Wittedrift – Secrets of nature beyond beach
If you drive towards Plett and turn inland onto one of two roads that points to Wittedrift, you’re in for a surprise. You’ll be entering a completely different world from the beaches and bars of Plett. Instead, welcome to a world of wetlands, forests, fynbos and grasslands – watched over by the big, blue, bulky range of the Tsitsikamma mountains.
Anyone who wants to see the Garden Route beyond the beach will find nature at its best here, with a myriad of options to explore. Testimony to the richness of its natural resources, Wittedrift plays host to Plett’s first birding festival in October this year. Nature lies everywhere in Wittedrift – from the quiet, rural roadside trees and shrubs of the Stofpad (bring your bikes and cycle this beautiful, peaceful 5km road) to the secretive waterways of the Bitou River, home to gorgeously-coloured kingfishers, the elusive otter, shy bushbuck and the magnificent fish eagle. The Bitou River is an adventure in itself. It winds its way gently through Wittedrift and down to the sea.
Discovery lies around every turn, and the overwhelming peaceful atmosphere redefines the word ‘adventure’. The otter makes its home here, bushbuck come to the shores to drink, birds both common and rare step soundlessly along the shallows in their hunt for frogs and small fish. Enjoy the walking trails run along the shores of the river or take a kayak from Moonriver or Bitou River Lodge and drift along the lily-fringed waterways. Bitouvlei Birding can settle you for as long as you like on the riverside lapa, from where you can commune with nature to your heart’s content. Bhejane Tours offers a unique eco-experience in their bio-mimicry camp on the shores of the Bitou, with guided routes by expert guides. No matter how you do it, the call of the Bitou wetland should be answered.
Moving away from the water, there’s plenty more to see and do. Go on an out-ride from Boschrivier Farm; it doesn’t matter if you’re inexperienced or a seasoned rider, there is a horse for every level to give you a confident and enjoyable ride. The route will take you through forests, grasslands, across streams and all the way you’ll enjoy the freedom in nature that only horse-riding can give you. Hunger Games and Game of Thrones have inspired many to try and master one of the oldest weapons in the history of war – the bow and arrow. Howberry Hills farm has a great archery setup to get you hitting your target in no time. It’s elegant, takes skill, and will instill in you a sense of victory when you get it right.
Wittedrift boasts two game reserves. At the end of the Stofpad lies Giraffe View Safari Camp, where you can get up close and (almost) personal with a range of game, including the beautiful Masai giraffe with its starburst markings and of course the now famous Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Take a drive over the grasslands and then up into indigenous forest for the variety and diversity of flora and fauna for which Wittedrift is becoming well-known.
Why not stay overnight and enjoy the tranquility?
Bella Manga, Eventide Lodge, Boschrivier Farm, Giraffe View, Bitou River Lodge and Moonriver provide a range of high-quality accommodation at affordable prices.
These are just some of the activities in which you can immerse yourself, getting back to nature and finding adventure in the most unlikely way. We can honestly say that the word “adventure” doesn’t always involve high speeds, big machines and defying the odds. Here in Wittedrift it means finding the unexpected, making yourself invisible, and discovering natural treasures that are hidden from a casual (or hasty) passer-by.
WITTEDRIFT BIRDING FESTIVAL – DISCOVER MORE IN WITTEDRIFT THAN YOU THOUGHT POSSIBLE
Be part of the first-ever birding festival to be held in Wittedrift and you will be surprised. Surprised at the astonishing diversity of nature – from fynbos to forests, from grasslands to reedbeds and riversides – and the birds who make their home here. Between 19 and 27 October, the Festival will offer nine distinctive destinations with some 130 species of bird, some of them migratory visitors. The Festival is designed to celebrate this abundance of birdlife and provide an opportunity to experience these beautiful birds with expert guides.
Here are some of the main attractions:
- Guided birding tours
- Birding on horseback
- Illustrated talks over dinner from top birding experts
- Bird ringing demonstration
- Some great deals for overnight accommodation and packages