Tenikwa -- to be with big cats
We did not visit this place since we were told that it is not so good. But some others told us that they enjoyed being here. So we are not sure. But the reason we decided not to go was that it is an unnatural setting where big cats are allowed to be touched and petted. I for one prefer to see them in natural habitats. But if you have young kids who would enjoy this, perhaps you should go. It is ahead of Birds of Eden and Monkey Land.
Right opposite to Birds of Eden is Monkey Land. This is a sanctuary for Monkeys that had been previously caged. There are many varieties of monkeys that you get to see. There are guided tours into the sanctuary and the guides are very well informed.
Admiring our feathered friends
Visit the Birds of Eden park, which is a huge netted sanctuary for birds. What is good about this place is that birds are let to be free and in tune with nature. The photographs on my page can speak more than my words. Of course no photography can do full justice to what you get to see in person.
Robberg Nature and Marine Reserve
The Robberg Peninsula is a nature reserve and national monument that lies about 8 km south of Plettenberg Bay.
It is situated in an overlapping region of winter and summer rainfall. There is an increased likelihood of showers between August and November.
Hiking:Choice of three circular routes of increasing difficulty with distance. Round trip via The Point takes about four hours. Dangerous at high tide and not recommended for young children. Water, hiking shoes and hat essential. Be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
Only rock and surf angling allowed inside marine reserve with permit.
Points of Interest:
Life in the Stone Ages – Nelson Bay Cave. Important Middle and Later Stone Age archaeological site. First occupied 120 000 years ago when the sea level dropped.
First recorded European habitation in South Africa. In 1630, the Sao Gonçalo, a Portuguese vessel, was wrecked here.
Here you see the first evidence of the "modern" South African coastline. Robberg's rocks date back to the early Cretaceous period (130 – 110 million years ago) and the earliest break-up of Gondwanaland – a prehistoric super-continent that split up into latter-day South America, Africa, Antarctica, India and Australia about 120 million years ago. The rocks at Robberg were deposited in the bed of this new African sea.
Listen for the bark of Cape fur seals. Hundreds of seals gather on the rocks between Kanonkoeëlgat and Grasnek. Adult bulls can be 2,1 m long and weigh up to 350 kg.
Keep your eyes skinned for dolphins and whales. Two species of inshore dolphin – humpback and bottlenose – can often be seen from the Robberg Between May and November, southern right whales come here from the Antarctic region to mate and calve. Humpback whales – another Antarctic species – also visit these waters. Bryde's whales are year-round residents.
Cape Seal lighthouse. At 146 m above sea level, this is the highest navigational light on the South African coast.
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
The game reserve of Plettenberg Bay is the largest of the Southern Cape. It has all the big animals you want to see such as lions, zebras, hippos, giraffes, waterbuffalos, wildebeast, crocodiles, rhinos and all sorts of antilopes. You can also spend the night in their lodge.
We decided to visit Monkeyland which is located just a short distance from the beautiful Plettenberg Bay , it is the world’s first multi-specie free roaming primate sanctuary. Monkeyland opened its doors in 1998 and this unique primate sanctuary is currently the top eco-tourism attraction on the Garden Route. Monkeyland’s aim is to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates and the sanctuary caters for several species of primates who are free to move about the forest and go about their monkey business! It is wonderful to listen to the guide explaining how they de-humanise the monkeys before releasing them into the forest where they can be monkey's again and do what come naturally and not what was tough by humans. Currenlty they have three gibons that they are de-humanising and after three years, they still want to mix with humans and not other primates.
Monkeyland offers visitors the chance to experience a true primate safari, the reward being to see these interesting and amusing animals as they are meant to be: free and in a natural habitat. Watch small squirrel monkeys swinging in the trees or vervet monkeys going about their daily grooming rituals. On the guided safaris you can expect to see a large variety of primates, ranging from Gibbons to Lemurs. The expert rangers will tell you all about these fascinating mammals as you encounter them roaming free in the forest. They also point out, identify and explain the many other wonders of life in the forest, from the rich diversity of bird life to the intricate workings of the forest itself.
