Just a few kilometers from Plettenberg Bay, takes place a very beautiful South African National Park, national monument and World Heritage Site: Robberg Nature Reserve and Marine protected area. If you like walking in the middle of wild nature, along high cliffs spotting birds, seals, dolphins and if you are lucky also whales, this is the right place. Personally, this is one of the parks I liked most during my trip throughout the country. Rocks from this region date back 120 million years to the break-up of Gondwanaland and evidence of middle and later Stone Age inhabitation has been found in a few of the caves along the peninsula.
There are 3 circular routes of increasing difficulty starting from the car park along the promontory , all offer fantastic views, brisk sea air and sightings of the animals of the peninsula. The first is called ‘’the Gap’’ , it’s the shortest and easiest route that heads straight into a mudstone cleft, it’s about 2.1 km and it take you less than 1 hour. The second is called ‘’ Witsand’’, it leads along the northern ridge of the peninsula and onto the wind-shadow of the climbing-falling dune, before heading down to the beautiful beach ‘’the island’’ and the boardwalk. Here, from the top of the cliff, you can spot a resident seals colony along the way and see a colony of kelp gulls at the end of the trail. It’s 5.5 km long and it takes you around 2 hours and half. We chose this trail and it was very beautiful, walking along the peninsula in the middle of a lush vegetation until we got to ” The island ” beach. From the high cliff we spotted dolphins and the colony of seals. Once at the white and long beach some seals were swimming a few steps from the shore. The route is safe, well-marked and without particular difficulties.
The third is called ”the Point”, it heads up the north ridge to the Point and then back along the southern rocky shoreline. This is the longest trail, about 9.2 km and it takes you around 5 hours . With no doubt it’s a fairly strenuous walk. The highlight is encountering the hundreds of gannets, cormorants and terns at the Point. Along the trail you can spot the Cape seal Lighthouse, the highest navigational light on the South africa coast. Its solar powered rotating beam has a range of about 27 km and it was built in 1950.
How to get there: the park is just a few kilometers from Plettenberg Bay town.
Where to sleep: the best option is to sleep in Plettenberg Bay town. Anyways it depends on the itinerary you’ve chosen for your trip. We visited the park in the morning coming from Storm River village, going to Witsand town.
Entrance fee and opening time: 40 rand ; 7am – 8pm ( 1 october – 30 april ) , 8am – 6pm ( 1 May – 30 September ).
Pickniking: There are three viewing decks on the reserve with picnic facilities.