It is quite a long time since I have walked around the Robberg Peninsula in Plettenberg Bay. When I last did it, probably ten years ago or more, I think I only did the shorter walk to the island. Prompted by the probability of doing a walk with a client in a month or two, I took the opportunity to do the full peninsula walk on my way back from aGarden RouteandAddoElephantParktour. I had forgotten what a spectacular place it was and what a great hike.
The management at the backpacker establishment where I was staying, assured me that it should take about two hours to hike the full route, unless I was very slow. Well, discovered I was very slow. Allow four hours, if you want to enjoy the environment, take photographs and not rush the experience. Two hours would be ok for a trail run.
It is not a difficult route and the path is well marked all the way. The path does run close to a steep drops into the sea for a considerable distance on the eastern side, so be aware if you don’t have a reasonable head for heights. On the western side, it is mostly at sea level and you would need to be careful at a spring high tide or in rough seas. In most places there are alternative routes that take you higher up if necessary.
One of the highlights of the walk was, first hearing and then seeing the hundreds of seals, after which the peninsula is named, swimming far below. Take binoculars, otherwise they look like little black dots. The barking is very clear and you can hear them, long before you see them.
There are three alternatives: the short route to the Gap (2,1km), Witsand (5,5km), which can be extended slightly to include the island and the Point (9,2km) around the whole peninsula. The scenery is on a par with anything in this beautiful country of ours and one of the many walks that a South African hiking enthusiast must experience. One of the features is the information boards that have been placed at strategic points, to explain the geology, the marine life, the bird life and the sea shore. A real gem, just inside the entrance to the park, is the archaeological cave site. This is really worth a visit if you have any interest in the past and the development of the people of the region.
Wonderful, wonderful walk and looking forward to doing it again with clients.