Plett Surf and Turf Hiking Trails
Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape
Base camp style slackpacking holiday 4 nights/4 or 5 days staying at Bayside Lodge. The trail offers a fantastic choice of day hikes with various options all located around Plettenberg Bay. It has been developed to give the hiker a wilderness experience of coastal surf as well as forest turf.
We offer a wonderful “menu” of trails which vary both in length and difficulty with options for all levels of fitness. The days are interchangeable so that guests can choose forest hikes or coastal trails depending on the prevailing weather conditions. There is the option of accredited guides as well as transfers with licenced operators to start and pick up points.
Bayside Lodge offers four luxurious four star graded suites for up to twelve guests. The Cottage has self-catering facilities and guests in the main house have the use of barbecue facilities and a microwave if they choose to self-cater. The catered option can be structured to hikers’ requirements offering a full English or Continental breakfast, a packed lunch and a two-course dinner either at Bayside or a local restaurant.
The main attraction of this “base camp slackpacking” option is not having to pack up every morning, the flexibility of the options for hiking, a laundry service, and the onsite expertise of the live-in owners. Adrienne and Bernie have been in the high-end hospitality sector for over thirty years in Zambia, Botswana and South Africa bringing a wealth of knowledge as well as local information when it comes to activities in the area and what is to be expected of each hike on offer.
Classification: A guided or self-guided, self-catering or catered clover leaf network
Environmental character: Pristine
Accommodation: Four star graded Bed & Breakfast
Facilities and safety: Satisfactorily maintained.
Difficulty Rating: Moderate to fairly difficult with easy short walk options
Basic Trail Description:
The trail offers a fantastic choice of day hikes of various options all located around Plettenberg Bay and surrounds starting with a few minutes walk to Robberg Beach up to a maximum of a 30 minute drive to circular or one way routes. It has been developed to give the hiker a wilderness experience and consists of a network of trails that varies both in length and difficulty with options for the more experienced hiker as well as for the leisure hiker.
There is the option of transfers with licenced operators to start and pick up points and cell phone coverage is extensive. Guests choose from a “menu” of day hikes with qualified guides available which the Guest House hosts can book. The days are interchangeable so that guests can choose forest hikes or coastal trails depending on the prevailing weather conditions.
The trail is situated in the beautiful surroundings of the most beautiful section of the Garden Route which is a 1.5 hour drive from George airport or 2.5 hours from Port Elizabeth. The closest airport is a 5 minute drive from Bayside Lodge with scheduled flights on offer with Cemair and transfers easily arranged.
The accommodation is at Bayside Lodge which offers four luxurious four star graded suites for up to twelve guests. The Cottage offers self catering facilities and guests in the main house have the use of barbecue facilities and a microwave if they choose to self cater. The catered option can be structured to hikers requirements offering a full English or Continental breakfast, a packed lunch and a two course dinner either at Bayside or at a local restaurant.
Facilities include a guest lounge, bar and patio off the breakfast room and complimentary wifi is provided. Parking is off street with an electric gate and CCTV coverage. There is a swimming pool in a private part of the large garden and there is beach equipment, a library and extensive brochure racks for guest to make use of.
The main attraction of this “base camp slackpacking” option is the flexibility of the options coupled with the on site expertise of the live-in owners. Adrienne and Bernie have both been in the high end hospitality sector for over thirty years in Zambia, Botswana and South Africa and bring a wealth of knowledge as well as local information when it comes to activities in the area and what is to be expected of each hike of offer.
Day 1: 2km – 11km
Iconic ROBBERG NATURE RESERVE which you can walk to from Bayside Lodge along Robberg beach adding 4km to the hike. There are numerous options around three circular hikes including the island.
Day 2: 8km – 10km
Newly established by the Robberg Coastal Corridor team, the AMPHITHEATRE hike is a fantastic experience starting at the Robberg Nature Reserve entrance.
Day 3: 6km – 15km (can only be offered as a guided hike with Mark Brown)
Hikers visit a private nature reserve called BRACKENBURN and are offered a one-way guided forest and beach hike of 7.5km finishing at the famous Enricos restaurant on Keurbooms beach or an immersive circular route of 6km within the forest with numerous streams to enjoy.
