Plett its a feeling

Hi there! In this edition...

Accolades - Eight international Blue Flag awards for Plett
Summer - Plett Summer Essentials
Polo - Good food & glamour this Plett Polo season
Taverns - Old school meets new trends at Ronaldo's Tshisanyama
Music - Get Lucky Summer’s Three-Day NYE
Summer - The Plett Summer calendar is filling up
Watch - Plett ARTS Festival after video
Read - Blogs, articles and news
Events - What's on this December and into next year
Gigs - View the Gig Guide for local happenings

Eight international Blue Flag awards for Plett

Plettenberg Bay was proud to play host to the national WESSA (Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa) Blue Flag ceremony for 2022/2023 at Lookout Beach on Thursday 3 November 2022.

Plett was selected as the official venue for the ceremony which recognises international Blue Flag status beaches, sustainable boating tourism operators and marinas throughout South Africa, and are thrilled to be awarded Blue Flag status for six beaches and two boats - a total of eight Blue Flag awards.

Plett Tourism CEO, Patty Butterworth, “We are very honoured and privileged, with efforts made by the Bitou Municipality, to have won the opportunity to actually have the launch here. It is the first time that Plett has hosted the launch. We once again received Blue Flag status for our six beaches and, once again, two Blue Flag boats for Offshore Adventures. In fact, they are the only two boats in South Africa to have achieved Blue Flag status, which is very exciting for us!” She is enthusiastic about these accolades for Plett, “ It’s a great testament to who we are as a community, that we are able to use and look after our natural resources because our beaches are one of our most unique tourism selling points. The preservation and conservation of the beaches can be one of our greatest legacies.”

Blue Flag is one of the most recognisable voluntary eco-labels in the world with 4500 sites in more than 45 countries. In order to qualify for the coveted Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. In South Africa, Blue Flag is administered by WESSA, an organisation that has, for the past 90 years, proactively engaged with the challenges and opportunities of our country’s unique natural heritage, and the social and economic opportunities that depend on it. “Today we opened the season for the Blue Flag Programme - the 2022/2023 Blue Flag season,” Helena Atkinson of WESSA noted, “Today is a very special day, it’s a day that we celebrate the municipalities and all their hard work - the boat owners, the marinas -  people that put in a lot of work to ensure that our beaches are safe, our water is clean, that there are lifeguards on duty, environmental education happens at the beaches, the facilities are clean and in good condition - it’s a wonderful programme that celebrates the quality beaches that we have in South Africa.”

Plettenberg Bay is regularly nominated amongst Africa’s leading beach destinations and retained Blue Flag status for the same six beaches and two boats as in previous years. Bitou Mayor, Dave Swart recognises this as an indication that Bitou Municipality and partners continue to provide a world-class beach-going experience for visitors and locals alike. He said at the ceremony on Lookout Beach, “It shows that Plett continues doing what it has set out to do. The Blue Flag status shows that we are looking after our environment, that we’re taking care of our area and we’re making our visitors’ and our locals’ experiences at the beaches a pleasant one.”

Plett’s Blue Flag beaches for the 2022/2023 season are Robberg 5, Lookout Beach, Keurboomstrand, The Dunes, Singing Kettle and Nature’s Valley beaches - six of Plett’s most beautiful beaches. And, as an extra benefit for Plett, Offshore Adventures has again secured two sustainable Blue Flag boats - surprisingly, the only two boats to receive Blue Flag recognition in South Africa for this season. Another accolade for a town that takes pride in its natural resources and works as a community to share knowledge and preserve our pristine marine environments.

More about Plett’s Blue Flag beaches
Two Blue Flag boats for Offshore Adventures
Lombkor - Risk Planning

Plett Summer Essentials

Are you feeling that Plett summertime vibe? We’d like to make it as easy as possible to access information on events, tides, beaches, dog-friendly Plett and, of course, the Plett Ocean Smart safety campaign.

Please bookmark the Plett Summer Essentials page to ensure that you’re kept up to date on all the latest news during our Plett Summer Festival.

Plett Summer Essentials
Bayview Hotel

Good food & glamour this Plett Polo season

It’s only fitting that wining, dining and glamour should feature alongside what is dubbed the ‘sport of kings,’ at the beautiful and historic world-class polo destination Kurland in the Crags, Plettenberg Bay.

And that’s exactly why the food and fashion offerings have been jacked up for the start of this season.

The polo season at Kurland begins now in November and runs through to April 2023 with various tournaments on the go. It attracts an ever-increasing number of international patrons, top South African polo players and enthusiasts. But it’s also a great spectator sport and a must-do-activity for any visitor to Plettenberg Bay or the Garden Route, attracting thousands of visitors, both domestic and international.

