at the mouth of the Bitou River, Lookout Beach boasts a popular restaurant, public toilets and plenty of parking (2 km / 2 minutes from Plettenberg Bay Central). Lookout Beach is the trendy destination for the young at heart with a gentle sloping beach and safe bathing. Hanging out at the local restaurant deck is the in-thing to do!
Central Beach is dominated by the imposing Beacon Isle Hotel situated on the old Norwegian whaling station site. The early Dutch erected the beacon that gave the island its name and it still stands there to this day. This is the also often the busiest beach in Plettenberg Bay with life guards on duty in season. It's the launch site for Marine Safaris, dive charters and ocean kayaking tours. Other facilities include restaurants, bars, public toilets and the local National Sea Rescue Station. (2 km / 2 minutes from Plettenberg Bay Central)
In November 2006 The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) voted the Garden Route as the best golf tourism destination in Africa and the Middle East. The Garden Route offers many challenging and outstanding golfing opportunities on numerous championship golf courses. With so much to offer, the Garden Route really is Africa's Mecca of Golf... And that Makes Plettenberg Bay the perfect place to tee-off.
Some of the world's finest golf courses are on the Garden Route, designed by some of the greatest golfers like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Retief Goosen, and Ernie Els. Plettenberg Bay has two top quality courses with two more developments in the pipeline. There is the picturesque Plettenberg Bay Country Club and the Goose Valley Golf Club, a residential golfing estate, designed by Gary Player, who has his holiday home on the course and which is adjacent to the Keurbooms Estuary. Other nearby world class courses includes, Pezula, Fancourt, Simola, Kingswood and Oubaai.
Plettenberg Bay is the home of South African Polo. There are seven Polo facilities in the area and several international players have made Plettenberg Bay their permanent home.
The polo patrons owning the properties have brought a new dimension to Plettenberg Bay with foreign investment and tourism. With the growth of polo and its related facilities they recently employed the services of a full time Polo Director, Clive Peddle, to administer and organize polo in Plettenberg Bay.
Eco-tourism means seeking out wild and scenic areas (like indigenous forests or our mother ocean) for active and educational tours that benefit the visitor, the environment and the people who live in the area. There are hiking and mountain bike trails in the forests, spectacular flora and bird life, stone age sites and hiking on Robberg, black water rafting down the Storms River gorge, the world's highest Bungee Jump from the Bridge over the Bloukrans River gorge, abseiling, whale watching, scuba diving, sea kayaking, the world famous Otter Trail four-day hike along the rugged Tsitsikamma coastline, and a unique forest canopy walk through the Tsitsikamma forest.
Visitors can go to Monkey Land or Birds of Paradise, the largest free flight aviary in the world. Monkey Land is the world’s first free roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary. Monkey Land has as one of its aims, to create awareness about the plight of primates and to show that with a greater understanding of our primate cousins, that we can all live in harmony. There are also two elephant sanctuaries and several nearby game farms. The entire area though is home to many different mammals and birds that live amongst the Fynbos and in the forests.
Plettenberg Bay or Plett, a modern resort with perfect beaches, is the centre of the Garden Route and surrounded by the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma Mountain ranges. This is for sure South Arica’s Western Cape premier coastal holiday resort with fantastic property investment opportunities