The Robberg Peninsula, located near Plettenberg Bay, on South Africa‘s Garden Route, is unique.
This rocky outcrop, jutting out from the end of the stunning golden sands of Robberg Beach in Plettenberg Bay, was formed about 130 million years ago when Gondwanaland broke up to form the continents of South America, Antartica, Africa, India and Australia. Today it is a Nature Reserve and Marine protected area. Once you have registered ( holders of Wild Cards have free entry ) at the gate and parked your car in the car park, walk the 50 meters or so to the first, decked vantage point and feast your eye on the view. The whole of Plettenberg Bay and Keurbooms opens up before you with the Tsitzikama Mountains as a backdrop. This is truly one of the most splendid views on the Garden Route and in South Africa. For those with religious beliefs, it is awe inspiring and provokes thoughts of the creation. Dassies can be seen basking on the rocks and if you are very lucky, The Blue Duiker may be seen. There is abundant bird life so remember to bring your binoculars.
There are three main walks. The longest, via The Point takes about 4-5 hours and can be treacherous.The shortest of the three main trails, The Gap Trail drops down to the Gap following a rocky path. It hugs the cliff face and one should stop at the information boards on the geological structure of the peninsula on the way. At the Gap the trail forks with the right trail leading down to a small beach, ideal for those in the party who would rather lounge on the beach with the picnic rather than get a bit of a sweat on, with the other starting to climb the rocky side of the peninsula.
It now gets interesting and a bit of a scramble.
Upwards and onwards it goes, hugging the side of the cliff and climbing up and up, for about one kilometer until one reaches a magnificent bench overlooking the whole of the bay. This is very much a rest and be thankful spot, a sip of the water bottle and the camera out. The view, once again is spectacular. The next phase is fairly level, through some sweet smelling fynbos and a bit of a bush canopy leads to the Witsand area, a sandy dune area which effectively cuts the peninsula in two halves. One of only seven ‘climbing – falling’ dunes on the Cape coast, this area supplies Plettenberg Bay with its sand. The middle distance walk cuts through Witsand down to Die Eiland, it can be an exhilarating run down the dunes to the middle beach. Care must be taken when swimming here as strong rip currents make it very dangerous.
Boarded walkways make access Die Eiland a worth while detour.Climb the other side of Witsand , listening ( and smelling !)to the seals as they play and sleep down below. Follow the relatively easy path for the longer walk to the Point. Scramble down to the now once more ruined fisherman’s hut. This is good place for lunch. See if you can spot seals, dolphins and whales form this spot. Follow the meandering path back towards the car park now; passing another fisherman’s hut and a Stone Age Cave, no access to this one though, one must wait for Nelson Bay Cave at the end of the peninsula to explore the ancient Stone Age Cave system. Care must be exercised as one scrambles along the edge of the cliff, very slippery when wet. The climb stops, for the moment at least at The Gap. From here, it is uphill all the way, and a bit of a scramble to reach the car park. A separate path leads down to Nelson Bay Cave which is a must see when you visit.