While a polo outing is always about the thrill of the horses and the game, this year it’s also going to be about good food and fashion as Bon App restaurant and Rair Boutique make their debut. Rachel Jirkova will be bringing her inimitable style and joie de vivre to Kurland with an exciting new menu and bespoke pop-up fashion collection to enhance the whole experience.

Plett Polo Club, widely recognised as the leading polo club in the country, if not the African continent, is based on the beautiful Kurland Estate 15mins from Plettenberg Bay. It offers nine polo fields in the area, hundreds of ponies, polo professionals and a six-month playing season and as such is a stand-alone industry in the Garden Route that generates more than R40 million annual revenue.

Polo was originally started in the area to capitalise on Plett being the leading holiday destination in South Africa, where you can play polo in the morning, have lunch on a wine farm and be at the beach in the afternoon. Clifford Elphick established Kurland as a Polo Estate when there was nothing of the sort in the area.

Once the season kicks off in November there will be more than hundreds of chukkas coming up until April 2023. In the height of the season, the number of polo ponies in the area swells to about 700 with 140 grooms in attendance. Polo players and horses here have international status and Kurland also hosts the annual International Polo Test – one of the top ten polo matches in the world.

“We are looking forward to a busy Plett Summer with the launch of the polo season in Plett. Plett Polo features some of the more iconic and sustainable events in Bitou and these events are gaining momentum not only in South Africa but also globally. We are very fortunate to have our town showcased alongside such a popular world-class sport, not only do we garner the exposure, the industry also creates jobs and brings in extensive economic value,” comments Plett Tourism Association CEO Patty Butterworth.

Kurland itself started out as a simple farmhouse, with a humble west-facing veranda. Then came curvaceous Dutch gables and various extensions and additions. Eighty years later, Kurland is a 700-hectare property famous for its lush polo fields, glamorous equestrian events and boutique hotel.

Jirkova will be bringing a special touch to this already-famous venue.

The family started visiting South Africa from the Czech Republic in 2008. They were enchanted by the country from the word go which is why in 2016 they found their dream spots to live permanently between Cape Town and at Pezula, Knysna. In 2019 Rachel opened her fashion boutique called Rair at the Pezula Hotel and later in the main street of Plett. Named after the first letters of their family – Rachel, Allan, Isabelle and Rosie – Rair supports top South African designers mingling with international brands – all personally selected by Rachel. To name a few designers are the likes of Michelle Ludek, Leigh Schubert, Beach Cult and Cape Cobra.

The story of how Bon App Bistro came about is very much part and parcel of Rair. Rachel and her husband were sitting at an adjoining restaurant admiring the newly acquired location of Rair in the heart of Plett town. “I wanted to get some champagne to celebrate, but they didn’t have a liquor licence. I wanted some water and they didn’t have this either so we asked and took over this space,” Rachel explains.

The journey of Bon App (so named because of the expression bon appetit) has been a challenge, Rachel will admit, but two years later they have learnt from some mistakes and now boast an excellent line-up of back and front kitchen staff and a comprehensive menu – which will now be available at Kurland.

This menu is all about ‘a voyage of flavours,’ says Rachel. Visitors to Kurland will be able to order off an extensive al la carte menu that is anything, but run of the mill. From dim sum, to sushi to a burger or one of their signature dishes like wok-charred beef, signature dishes will be on offer.

Rachel’s vision for polo days is inviting people for lunch while offering a Bon App full-menu while they will also be able to browse a pop-up version of the Rair boutique.

In the past lunch needed to pre-ordered for polo days, there wasn’t much flexibility or excitement, but now Bon App brings a menu resplendent in choice.

While nobody is going to mind if visitors wear flip-flops or dress casual to polo, Rachel says a day out at the polo is the perfect opportunity to go big, to wear that gorgeous outfit, to don a hat and the jewellery to boot.

“I love the horses. I love ‘Plett’s a feeling’ and what better way to celebrate than with food and fashion,” says Rachel.

Polo players bring their own horses, they borrow ready-to-play ponies, some bring their equipment, but there are helmets, gloves, knee-guards, whips and sticks to hire. Everything you ever need for a game of polo is laid on – and now with the final touch of food and fashion offerings, the day just got even more perfect!

Plett Polo season 2022-2023
The glamorous Rachel Jirkova brings fashion and food to the Plett polo season. Photo:
The glamorous Rachel Jirkova brings fashion and food to the Plett polo season. Photo:

Old school meets new trends at Ronaldo's Tshisanyama

By Siphokazi Mnyobe

Ronaldo's Tavern and now Tshisanyama has come a long way since it opened 20 years ago in Qolweni informal settlement.

