There are moments that take your breathe away, moments when you are so glad to be alive that you actually want to hold onto the feeling and capture it. My first hike on Robberg Peninsula was a series of such moments.
Robberg Peninsula is a staple of Plettenberg Bay photographs and for good reason. The bay of Plett is sheltered by this monumental peninsula, flanked on one side by sandy white beaches and the other by towering cliffs. Robberg is part of a 175 ha Nature Reserve and is a South African national monument with unsurpassed views of the ocean, Plettenberg Bay and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. The vegetation is made up largely of Coastal Fynbos (meaning “fine bush”). An astonishing 5000 of the 8000 plant species to be found in the Fynbos region of South Africa are not to be found anywhere else in the world. It’s the smallest, and richest, of the world’s 6 floral kingdoms.
I have wanted to hike Robberg for the longest time. I know so much about its natural beauty and history that it was with much excitement that, armed with water bottles and sunscreen, we set off on a sunny Plett day.
The hike started off with a walk to The Gap; an easy trail offering sweeping views of the bay and mountains and a spectacular topography of cliffs, inlets and rocks. Further along the path, I was most looking forward to visiting the Cape Fur Seal Colony and we soon started spotting sleek, black shapes gliding through the water. Upon approaching the colony, we saw masses of seals lounging in the calm waves below our path. Some swimming gracefully through the water, others relaxing with a single flipper in the air; interrupted only by seal pups performing an aquatic ballet through the air and water. This was truly a wonderful experience and I could have stayed much longer to watch.
The trail then moved inland across the length of the peninsula and we came out at the “Witsand (white sand) sand dune, which is one long funnel of sand down to the breathtaking Island and a series of charming bays. We visited on a very calm day, but be aware that this stretch of coast is known for freak waves and strong currents. By now the sun was starting to set, so we did not head onto The Island walkway. (I am planning on saving this for another day!) Instead we walked across the beach and back towards the parking lot. I found this section of the trail most tricky as there was a bit of clambering over rocks, but it added to the adventure and was not too strenuous at all.
We arrived back in the parking lot as the air started to turn that golden colour just before sunset, a bit tired but exhilarated. I loved every minute of this Robberg Walk and I will definitely return at least twice, once to do the The Island walk and once to do the full walk to The Point and back. Well, at least twice more.
There are 3 circular routes from which to choose, each increasing in distance and difficulty:
- The Gap: Walk to The Gap and back, 2km
- Witsand: Walk to the Witsand sand dune, down to The Island and back, 4km
- The Point: Round trip via The Point 11km (not for young children)
What to bring:
- Water is essential as there is no water on the trails
- Sunscreen and hat
- Walking or Hiking Shoes
Costs and Times:
R30 per adult
R15 per scholar
Nov – April: 7am – 8pm
May – Oct: 8am – 6pm
Bait collecting, fishing from boats and spear fishing is not permitted, but with a permit obtained from the Post Office, rock and surf angling is allowed.