Heritage Day is a South African holiday that many of us get really excited about. Whether we’re celebrating our cultural, natural, or historical heritage – as South Africans, we get to do what we love, make memories and possibly start some new traditions. If you’re in Plettenberg Bay this Heritage Day weekend and looking for something to commemorate the holiday, here are some suggestions for you.
Take a horseback ride with the Griqua Heritage Herd at Cairnbrogie
Take in the exceptional beauty of the Kranshoek area on horseback by taking an excursion from Cairnbrogie on the Griqua Heritage horses. These beautiful animals have a proud Griqua heritage and are the original descendants of the horses that set off from the Cape hundreds of years ago. Revenue from these excursions contribute towards meeting the basic needs of the horses, which are cared for by Africa Hoofprint Foundation and homed at Cairnbrogie, and the equipment needs of their young owners.
Explore the Cradle of Human Culture at Nelson Bay Cave
The secret of Robberg Nature Reserve is that it offers far more than meets the eye. In addition to being one of the Garden Route’s most iconic landmarks, a hiking of trail of unsurpassed beauty, and an excellent viewpoint for watching sharks, whales, seals and dolphins, Robberg is also a World Heritage Site and a national monument. In this way, it forms a part of the Cradle of Human Culture Route as it home to the famous Nelson Bay Cave, a Stone Age archaeological site believed to have been used for shelter as far back as 125 000 years.
Taste iKasi-style tshisa nyama
There are few things that remind us of time spent with family and friends more than the aroma of food cooking on an open fire. If you’re in the mood for a Heritage Day feast, try out of local tshisa nyama in Kwanokuthula, Kasi Lyfstyle. Good service, good vibes, and a delicious meaty meal with all the trimmings.
Stroll our Blue Flag beaches in search of a pansy shell
Beautiful beaches and the pansy shell are synonymous with Plettenberg Bay. Shell hunters will spend many a morning walking along the water’s edge in search of the delicate pansy shell. Interestingly, the pansy shell is actually the skeleton of a sea urchin – a burrowing urchin that lives in shallow, sheltered bays and estuaries. Its name is derived from the pansy shape on the skeleton and it’s similar to the urchins known as ‘sand dollars’ in the United States. Whether you find a shell or not, we think that time spent on our internally recognised beaches is time well spent. Our Blue Flag beaches are: Robberg 5, Lookout Beach, Keurboomstrand, The Dunes, The Singing Kettle and Nature’s Valley.
Take a tour of historical Mungo Mill
The Old Nick Village holds many treasures. Each shop corner and garden is a little discovery all its own. Old Nick Village was built in 1880 and is still in operation today; the feather in its cap is Mungo Designs: the oldest weaving studios and business in South Africa. The Mungo Mill offers guided and self-guided tours of the beautiful mill and includes a showcase of weaving production from pre-industrial revolution to present day.
Hike amongst endemic fynbos on the coastal belt
The delicate and colourful fynbos of the Southern Cape coastline is a truly unique part of our natural heritage. Fynbos is part of the Cape Floristic Region, the smallest and most diverse of the world’s plant kingdoms and of the 9000 species that make up this kingdom, 70% are found nowhere else in the world. Due to the variety found in this biodiversity hotspot, it is now recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Browse our hiking page for some of the most popular trails and look out for those colourful pincushion proteas and delicately coloured ericas.
Take tea at the Old Rectory Hotel – the oldest building in Plett
The Old Rectory is the oldest surviving building in Plettenberg Bay, built in 1777 and is now the beautifully restored Old Rectory Hotel. Whether you’re visiting for an overnight stay, a cocktail or a meal, the Old Rectory is steeped in history, which the front-of-house staff will be happy to share, and the canopy of trees overhanging the pool deck are said to be up to 150 years old.
Explore the underwater world
If the biodiversity on the shore impresses you, then our underwater marine life will be a delight. Due to the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian oceans at Cape Agulhas, our coastal waters are very nutrient-rich and feed a wide variety of marine life. The underwater world of Plettenberg Bay is a photographer’s paradise with vibrant soft corals taking up every inch of available space and abundant marine life that includes endemic shysharks, cuttlefish, rays, octopus and many species of reef fish. Whether you’re snorkelling or scuba diving, prepare to be amazed.