Plett its a feeling

Hi there! In this edition...

Accolades - Plett a candidate for Whale Heritage Site recognition
Safety - Partnership to improve shark safety in Plett
Awards - Plett hosts Blue Flag awards and receives eight
New - Kwendalo Wellness Centre opens in Plett
Art - Plett ARTS Festival a feast for the senses
Wine - Plett Winelands enjoys awards season
Headsup - Coming up in November
Watch - Orcas in Plett
Read - Blogs, articles and news
Events - What's on this December and into next year
Gigs - View the Gig Guide for local happenings

Plett is a candidate for prestigious Whale Heritage Site recognition

Plett Tourism is thrilled to announce Plett’s candidacy to become a prestigious Whale Heritage Site. The bay, located on the Garden Route of South Africa, has been recognised for supporting rich marine biodiversity and ocean wildlife.

Situated between two Marine Protected Areas, Robberg and Tsitsikamma, Plett is ideally positioned for scientific research and marine tourism activities, including whale and dolphin watching. The Tsitsikamma Mountains and Robberg Nature Reserve provide a dramatic backdrop to the bay which is a popular whale-watching destination along with many other outdoor, adventure activities, including mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, trail running, bungy jumping, skydiving, and much more.

A Whale Heritage Site is an initiative by the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) to recognise and accredit destinations across the world that support and demonstrate the importance of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their ocean habitats. Furthermore, these sites empower communities to care for and protect these magnificent marine mammals while encouraging respect for and celebration of cetaceans through local culture, arts and events, supporting local economic and environmental sustainability; and developing locally based science, research and education – a perfect fit for Plettenberg Bay.

The WCA seems to agree: “Sites like Plettenberg Bay have the potential to lead the way in responsible tourism, research and conservation, helping local communities and visitors alike to celebrate and care for the marine environment,” says Elizabeth Cuevas of World Cetacean Alliance. “We look forward to working with the stakeholders at Plettenberg Bay on their journey to become a Whale Heritage Site!”

Those working towards Whale Heritage Site accreditation hope that it will help to bring together different stakeholders in the local community, as well as gaining Plettenberg Bay well-deserved recognition for its sustainability achievements and ecological importance. Southern right whales and humpbacks can be seen here from July to December during their migrations, while Bryde’s whales frequent the bay throughout the year. Bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, and endangered humpback dolphins are also year-round visitors.

The initiative has been spearheaded by passionate local photographer and wildlife enthusiast Rob Smith who, after attending a series of presentations at the Marine Science Symposium held at Plett’s first Ocean Festival earlier this year, was inspired to investigate the Whale Heritage Site process. Smith says: ” The Ocean Festival organised by Plett Tourism in July this year opened a treasure chest of Plett’s marine ecology. It was a moment to acknowledge the unique beauty of our town’s marine and coastal systems.”

Whale and dolphins Plettenberg Bay coastline - Dr Gwen Penry
Whale and dolphins Plettenberg Bay coastline - Dr Gwen Penry
Bayview Hotel

Partnership to improve shark safety in Plett

The Bitou Municipality and the Plett Shark Action Group (PSAG) are pleased to announce they have formally invited Shark Spotters, the Cape Town based shark safety programme, to join them in Plettenberg Bay to develop effective strategies to reduce shark-human interactions in the area.

Following the increase in shark activity in the area and two fatal shark incidents earlier this year, the municipality and the PSAG have been proactive in investigating solutions to mitigate shark-human conflict in Plettenberg Bay.

To date new Plett Ocean Smart signage has been designed and erected at 7 swimming beaches and a permanent camera is being installed at a designated area to connect to a central monitoring system.

Shark Spotters have considerable experience in reducing the risk of shark incidents and the PSAG look forward to working together with them to implement effective and appropriate shark safety measures within the Bitou municipal area.

A team from Shark Spotters has arrived in Plettenberg Bay this week to investigate the possibility of implementing shark spotters and an eco-friendly shark exclusion barrier (similar to that deployed in Fish Hoek, Cape Town) at select beaches.  Shark mitigation is very site specific and as such, each beach requires detailed analysis and assessment to see what, if any, solutions would be possible suitable there. 

Short-term strategies will be developed during the course of this week to improve bather safety over the coming summer season.  Anyone wishing to donate to this initiative to make our beaches and waters safer can do so by mailing their contact information and correspondence to PSAG on email address or  There are several projects identified that require funding; this includes Plett Shark Spotters, camera maintenance and other Plett Ocean Smart objectives.

Shark Safety Tips:

  • The public are requested to adhere to the instructions from the Bitou Lifeguards, the Plett NSRI and Bitou Beach Control officials at all times, and to only swim in designated areas while lifeguards are on duty.
  • Swim where lifeguards are on duty.
  • Swim, surf or kayak in groups.
  • Do not swim at dusk, dawn or at night.
  • Stay in shallow water (waist-deep).

