After agonising over where to start our garden route journey, we decided to fly to George and then drive to Plettenberg Bay, simply because it meant 1.5 less hours driving in the car.
We stayed on this beautiful property just outside the main streets, close to Plett airport, although thank goodness it is a rather poor attempt at an airport so it was not noisy. We discovered this gem on Budget Getaways although it is no longer available for the rest of 2017. It was a spacious 1 bedroom cottage with a huge garden on a farm, some horses, cows and a couple of friendly dogs meandering in and out. Our neighbours on the farm were the parents on one side, their son and family on another side (which meant swings and trampoline on site), their daughter on the other side who runs an exquisite restaurant called Ouland Royale (highly recommend the vegan pie and vegetarian quiche), and the parents in law behind us. They were all as friendly as each other, and home grown tomatoes were left on our doorstep. The other lovely pro was that they are equipped for babies, and they had a high chair attachment, some toys, a baby bath and a portable cot on offer.
We decided to spend 6 nights is Plett – partly because the thought of relocating too often with the little ones was daunting, and partly because there was a lot to do! Turned out we had glorious weather and it was the perfect amount of time to both see things and relax at our new ‘home’. Here is a list of attractions we went to:
- Monkey Land – A wonderful one hour guided walk through the bush with monkeys and lemurs playing or sunbaking. Able to use a stroller, although would have been better with carriers for children, as our pram wasn’t the 4WD type. Miss N enjoyed the curio shop the best and would have stayed for another hour playing with all the soft toys had we let her!
- Birds of Eden – This huge aviary is next to Monkey Land. Whilst there were some stunning birds and it is stroller friendly, birds aren’t really my thing (says she who will cross the road and walk backwards at the sight of a magpie). There were flamingos towards the end which redeemed it for me, but not something I would do again in a hurry.
- Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary – This is the place to see lions, tigers and other cats including servals (did you just learn a new animal?). Another one hour guided tour and very interesting to learn about the animals, but I would try go last thing in the afternoon or first thing in the morning when it is not so hot. I heard that in the afternoon, the animals are waiting to get fed so are down by the fences.
- Plett Puzzle World – Next to Jukani, it has a lovely little playground which is free to use and includes a maze and a trampoline (Note to Australians – ignore safety standards or lack thereof). The cafe has some cute games like big jenga and connect 4 to play with. For older kids, there would probably be some interesting puzzles to do, but for littlies, it was time to go home for naps.
- Knysna Elephant Park – Who goes to Africa and doesn’t encounter an elephant? My
daughter and husband had the elephant experience for about 45 – 60 minutes of patting and feeding the elephants, with an educational experience.
- Robberg Beach – Just beautiful.
- Robberg Nature Reserve – We decided not to let kids get in the way of a good hike, but they did. Instead we got to enjoy the 30 minute hike around part of the peninsula using carriers for the kids. Before we completed the loop, perhaps about half way, we walked a little further to view the seals down below and then backtracked to returned to the carpark.
- Old Nick’s Village – We happened to go on a Wednesday on the way back to Plett from the Crags and stumbled across the cute markets there. Some nice hand made artist shops if I had lets say a spare 10000 rand.
- Adventure Land – We picked a 30 + degree day to enjoy these water slides and pool. Good choice. There are smaller waterslides for toddlers, and great waterslides for adults. We took turns and had the kids watch us enjoy ourselves. The playground and trampoline were too hot for use
- Harkerville Market – Open on Saturday morning, we enjoyed browsing, patting some bunny rabbits and digging in to some Thai food.
- The Heath playground – So inspiring, Amazing. Kids spent a while here, and we enjoyed a cake from the cafe there. But alas, watch out for splinters on the wooden play equipment. Located outside the entrance to the Radical Raptors.
- Radical Raptors – An unplanned great decision after playing at the Heath to see the Radical Raptors show. Our 2.5 year old donned a glove and let the owl and hawk land on her clenched fist. She still imitates this with her toy owl a month later.
- Global Village – Nice outdoor playground, but we didn’t stay for long as there was too much to do and see.
- The Table – A nice restaurant with a kids room and kids can make their own pizza on a Tuesday night I believe. The pizzas were pretty good with original toppings.