Hike Along The Stunning Coastline Of South Africa On This Trail

One of the best ways to experience South Africa's landscapes is on foot, and that is certainly the case for the country's magnificent Western Cape. According to Earth Trekkers, the Robberg Peninsula hike is one of the top 20 best day hikes in the world. This hike is conveniently located on the famous Garden Route, which is a 125-mile road that runs along the Western Cape from Mossel Bay to Storms River.

Visiting the Robberg Penisula can also be combined with other parts of the drive for an even more unforgettable holiday. The Garden Route itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its indigenous and natural significance. One fascinating fact is that the rocks here date back to the separation of Gondwanaland, which happened 120 million years ago. If you hike here, you can see this fantastic heritage for yourself and encounter incredible wildlife and picture-perfect sea views where the trail hugs the coastline.

Know before you go to Robberg Peninsula

Plettenberg Bay is where you will begin the hike and there is a parking lot at the start of the easy-to-follow trail. It is a nature reserve and the conservation fee for day access is $3 for adults and $2 for children. It takes four hours to hike the entire Point Circuit, which is a 5.7-mile loop around the coast. The elements that make this hike so rewarding are its ever-changing landscape of coastline, beaches, scrub, dunes, and rock formations. There is a sandy spit to cross as part of the trek so check the tide tables before you head out.

If you prefer something less strenuous there is the Gap Circuit which is 1.3 miles and takes 30 minutes, or the Witsand Circuit which is a 3.4-mile loop that takes around two hours to walk. It is impossible to be bored on the Robberg Peninsula as there are incredible sights and experiences to be had around every corner.

Things to see on the Robberg Peninsula

The Robberg Peninsula is a haven for those who love nature and the outdoors. In the reserve, there are opportunities for fishing, picnicking, abseiling, whale watching, bird watching, swimming, and hiking. One species you're likely to see (or smell!) is the fur seal, as a colony of around 6,000 live along the coast. You should also look out for the blue duiker, a small rare antelope that grazes in the sand dunes here.

The reserve includes around one mile of the ocean, where dolphins and whales can seen jumping through the waves in the distance. Southern right whales can be seen during their breeding season from June to November, and bird watchers should bring their binoculars as kelp gulls raise their chicks on the cliffs. While swimming is permitted, there are currents so it is important to be very careful in the ocean here. Adrenaline junkies should try abseiling for incredible views across the park. However you choose to spend your time here, the Robberg Peninsula will provide memorable vistas that you will remember long after you get home.