* Conservation and preservation of our greatest assets; the ocean, waterways, forests, landmarks and wildlife in Plettenberg Bay, makes an ecologically and economically significant contribution to the town. Sharks, whales, dolphin and other marine life visit throughout the year – more often during the winter months between May and October. We encourage our residents and visitors to be aware of ocean safety at all times and be respectful of our safety tools and respective to the wildlife that also visit our shores.

Plett Ocean Smart rolls out public awareness campaign

Plett hosts WESSA Blue Flag Awards and receives eight

Huge Congratulations to Bitou Municipality for Plett’s recognition of six international Blue Flag beaches for the 2022/2023 season at a national WESSA (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) ceremony held in Plettenberg Bay today.

Additional congratulations to Offshore Adventures for recognition of two International Blue Flag Boats – the only Blue Flag Boats in South Africa!

Our Blue Flag Boats are Robberg Express & Oceanic Express, and our beaches are Robberg 5, Lookout, Keurboomstrand, The Dunes, Singing Kettle & Nature’s Valley!

Congratulations to all the municipalities whose beaches received Blue Flag status today, from Cape Town in the Western Cape all the way to Cintsa in the Eastern Cape.

Plett hosts WESSA Blue Flag Awards and receives eight

Kwendalo Wellness Centre opens in Plett

Just in time for spring, Kwendalo opened the doors of the Kwendalo Wellness Centre, on the former Rietvlei Country Estate, on 5th September 2022. Nestled against a fynbos-covered hillside on the 16ha estate, the Kwendalo Wellness Centre will offer a range of world-class treatments, classes, retreats and therapies designed around a holistic approach to wellness that includes a signature Six Key Dimensions of Wellness: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social and environmental wellness.

Kwendalo founder, Dr John Cavill, has recruited a team of top professionals including Wellness Centre manager, Nico Weeber – who specialises in counselling, reiki and sound therapy – and homeopath, Dr Hanli Rautenbach, both of whom previously worked with Mrs Cowley at the St Francis Health Centre in Port Alfred. John says: “After years of travelling to various wellness destinations across the globe, I could find nowhere better to rejuvenate body, mind, and soul than Plettenberg Bay. When I found Rietvlei Country Estate, the land was crying out for a more balanced purpose and I found myself drawn to the concepts of wellness and learning, and how we might find harmony in learning from nature and from each other.”

Cavill set out to renovate the property, which includes The Manor House – with six gently revamped suites, The Wellness Centre with six therapy rooms and Green Cafe, a newly built yoga studio, ozone therapy chamber, infrared sauna, learning centre and extensive gardens. The gardens consist of a Market Garden for supplying the Green Café with fresh fruit and vegetables, along with a Chakra Garden and a Medicinal Herb Garden designed by Paul Martin, a Chelsea Gold Medal winner.

The Wellness Centre, Studio, Manor House, and Green Cafe are ready to welcome guests by appointment and, according to Weeber, the therapies on offer are among the best to be found on the Garden Route: “Over the past year or more, we have identified modalities and therapists that will contribute towards Kwendalo’s philosophy of a balanced and holistic approach to wellness. We have a number of retreats and programmes in development that will address personal wellness in all forms and aim to be the go-to destination on the Garden Route for wellness and associated learning.”  The following therapies are available at Kwendalo Wellness Centre on a rotational basis with bookings through reception.

The Green Cafe at the Kwendalo Wellness Centre, managed by food alchemist, Yolande van Papendorp of NumNum fame has already hosted a number of sold-out pop-up dinners serving her signature blend of whole foods and fresh, local ingredients thoughtfully prepared to please the palate and nourish body, mind, and soul. Wednesday evenings are a favourite for pop-up dinners with more dates to be added shortly. Bookings are essential.

The Kwendalo Wellness Centre will be open on weekdays with rotating therapists, from 8am to 5pm, with additional pop-ups, morning and evening events to be regularly announced. For the full menu of therapies and availability and online bookings, visit or, telephone on 044 004 0366 or WhatsApp on 063 669 8006.

Kwendalo Wellness Centre

Plett ARTS Festival a feast for the senses

Plettenberg Bay provided a true feast for the senses as art-lovers connected at the ninth annual Plett ARTS Festival from 30 September – 9 October 2022. The festival provided an experience that embraced all the senses through music, food, artisanal libations, fashion, traditional art, sculpture, digital art, dance and land art while continuing to focus on the festival’s unique attraction of art in nature.

