The Robberg Nature Reserve Hike is located in the Robberg Nature Reserve in Plettenberg Bay. The Reserve is a 30 minute drive from Knysna making it a perfect day hike if you’re staying in Knysna or Plett. The scenery of the hike is so incredible and well worth it! You’ll have sweeping views of Plett’s long stretch of beach, watch as seals frolick in crystal clear waters, see sand dunes and visit an hourglass bay with gorgeous blue waters. The reserve has various different distance options for the hike. They all start and end at the same point but just take bigger loops around the peninsula as the distances increase. There is an easy 2km option, a moderate 5.5km option and much longer 11km hike. We decided to do the 5.5km hike and thoroughly enjoyed it. We felt like we got a good walk in and saw lots of the Reserve. I am definitely keen to do the full 11km one day.
Start Location: Robberg Nature Reserve in Plettenberg Bay
Duration: 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate. Path is easy to find. The trail is very manageable for hikers of all levels of fitness and experience.
Conservation fee: R50 adults, R30 children, free with a wild card
The trail begins on the left hand side of the parking lot. There is a very clearly marked starting point. The trail to the right has a no entry sign and will be where the hike finishes.
You begin by walking along the Plett side of the Reserve. On a clear day you’ll be able to see all the way across the bay to the Outeniqua mountains. This section of the hike is flat and rocky.
After about a kilometer you’ll reach the first turn around point. If you’re doing the 2km option this is your turn around point. You’ll know you’re there when you see a boardwalk and steps down to a beach on your right hand side.
Carrying on for the 5.5km and 11km hikes you’ll pass beautiful coves filled with Cape fur seals playing in the waves. The path here becomes steep and there are some steps with a railing for support.
After you’ve climbed to the highest point of the peninsula (not very high or strenous), you will pass through some trees before arriving at the sand dunes. If you are doing the 5.5km hike this is your turn around point. You can continue straight to do the 11km circuit. It is advised that if you have reached the sand dunes after 14:00 you should not attempt the 11km hike and rather turn back at the dunes.
After you’ve turned right at the dunes the sandy path will take you down toward two bays positioned with an hourglass-shaped section of sand between them. The view from the top of this path of the two bays is just spectacular! From above you can decide which of the two bays you’re going to stop at for a swim. The flatest section of ocean is on the far left hand side of the right hand bay. It is a much further walk to get to this spot though so we chose to swim more along the path. Please be aware of rip currents though! Looking down from the top of the sand dune you will walk down the right hand side of the dune to continue the circular route back towards the parking.
Once you have dried off after your ocean dip you can don your hiking boots again and head towards the path on right hand side of the beach. This path will continue along a rocky section past some more gorgeous bays before you arrive back at the board walk which had indicated the 2km hike turn around point.
Follow the left fork in the board walk to head up a steeper rocky section. This is the final stretch before you will arrive at the parking again.
The Robberg Nature Reserve Hike is a truly spectacular hike with really beautiful scenery! Whether you do the 2km, 5.5km or 11km option you will be in for a treat.
Stay tuned for my Knysna blog for more information on things to do along this beautiful section of the Garden Route. If you’re looking for another hike along the Garden Route why not visit Storm’s River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park? Check out my blog on it here.
Is your Garden Route stop part of a bigger East Coast road trip? Why not check out my Cape Town to Coffee Bay blog post?