Chapter 14: The African adventure continues…
Johannesburg has its perks but the pesky Parktown Prawns don’t really make for adventurous wildlife! I found that I have explored the world with huge gusto but my South African backyard I sometimes tend to forget. The answer to my conundrum…one Google maps! I searched fast and wild, clicking and typing away until I stumbled onto South Africa’s playground, Plettenberg Bay! Google Maps tends to provide me with some fascinating online exploring but it’s the real trekking that provides an individual with an experience of a lifetime!
I packed my bags and booked myself onto a flight heading to Port Elizabeth! Arriving in Port Elizabeth is interesting, it’s a city with a small airport but has a big calm feel to it and you’d expect nothing less from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. However I did expect something more for transport, I had ordered a rental car using an online service but what I got was a small coffin on wheels. Instead of a sun soaked journey with the wind in my hair powering through in a sports car, I found myself chugging along at snail’s pace as many a foreign tourist passed me by in their high class rentals!
By the time I reached Plettenberg Bay (which is part of the Western Cape) I had seen the beautiful and famous garden route, some amazing ocean views and no Parktown Prawns…I was in heaven. My accommodation was the famous and ever so epic Milkwood Manor. A charming Guesthouse that is filled with travellers from all around the world however its biggest draw card is the story of how a storm created an amazing ocean view in its backyard! Plettenberg Bay is filled with stunning beaches and great hideaways that are untouched natural sites.
So what’s good to see and do in and around Plettenberg Bay:
The beaches: 15 kilometres of the Indian Oceans shore are Central and Robberg Beaches. Jam packed with surfers, fisherman and beach lovers of all sorts these beaches just plain rock! However if you get a chance dash off to Natures Valley which is just outside of Pletternberg in the Tsitsikamma De Vasselot nature reserves, very cool and almost untouched by human beings!
Another cool beach is Keurbooms Beach, if you get a chance stop off at Enrico's restaurant which overlooks this great beach.
The town: Is small and quaint but with new developments popping up its full of potential. However don’t expect fast driving madness that you would see in the big city’s of Johannesburg and New York, this is a town to chill out in and have a drink whilst watching the spectacular ocean view. The restaurants and tourist hotspots make up a well put together tourist hub which is rich in South African culture.
The adventure spots:
If heights are your thing check out the worlds highest bungy, Face Adrenaline, http://www.faceadrenalin.com and don’t worry screaming is allowed!
Birds of Eden (http://www.birdsofeden.co.za) and Monkeyland (http://www.monkeyland.co.za), if you like animals with features and mischief than these two sanctuaries are a must see.
The Tenikwa Wildcat and Wildlife Tourist Activity Park gives individuals the opportunity to experience Wildcat’s up close and personal, http://www.tenikwa.co.za
The Knysna Elephant Park: Its elephants what’s not to like! http://www.knysnaelephantpark.co.za
If you like Snakes and other reptiles then you should take a visit to the Lawnwood Snake Sanctuary, very interactive, in fact too interactive, just ask Willmore the Snake Guide to demonstrate with one of the sanctuary’s Pythons!
For the adventurous to the debonair!
The Backpackers: Albergo packed with many a foreigner just awesome fun! http://www.albergo.co.za
Milkwood Manner: The host, the view, the accommodation and of course the Lemon Grass restaurant…just magic! http://www.milkwoodmanor.co.za
Cottage Pie: Sweet and nice, the name says it all! http://cottagepie.co.za
The Plettenberg: Stunning accommodation with all the in-house services a hotel should have, http://www.plettenberg.com
With so much to do and all the adventure in the world in just one place, saying goodbye to Pletternberg Bay was sad! Driving back to Port Elizabeth I stopped off at the Addo Elephant Park, I arrived just in time for a late afternoon game drive which slowly shifted into a night drive. I didn’t catch much wildlife expect for the odd buck and warthog so I checked into a local B&B called Good Hope Farm hoping that I would be able to catch some lively wildlife after some much needed rest. The next morning after a hearty breakfast I headed out in my glorified rental car to seek out an elephant or two, what I got was heaps of elephants…everywhere. The Addo Elephant Park is an experience of note full of energy and adventure that any rental car big or small can handle! http://www.addoelephant.com/parks/addo/
As I headed out the park towards Port Elizabeth airport with my window wide open to get the feeling of a sports car I drifted in my thoughts of elephants and beaches, with a lasting impression of the Eastern & Western Cape forever set in the Roaming Newton Travels!