Festival director, Cindy Wilson-Trollip put together a dazzling programme with highlights that included the popular Plett Food & Film experience, music events, and the Plett ARTS Twilight Meander through Plett’s Main Street. Plett Food & Film is a pairing of film with food and experiences inspired by that movie and, for 2022, A Night of Kalahari Enchantment featured The Great Dance, a Hunter’s Story, by Damon & Craig Foster.

Introduced with a poetry reading by Was Lemuel, of Antjie Krog’s adapted San works, and paired with a veritable feast, including wild edibles, inspired the hunting and foraging featured onscreen and a guided tasting of urban-foraged edible roots, leaves and unexpected delectables – the evening proved both entertaining and informative.

The final magical moments of the evening proved to be the most impressive as Dizu Plaatjie – of Amampondo fame – performed moving music from across the ages. The audience was both touched and absorbed by Plaatjie’s performance, which finished with a standing ovation and calls for an encore resounding beautifully with the film and dishes served.

Music always features prominently at the Plett ARTS Festival and Dizu Plaatjies’ show will be remembered for many years to come. Expanding on the musical theme both Main Fact and King Melisizwe brought their signature styles to tshisanyamas in Plett, at Kasi Lyfstyle and Lehae respectively, performing under a glorious Plett sky.

Plett’s music in nature performances were hosted at Bosky Dell, where jazz group The Collectiv played a sold-out show in the rose gardens, and in the forests of Bronze Fields Foundry, Wynand Davel & Rynier Prince played a duet of guitar and violin that floated through the trees on a gentle breeze.

Robert Leggat, master bronzemaker of Bronze Fields and sculptor of Plett’s iconic Dolphin Circle, reported that at one point in the forest concert, a bird sang a duet along with the violin – what a perfect Plett ARTS Festival moment. “Thank you, Plett Tourism, for arranging a wonderful event for us artists,” said Leggat in a message. 

Dizu Plaatjies

Plett Winelands enjoys awards season

The Plett Winelands, while still a comparatively new Wine of Origin region, continue to gain praise and receive accolades across South Africa and the globe, in no small part due to the efforts of local winemaker, Anton Smal.

Newstead Lund Family Vineyards, one of Plett’s most established producers, recently won a Cap Classique Trophy & double gold for the extended time on lees class, 2015 Vintage Newstead Blanc de blanc.Congratulations to one of our favourite winelands teams headed up by Doug and Sue Lund!

Relative newcomer, That Wine Demesne, was recently awarded a double gold at the prestigious Michelangelo Wine & Spirits Awards. Joanna Butler of That Wine Demesne was struck speechless when the awards lists were released, she says: “I was going through the list in the Silver and Gold categories and there was nothing there. Then, I checked the Double Golds and Platinums to see who had received what and – wow – there we were! It was rather a pinch-me moment!”

Will you be exploring the Plett Winelands this summer? Be sure to visit these award-winning estates.

Plett Winelands enjoys awards season

Coming up in November

Spring and summer bring with them a renewed attraction to outdoor events, music festivals and seasonally themed pop-ups.

This November, we have a number of musical events including the gospel events, Bring Youth Home and Ebenezer 1st Annual Music Encounter, both at the Simunye Hall in Kwanokuthula on 6th and 12th of November, respectively. There will be a talk on the History of Fairview House by the Van Plettenberg Historical Society on 4th November and a musical tribute to patron of the arts, Lady Conyngham, at St Peter’s Church on 27th November in aid of Hospice Plett.

The Collectiv, who jazzed their way through a sold-out show during the Plett ARTS Festival, return to Boskey Dell Rose Garden on the 13th November and Barrington’s will be hosting the annual Barrington’s Beer Festival on 19th November for an afternoon celebrating some of South Africa’s finest craft beers and their makers. Find out more.

Check out our casual Gig Guide, too, for impromptu and regular happenings in Plett.

Coming up in November

Watch: Orcas in Plett

Wow! What an incredible sighting for guests of Ocean Safaris to encounter these apex predators: orcas.

Watch: Orcas in Plett
Filmed by Ocean Safaris


Take a run on the wild side
Take a run on the wild side
Grey, Green and Blue
Grey, Green
and Blue
CapeNature’s coolest conservation club
CapeNature’s coolest conservation club
African Beer Cup award for Barringtons
African Beer Cup award for Barrington's


Gig Guide
The History of Fairview House 04 Nov
The History of Fairview House 04 Nov
An evening of Glorious Music
Bring Youth Home 06 Nov
Ebenezer Worship Encounter 12 Nov
Ebenezer Worship Encounter 12 Nov
The Collectiv – in the mood
The Collectiv – in the mood 13 Nov
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
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
Sabrina Love Summer Challenge
Sabrina Love Summer Challenge 29 Dec
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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