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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in South Africa

Clifftops, wildlife and beaches: the Robberg Nature Reserve hike

The trail takes us along prehistoric cliffs, where you can spot marine life in the ocean below, to a magical white-sand beach…

By Cameron Reeder
Tour Guide for Ocean Blue Adventures, Alfred&'s partner in South Africa

Explore Robberg Nature Reserve on this guided hike along prehistoric cliffs where you can spot marine life in the ocean below. Designated a National Monument, the reserve lies between the Tsitsikamma Mountain range and South Africa’s whale migration route known as the humpback highway. The peninsula sits about 120 metres above sea level so you’re looking down on the wild ocean on one side and the calm waters of Plettenberg Bay on the other – both have marine protected status. It’s a beautiful place to experience many different features of the Garden Route.

We hike the half-way trail, which takes about two hours and isn’t too strenuous. We’re always happy to tailor the trek to suit our guests’ ability levels too. One of the first things we see on the trail is the shadow of the Athena shipwreck, which lies beneath the surface of Plettenberg Bay. We’ll talk you through the history of Robberg and point out the various plant species. We’re stepping on bedrock that dates back around 120 thousand years, so it’s almost a spiritual experience walking on this ancient landscape covered by colourful fynbos.

As we walk, we can look down on the cliffs where a colony of around 7,000 Cape fur seals live. You can watch them playing in the water and lying on the rocks – sometimes you’ll even see great white sharks swimming among them. Robberg is one of the only places in the world where you can monitor sharks in their natural feeding ground; I actually did a year of research on this for the ORCA Foundation. Once, I was hiking with guests and we spotted a southern right whale mother and her calf – we were watching these shadows and silhouettes in the water, every so often they’d come up to take a breath.

Eventually, we reach a falling dune, which is a bank of sand that has a sheer drop-off, it’s one of just seven in South Arica. Making our way down there we get views of the Tombola, a band of white sand that stretches into the ocean, lapped by water on each side. We might see whales and dolphins, plus plenty of sea birds – the endangered Cape cormorant has recently been found nesting and breeding on Robberg. The Tombola links up to this magical island which you can walk around before we make our way back along the wild side of the peninsula.

Categories

  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Scenery
  • Trips to take
  • Wildlife

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Alfred & Cameron Reeder

Cameron Reeder grew up on the coast and developed a deep love of the ocean. A keen surfer, he worked as a lifeguard before completing his guiding qualification and joining Ocean Blue Adventures in 2017. Cameron is now an experienced marine guide and skipper who loves sharing his passion for nature, the ocean and conservation with guests. One of his career highlights was studying great white shark hunting behaviour in Plettenberg with the ORCA Foundation.
Cameron Reeder, Plettenberg bay marine and Robberg hike guide

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Andy, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656