Birds of Eden
Located just outside of Plettenberg Bay you will find the world’s largest free flight bird aviary, the Birds of Eden Sanctuary. This unique two hectare dome which spans a gorge of beautiful indigenous forest, offers a truly unique and African experience. Some 100 species of incredible African birds are housed at the Birds of Eden Sanctuary, some endangered. As a visitor to the Birds of Eden Sanctuary you will feel as though you are truly in the wild with hundreds of birds swooping, flying and calling around you. Beware as one of them might just decide to come and rest on your shoulder. It happened to me and it frightened me half dead!
The sanctuary has its own mysterious ruin, which incorporates a walk-behind waterfall as well as an amphitheatre, which has the ability to seat over 200 visitors for interesting talks and displays. Visitors can also enjoy a snack at one of the sanctuary’s eateries whilst watching birds like the African Grey Parrot and the Blue Headed Pionus dart about the forest.
There are 1.2 kilometres of wooden canopy walkway hanging in the clouds to lead you through this beautiful place and to bring you close to the variety of birds. It sounds like a long walk, but there are benches everywhere where you can sit and rest if you feel so inclined and it is very easy to walk.
Cost Of Tickets
Adults - R115.00 to R125.00 depending on season
Child – R57.50 to R62.50 depending on season
Combo (Monkeyland and Birds of Eden)
Adults - R184.00 to R200.00 depending on season
Child – R92.00 to R100.50 depending on season
Gardenroute Wolf sanctuary
I was a bit sceptical about the place, but my friend wanted to go and get in touch with the wolf within, so we went. cost is R60 per adult and R30 per child. They have three pens with wolves. Two of them only have two in, but the large on has 12 wolves residing there. At the time of our visit they also had 6 cubs. They have some wild dogs, emu's, mountain tortoises, ponies, ducks, rabbits and other stuff to keep the children also amused.
Walking the labyrinth
At Harkerville you will find a little cluster of shops with a restaurant and the labyrinth that you can walk. The labyrinth is of lavender, so you have fantastic smells coming from the plants, but beware as there are quite a number of bees also enjoying the flowers.
A visit to the elephant sanctuary is not cheap, but worth the money I think. We decided to not only feed and touch the elephants and walking with them in the forest but also to go for a ride. Not a very comfortable ride I must say, but well worth it.
Take a scenic drive and visit the Trumilk Dairy in the Bitou Valley for cheese, and wine tasting. Trumilk Dairy recently received an award for the best feta cheese in South Africa. Their production includes cheddar cheese and a handmade Camembert. Carefully selected wines from the Cape and Klein Karoo compliment cheese that can be tasted and bought on the farm.
- Family Travel
Near Storms River is an environmentally friendly and sustainable fern-harvesting and cultivation industry. You can view the indigenous ferns of the Tsitsikamma forest. Teas and light lunches are available as well as guided tours of the nursery and export facilities.
Open daily 9am to 5pm.
- Family Travel
sanctuary for wolves, foxes, wild dogs, hyenas and is on the N2 between Nature's Valley and Plettenberg Bay. The animals are caged and although generally not wild anymore, they are not tame. There are also farmyard animals and a children's playground. The wolves are fed twice a day: early in the morning and at around 5pm.
- Family Travel
Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary
sanctuary for snakes and has an indigenous snake pit, a large dome housing South African and other snakes, and 2 giant python rooms. The sanctuary offers a 1-hour guided tour, including how to respond to unexpected encounters with local snakes. The tour costs R50 for adults and R25 for children. They can be found on the N2 in The Crags between Nature's valley and 15 kilometres from Plettenberg Bay.( check prices as they can change)
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Khayalethu Xhosa Cultural Village
Visit the Khayalethu Cultural Village situated at Wholesong Coastal Lodge. Experience a vibrant introduction to the Xhosa culture and true African hospitality. Traditional village life, highlighting aspects of their rich culture, is depicted through narration accompanied by the primal throb of African drums and the customary song and dance.
See local arts and crafts in The Barn or purchase hand craftsproduced on site at the Craft Centre. A restaurant that serves both traditional and international food is located at the village.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
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