Activities / The Garden Route

Rambling in Robberg Nature Reserve

Updated Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Travelling with a young family on holiday is often challenging, and one of the sure cures for cabin fever (make that car fever!) is getting some exercise! While staying at a lovely little garden apartment in Plettenberg Bay called, “A Little Stint in Paradise”, we decided to venture out for an afternoon, since unfortunately our two young boys are not used to communal living, and the noise levels were becoming intolerable!

Robberg Nature Reserve lies about 8km south of Plettenberg Bay and provides a rich geological history, together with an array of flora and fauna. There are three main walks upon which you can embark, ranging from approximately an hour in length to a full day, weather permitting. If you hold a Wild Card, you’re in for free, but otherwise you pay a small entrance fee at the gate, which is open from 07h00-17h00 and later during December/January.

Rambling in Robberg ...

Our one hour ramble took us past some breathtaking scenery, and I was rather relieved to not have children of the age who could make the four hour trip, since there are ample warnings of freak waves and strong currents! We were fascinated by some of the overhanging rock structures, and learnt that Robberg’s rock formations date back to the early Cretaceous period, which is some 130-110 million years ago!

Being whale season, we could also spot the odd tail fin and blowing, though we gained better views of these magnificent mammals further down the coast in Witsand, known as the whale nursery. Robberg is apparently a nursery of another kind; a seagull nursery, with the boardwalks clearly directed round their nesting spots.

Cape fur seals and blue duiker also frequent the reserve, but we were not lucky enough to spot any of these. We did however spot a few exhausted hikers who had been travelling since early in the morning, so clearly the longer routes are not for the faint hearted (or unfit)!

Rambling in Robberg Nature Reserve

We were happy to return to our modern and well-equipped little townhouse and end our walk with a good old South African braai. But the sights and sounds of Robberg were definitely with me as I was lulled to sleep that night – my two little hikers having passed out long before!

By the way, if you are in need of an additional exercise break on your return journey from Plettenberg Bay (or on your way up from Knysna), the Garden of Eden is a good one. Located roughly halfway between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, the forest is well sign posted from the road.

The easy 15 -20 minute walk, follows a boardwalk for its entire length through beautiful indigenous forest, and is thus suitable for wheel chairs. If you close your eyes (and block out the odd heavy-duty truck rolling by!), you can quite imagine the elephants of Knysna of the past, crashing through the dense foliage.

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