5 ways to enjoy our oceans this winter 

5 ways to enjoy our oceans
Published: July 19th, 2022
by Janet Middleton

5 ways to enjoy our oceans this winter

Winter in Plett is not what you may imagine. While mornings and evenings are often fresh to chilly, winter days in Plettenberg Bay tend to be warm and mild, with very little wind and calm, clear seas making it the perfect winter breakaway for those looking to do a bit of outdoor adventuring and relaxing without the bustle of summer crowds.

In other words, if you’re looking for a laid-back, pleasant and relaxing holiday on the Garden Route, you’ve come to the right place. Here are five ways to enjoy our oceans this winter.

Go on a marine safari

A marine safari is just like a regular safari – on the ocean and you never know what you’re going to see! Winter is Plettenberg Bay’s official whale season with both humpback and southern right whales taking a sho’t left into South Africa’s favourite bay. Our resident dolphin populations include bottlenose, common and the endangered humpback dolphin. Additionally, there’s a large seal colony on Robberg and possibly the chance of spotting a great white shark hunting off the colony. Marine birdlife is also a treat with the possibility of encountering albatross, gulls, petral and more. There’s nothing like a warm day on a glassy calm bay to set the soul at peace.

marine safari plett
Whale watching on a marine safari in Plett

Get high(er) up

Hiking Robberg, Kranshoek coastline, Nature’s Valley or Salt River will offer sublimely elevated positions from which to spot and view our marine life or simply enjoy the vistas – which won’t soon be forgotten. Hikers could spot dolphins or whales, and seals and sharks from Robberg, with the added benefits of fynbos and forest, and associated terrestrial birdlife, reptiles and mammals. If you’re not up for a hike, there are a number of whale-watching lookout points along the coastline that can be reached by car and enjoyed by all members of the family.

Elevated hikes in Plett offer sublime positions from which to spot and view our marine life
Elevated hikes in Plett offer sublime positions from which to spot and view our marine life

Learn to surf or scuba dive

If you’re intent on spending some time in our pristine oceans then why not take a surf lesson or learn to scuba dive – both can be completed in just a day! The sheltered bay, gentle swells and shallow coastal reefs offer excellent conditions for beginners. The reefs of Plettenberg Bay, due to the nutrient-rich water of the Southern Cape, are vibrant and colourful, full of a variety of reef fishes and endemic species such as little pyjama and leopard shysharks. Or why not complete both a surf and scuba lesson and finish your holiday as a Master or Mistress of the Ocean?

The reefs of Plettenberg Bay are vibrant and colourful
The reefs of Plettenberg Bay are vibrant and colourful

Channel your inner sailor or fisher

Hop onto a fishing charter to spend some quality time on the water. As they say: A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at the office! If sailing is more your pace,  you can book a sailing charter and still cast a line (conditions permitting) while the sails snap in the breeze.  After a while, those glassy oceanic waters are almost mesmerising in Plett’s golden winter light. We can’t stress this enough: if you’ve never experienced a winter’s day on the water in Plett, you’re missing out.

Cast a line from a sailing charter or simply watch the dolphins swim by
Cast a line from a sailing charter

Walk the shores

With six international Blue Flag beaches and vast kilometres of white sand to enjoy, you’ll find walking options varied and plentiful. Choose rocky (for rock pool exploring) or sandy for ocean gazing (so you don’t stumble) and enjoy. Keep an eye on the waves and just beyond and you may be treated to dolphins surfing the waves or a whale lounging just behind the breakers. Look out for whale behaviours such as flipper- and tail-slapping, breaching, and spyhopping. And, if you find a pansy shell, well that means you’ll always return to our beloved Plettenberg Bay…

A walk beside the seashore in Plett
A walk beside the seashore in Plett

Spend a bit of time with your eyes cast seaward and you can almost believe that mermaids, sirens and sea monsters once called Plettenberg Bay their home.

Book your winter ocean activities right here.