The area is one of the oldest communities in Plett and is currently being developed with more than 50 people having moved into their new RDP houses, so far, and 169 Tops structures in the process of being built. This catchy old-school Tshisanyama which started in a one-room shack has a Kasi old-school look that gives traditional tavern vibes - handmade wooden furniture, disco lights, a cold beer served with pap and vleis and good music - will have you begging for more.

"As someone who learned the skill of carpentry, I decided it would be good to design my tavern and renovate it myself, " says Ronaldo, the owner of the tavern. 

Sidama Ronaldo Siziba arrived in Plett 22 years ago coming from the dusty streets of Port Elizabeth now formally known as Gqeberha to seek employment. Ronaldo worked in different companies learning a variety of skills that have proved to be beneficial to his business today. Finally, Ronaldo decided to resign his employment and venture into a business which he describes as his true love and passion. "I started trading in a one-room shack selling paraffin and then I bought beers. My wife supported me a lot and made me believe I could grow this place and make it what it is today" he says.

This Kasi Tavern/Tshisanyama does not only cater to the old in the game, Ronaldo is taking advice from his son, Yathandwa and they have made the venue relevant to the new generation as well. Once only a one-room shack, the business has now expanded large enough to occupy four more shacks! When entering, you'll see a small veranda decorated with old-school plastic tables and chairs, and a mixture of wooden chairs made by the owner.
Inside you are greeted by a pool table and a big door on your left that will take you into the big open space which is the Tavern/Tshisanyama. It has a wooden floor and a bar with friendly employees ready to serve you.

On the Tshisanyama side, a meat dishes start at R20 for a piece of pork, however sausage and chicken wings are also available. Ronaldo makes his own Umqawekhaphetshu - pap mixed with cabbage - a traditional dish popular in the Eastern Cape. Occasionally, he will mix in spinach and other veggies, too. These dishes are served with pap or carrot, mixed with cabbage or Umqawekhaphetshu at an additional cost. It’s pure South African weekend comfort food, and very much value for money. 

"I'm glad I listened to my instinct and started my business, it wasn't easy at first but it has grown, my son and Sixolise Mtirara, also known as Bravo, have also assisted in keeping this place alive," says Ronaldo. Yathandwa Qoloma is Ronaldo's son and says after seeing his father push in business he became inspired and also wanted to join the hospitality industry.

Since turning 18 earlier this year, Yathandwa is now a dancer and deejay at Ronaldo’s. Within just a few months of starting to work alongside his father, Yathandwa has organised two successful entertainment events that have put this Kasi tavern on the map in Plett and given it street cred with young and old alike. For his events, 18-year-old Yathandwa invited artists from Plett to perform and showcase their talents including popular songwriter, singer, deejay and producer from New Horizon, Lukho Siziba.

Yathandwa, who is a twin to Thandwayo and brother to Sinoxolo Swaartbooi, explains that Plett Tourism has played a role in shaping how he views his father’s business and believes that the Tshisanyama can entice cultural and leisure tourists who want to experience true Kasi flavour at a traditional tavern. "I want my father's business to be very successful and have as many celebrities talking about it," he said, admitting that he aims to be an event organiser and sound engineer in the future.

He plans to use social media to continue to market the tavern, "I want to make him (my father) proud and put much effort into pushing this business. I see this business bringing amazing artists and celebrities to showcase their craft in Plett.” His enthusiasm and ambition are infectious, “I want it to grow bigger - with this business I want to make the community proud & offer help where we can," says the young entertainer.

Staying in touch with Kasi culture and style is crucial in today's society where everything is about aesthetics. I believe taverns that still have that “shebeen” look and feel are now part of our culture and need to be preserved and celebrated.

If you are looking to celebrate Kasi culture and reminisce on good old days, or you are looking to experience the true Kasi traditional tavern, you should visit family-run Ronaldo's Tavern/Tshisanyama for a 10/10 kasi Experience.

MORE Taverns in plett
Ronaldo's Tavern

Good News - Get Lucky Summer’s Three-Day NYE

It’s good news – the Garden Route’s Biggest Summer Festival series Get Lucky Summer is back! This year, adding a massive three-day NYE festival to the programme. In proud partnership with FlySafair, GoodLuck’s iconic summer concert series is set to return to the Garden Route with an exciting line-up of SA’s top artists.

Get Lucky Summer announces the return of the popular sunset concert series on the Garden Route this 2022/23 holiday season. Included in the series for the first time ever, is an exciting  3-Day New Year’s Eve Festival with a full beer garden, delicious offerings from the food truck market, a Touch rugby tournament and an array of beach sports from volleyball to action frisbee… and of course incredible music from the likes of GoodLuck, Mango Groove, Spoegwolf, Will Linley, Veranda Panda and more (to be announced!).

The 3-day festival promises to be an incredible addition to the Plett Events Calendar, offering a safe family environment with a host of exciting activities.

