The Robberg Nature Reserve is a narrow peninsula with spectacular views and hiking trail that follows the coastline. Unfairly unfamous it is one of the most beautiful natural places I have ever visited in my life. And according to my blog, you can see I have traveled a lot. The most popular place in South Africa among the tourists is the famous Cape of Good Hope, which I of course also visited and even dedicated a special article to describe my adventure.
And yes, of course, the place is amazing and, I would say, widescale. Hiking there you feel very small comparing to Nature. Robberg Nature Reserve is not that big, but it has one big advantage – almost no tourists, comparing to Cape of Good Hope, which even has a bus stop for Hop On Hop Off Bus.
So, if you drive along the Garden Route or stay in Plettenberg Bay, don’t hesitate to visit Robberg Natural Reserve.
You may also be interested in my article: Plan your visit to the famous Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Robberg Nature Reserve experience
First of all, I will answer the most common question: How to get to Robberg Nature Reserve?
Robberg Nature Reserve peninsula is located 8 km away from the Plettenberg Bay city center.
There are 2 ways to get there. The first one is by your private or rental car. The taxi drive from Plettenberg Bay city center to the peninsula is around 15 minutes long and 10$ cost.
If you go by taxi the driver will drop you at the security gate, where you have to pay 50 rands per person. Don’t forget to take the driver’s phone number to call him to pick you up on the way back. We didn’t have the local sim cards, so we asked security to make a call.
If you drive your car, you have to stop at the security gate, pay 50 rands per person and then drive 700 meters more to the parking.
The parking area is equipped with free toilets and the rest area – a few picnic tables and benches. On the left side, you will see an entrance to the Robberg Natural Reserve hiking trail.
On the way from security point till the parking and rest area, there are also a few viewpoints, however, I won’t recommend you to waste your energy on them, as the views along the trail are much more spectacular.
At the start of the path, there is a map. You have 3 options: short, medium, and long circles. The shortest one is 2.1 km. The medium one is 5.5 km and the longest trail along the whole peninsula is 9.2 km long.
Whichever path you choose, you will start your hiking at the same entrance.
If you choose the shortest trail you will have a 1 km walk along the coastline. You will observe nice ocean and mountain views and enter a mini beach. And that is it. Then you will turn right on the first gap to complete the circle.
After you pass the first gap the views will become more spectacular and the path wilder. There we saw the sea lions, there were hundreds of them swimming in the water and lying on the bay. However, you have to observe them from the mountain, which is quite far, and you can’t get any closer. An hour later we realized it is a good thing actually, cause you don’t feel the smell. Together with sea lions, we saw penguins and in autumn you can even see a whale.
When entering the sand zone you will have 2 options. Or to turn right and complete the medium circle. Or to keep on the trail. Attention. There you will see an announcement with the last time to start the 3rd trail. If it is later you have a risk not to complete the path before the sunset. If you decide to do the medium trail, I still recommend you to come down to the Witsand beach and spend some time there.
The longest path goes around the whole peninsula. After passing the 2nd gap soon you will feel a disgusting smell, and then you will see a source of this smell – another bay with sea lions. At this point, they will be a little bit closer than on the first point.
The most incredible views of the whole hiking start after you pass the edge of the peninsula. Also, this is the most dangerous part of the trail. At some moments you have to walk and even climb the stones and at some moments you lose the trail and have to search for red marks that indicate where you should go. You can see it in the photos below.
When entering the Witsand beach take some time there to rest as then you will have 25 minutes of climbing up the natural stairs. And that is it!
Plan your visit to Robberg Nature Reserve
- Clothes. As the weather changes very quickly, it can be very hot and cold and windy and rainy, so be ready to change the clothes all the time. I would wear shorts and a T-shirt but have a jacket rainy coat and trousers in my backpack.
- Shoes. No flipflops! The best is to wear hiking shoes, but snickers would be ok.
- Don’t forget to put sunscreen. 3-5 hours under the bright sun can easily burn your skin.
- Take water with you. There’s no drinking fountain or other facilities along the way.
- And also take a snack, especially if you plan to take the longest trail.
- The biggest trail will take you around 4-6 hours, so be sure to complete it before it’s getting dark. After the sunset, the tracking can be dangerous.