Plettenberg Bay - Spectacular By Nature!
An International Property Investment
In 1488 Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz named the mountains surrounding the bay 'Pic Formosa', meaning beautiful peak. Formosa Peak is today still the name given to the highest peak in the Tsitsikamma range. To the bay he gave the name Bahia Das Algoäs, meaning Bay of Lagoons. In 1576 Manuel da Mesquita Prestrello renamed the bay 'Bahia Formosa' meaning Bay Beautiful. In 1778 the Dutch Governor of the Cape, Joachim van Plettenberg gave the bay its present name and started the timber trading station there.
Plettenberg Bay or 'Plett' as it is known, is the 'Jewel' of the world famous Garden Route and possibly the most beautiful bay in the world. It is South Africa's most scenic coastal town. Bustling in season, but more relaxed at other times, Plett offers the best property investment returns for the discerning South African and International buyer.
The scenic splendour together with pristine beaches, world class whale watching an d spectacular golf courses have resulted in Plett's continued and increased popularity as a holiday playground for South African, British, and European visitors, many of whom have retired to Plett or have purchased holiday accommodation; with growing numbers of mainly British and German citizens residing in Plett during the European winter. Property can be utilized solely for one's own means or be rented out by one of the many excellent home letting agencies. Whatever method one decides upon, an investment in Plett property has always provided exceptional returns.
The Bay is surrounded by the Tsitsikamma ('place of clear or abundant water' in the ancient Khoi language) Mountain range to the North and by the Robberg ('seal mountain') Peninsula, a nature reserve and historical monument to the South. The Outeniqua (believed to be the Khoi word meaning 'man laden with honey') Mountains protect the back of Plettenberg Bay and follows the coastline to the town of George 102 kilometers to the West. These mountains which literally surround the town have created a unique micro climatic system providing Plett with superb Mediterranean type weather conditions all year round. Temperatures are mild, with an average daily minimum in winter of 8° C and an average daily maximum of 25° C in summer. Most rainfall is at night and the sun shines for 320 days per annum.
A Spectacular Floral Kingdom
The Garden Route falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom, one of the earth's six dedicated plant kingdoms, with more than 8500 species of Fynbos (a collective name for the spectacular plant varieties) alone; 5800 of which are endemic. The area also has 526 of the world's 740 Erica species, 96 varieties of Gladioli and 69 of the 112 Protea species. This floral beauty is put into perspective when one realizes that Britain has 1500 floral species of which only 20 are endemic! The immediate area has more than 65 000 hectares of spectacular indigenous forest, ravines, gorges and lakes, with magnificent walks and hiking trails.
The bay has a permanent population of some two thousand dolphins and between June and November each year is visited by schools of whales, which come into the warm waters of the bay to calve. Licensed boats take visitors out to enjoy the splendour of seeing Southern Rights, Bryde, Humpback, and Killer whales in their natural environment. The Point at Robberg is home to a Cape Fur Seal population
A number of SCUBA diving schools provide daily excursions to the many spectacular reefs in the bay.
The Keurbooms and Bitou Rivers meet to form the estuary that flows out into the Indian Ocean. These rivers form part of a national park and are the breading ground for many marine species, including the Pansy Shell, which has become Plett's emblem (known as the Sand Dollar in America), and the extremely rare Knysna Sea Horse, which only breeds here and in the estuary in the nearby town of Knysna.
Plett has four main beaches all of which are spectacular examples of nature.
Keurbooms Beach is magnificent with its remoteness, its golden sand and spectacular rock formations and forest encroaching right onto the beach, and butts onto the Western boundary of the Tsitsikamma National Marine Park.
Lookout Beach is the trendy destination for the young at heart with a gentle sloping beach and safe bathing. This is where Pansy Shells are found. Hanging out at the local restaurant deck is the in-thing to do!
Central Beach is dominated by the imposing Beacon Isle Hotel situated on the old Norwegian whaling station site. The early Dutch erected the Beacon that gave the island its name and it still stands there to this day. This beach is also home to the local National Sea Rescue Institute and the commercial fishing craft. The informal restaurant at the Ski Boat Club serves delicious Calamari and fresh fish.
A Golfing Paradise
In November 2006 The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) voted the Garden Route as the best golf tourism destination in Africa and the Middle East.
Some of the world's finest golf courses are on the Garden Route, designed by some of the greatest golfers like Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Retief Goosen, and Ernie Els. Plett has two top quality courses with two more developments in the pipeline. There is the picturesque Plettenberg Bay Country Club and the Goose Valley Golf Club, a residential golfing estate, designed by Gary Player, who has his holiday home on the course and which is adjacent to the Keurbooms Estuary. Other nearby world class courses include, Pezula, Fancourt, Knysna, Simola, George, Kingswood, Oubaai, Mossel Bay and Pinnacle Point.
Plett is the home of South African Polo. There are seven Polo facilities in the area and several international players have made Plett their permanent home.
There are hiking and mountain bike trails in the forests, spectacular flora and bird life, stone age sites and hiking on Robberg, black water rafting down the Storms River gorge, the world's highest Bungee Jump from the Bridge over the Bloukrans River gorge, abseiling, whale watching, scuba diving, sea kayaking, the world famous Otter Trail four-day hike along the rugged Tsitsikamma coastline, and a unique forest canopy walk through the Tsitsikamma forest.
Visitors can go to Monkey Land or Birds of Paradise, the largest free flight
aviary in the world. There are also two elephant sanctuaries and several nearby
game farms. The entire area though is home to many different mammals and birds
who live amongst the Fynbos and in the forests.