We know how crazy the summer season can be, and how hard it is to come together with friends and family in an environment that is fun and exciting – so we’ve created a festival experience that combines the best beach activities, a relaxing beer garden, great food and awesome music, that is just walking distance from the beach” says event organizer, Ben Peters.

Hosted at the Robberg Rugby Club, the festival kicks off on Friday the 30th and will be open from 12 noon through to 9:30pm. The touch rugby tournament will take place next to the concert area, with the VIP deck offering a raised viewing experience of both the sporting activities and the concert stage. Spoegwolf will perform a sunset show to bring to a close the first day of the festival. The food market will host some of South Africa’s finest food trucks and attendees will be able to relax all day long in the shaded Corona Beer Garden. Day 2 ushers in the New Year with a concert celebration that promises to ring in 2023 with a bang!

As is tradition with Get Lucky Summer over the years, the event promises the very best in live music, breathtaking views, friends, family and a summer holiday vibe like no other in South Africa. Make sure you get to one of this season’s Get Lucky Summer events!

Get Lucky Summer’s Three-Day NYE
Get Lucky Summer - Photo: Linde Dorenbos

The Plett Summer calendar is filling up

Summer in Plett is a favourite time of the year for socialising and getting together and we’re pleased to announce that the summer calendar for 2022-2023 is looking as enticing as it ever has...

For something different and fun for those who do, or don’t, remember drive-ins, Open Plan pictures puts on a festive season selection of outdoor films. Sundays are jam-packed with fun with Cooler Box Sundays with BarCade Plett & Lehae Tshisanyama, and skaters will be interested to learn about the approved Skate Sundays, downhill race & street skate. Check out the Gig Guide for more on these.

December brings a slew of summer-focused events for both day and night and we’re thrilled to welcome back favourites such as Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta, Barrington’s Wine Festival, Masithethe Ntokazi High Tea, Plett Rage, Carols by Candlelight, and Sabrina Love Summer Challenge in addition to Tiger Falls, Get Lucky Summer, the Plett Polo season, and the Trans-Agulhas Inflatable Boat Challenge.

New on the calendar this year is the Mnandi Brothers’ Market, a Restore one-day yoga retreat at The Space Between, various Christmas-themed markets and shows, and tasty plant-based pop-ups at Kwendalo. Take the ferry to Stanley Island for beach bar summer vibes and their famous 'anything that floats' days, on the Keurbooms.

We wish all of our event organisers the very best and hope that our visitors enjoy every second of the summer fun. Keep an eye on the casual Gig Guide for more on Christmas and NYE celebrations as we receive them.

Find out more about Plett’s summer events

Watch: Plett ARTS Festival

Filmed by 204TV - Enjoy a slice of the Plett ARTS Festival held this spring.

Enjoy a slice of the Plett ARTS Festival held this spring.


A-maze-ing fun at Plett Puzzle Park
A-maze-ing fun
at Plett Puzzle
Welcome new Plett Tourism board members
Welcome to new Plett Tourism board members
Kwano event organisers assisted with Biz-Help
Kwano event organisers assisted with Biz-Help
Lily Pond Lodge celebrates 20 years in tourism in Plett
Lily Pond Lodge celebrates 20 years in tourism in Plett


Gig Guide
Our Lady Conyngham – A Musical Celebration 27 Nov
Our Lady Conyngham – A Musical Celebration 27 Nov
Plett Rage
Plett Rage
02 Dec
Plett Surf Lifesaving Club Golf Day 02 Dec
Plett Surf Lifesaving Club Golf Day 02 Dec
3rd Annual Masithethe Ntokazi High Tea
3rd Annual Masithethe Ntokazi High Tea 03 Dec
Mnandi Market
Mnandi Market
04 Dec
Tiger Falls
Tiger Falls
10 Dec
Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta 16 Dec
Robberg Fine Foods Classic Beach Regatta 16 Dec
Barrington’s Wine Festival
Barrington’s Wine Festival 18 Dec
Carols by Candlelight
Carols by Candlelight
23 Dec
Sabrina Love Summer Challenge
Sabrina Love Summer Challenge 26-29 Dec
Trans Agulhas Inflatable Boat Challenge 28 Dec
Trans Agulhas Inflatable Boat Challenge 28 Dec
Secret Sunrise
Secret Sunrise
29 Dec
Get Lucky Summer
Get Lucky Summer
NYE 29-31 Dec
Chakra Workshop
Chakra Workshop
27 Jan
Oppidum Gut Health Retreat 06 Feb
Oppidum Gut Health Retreat 06 Feb
M&G Investments PE PLETT 13 Feb
M&G Investments PE PLETT 13 Feb

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Plett - It's a feeling!


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