Day 4: 5km – 20km
Visit NATURES VALLEY for the day. The Salt River hike to secret beach can be combined with the Kalanderkloof hike and there is also the lagoon hike to experience the last part of the famous Otter Trail.
Day 5: 5km – 10km
If time permits on the arrival or departure day, we offer the spectacular Cairnbrogie coastal hike further east along the Robberg coastal corridor or for an immersive forest experience, the Perdekop trail and waterfall in Harkerville.
All Surf ‘n Turf Trail Options
Robberg A, B, C
Robberg Corridor and amphitheatre
Cairnbrogie – circular, gorge to beach
Brackenburn – circular, forest to beach or both
Natures Valley – Kalanderkloof, Salt river and Groot rivier
Storms river mouth – mouth, lookout and waterfall
Diepvalle – red, white, black elephant
Rheenendal - Circles in the Forest, Jubilee Creek, Drupkelders
Buffels to Brenton
Weekender Plett Pansy shell hike at low tide
Trail Facilities and Safety:
Reception office: Yes – Bayside Lodge
Road signs to start of trail clear?: Yes
Access road to start: Tar and sometimes good Gravel
Trail format: Clover leaf
Map: Yes – good quality
Facilities for handicapped: No
Guide: Yes and no
Environmental Information: Yes and no
Water: Yes and no
Portaging: Not applicable hikers are offered transfers at extra charge
Sanitation facilities en-route Yes and No
Trail markers: Correct
Trail water potability: Safe
Hikers’ general safety (mugging): Safe
Other (bridges, ladders, stiles, etc.): Safe
Crossings (road/rivers): Safe
Indemnity Form: Yes
Emergency Escape routes: Yes
Emergency Telephone/cell: Cell phone coverage
Emergency Medical Aid/evacuation: NSRI
Transfers to/from day hikes:
We offer the services of Jansens Travel and Tours which is a licenced operator with a wide range of vehicles of different passenger capacities.
Traditional Trail accommodation is classified based on facilities as either rustic, standard or excellent. With the emerging of slack packing, a category, ‘luxury ‘has been added. Some trails might have both types of accommodation: traditional as well as luxury.
Rustic: Shelter with minimum facilities
Standard: Hut with basic self-catering facilities
Excellent: House (multi-rooms) with cooking facilities in kitchen
Luxury: B&B / Hotel / Guesthouse or other catered accommodation, also available to general public
Rated as luxury.
Sleeping units: four suites with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, two suites have private sitting rooms with sofa beds
Toilet: All bathrooms have showers, one bathroom has shower and bath and another has shower and jacuzzi
Beds: 10 beds (twin or king and one queen) plus two sofa beds
Mattresses:hospitality grade mattresses with padded mattress toppers and percale linen
Ablution:Solar and electric geysers and there is a reverse osmosis system for drinking water
Braai / barbecue area: Under cover barbecue with seating for 12 hikers
Firewood provided: Yes
Kitchenware: Cutlery / crockery / pots & pans provided
Kitchen: staff wash dishes but no cooking in main kitchen
Lighting: Electricity / generator / battery back up light bulbs
Heating / Facilities for drying clothes:Outside line and laundry service, racks in rooms, silent fans in rooms, electric blankets, undercarpet heating. Indoor fireplace in guest lounge and gas fireplace in dining room
Cooking: barbecue facilities with skottle, weber, gas stove, braai and skillet, microwave in dining room.
Sample Breakdown of 4 nights / 5 days trip:
Guide for four days (R1000.00 for 4 hikers)
Breakfast, packed lunch, two course dinner
R650.00 – R1000.00 pp.pn (double or triple) accommodation from bed only to fully catered.
R100.00 - R250.00 pp.pd (minimum 4) for qualified and licenced guide
Transfers from R100.00 per person one way depending on distance.
R800.00 we offer a voucher for a whale watching boat trip and entrance to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden and Jukani (value R1400).
R55.00 once off per reservation.