Plettenberg BayPlettenberg is an understandably popular stop onthe Garden Route. Visitors are spoiled with milesof pristine beaches, peaceful lagoons, swirlingestuaries and the plunging cliffs of the RobbergPeninsula. To the south, Robberg Beach stretchesinto the distance, whilst to the north, the Lookoutrocks shelter a pretty sandy bay. Further up thecoast is Keurbooms Beach, a sandy spit whichprotects a sapphire blue lagoon. Plettenberg townhas an array of seaside curio shops, cafes andrestaurants. The sea is safe for swimming and you may be accompanied by one of the residentpods of dolphins.EMILYMOONRIVERLODGE,PLETTENBERGBAYEmily Moon boasts superb views from its positionhigh on the banks of the Bitou River, overlookingthe marsh. The delightful suites are dotted acrossthe hillside and each has a balcony to make themost of the vista. The rooms are vast, with highceilings and fireplaces. All combine modernfurnishings with artefacts from Africa andIndia.The restaurant, Emily's, is renowned fordelicious food, and there are two lovelyswimming pools. Guests can borrow canoes topaddle along the river, or bicycles to explore, andPlettenberg Bay is only ten minutes drive away.PERIWINKLEGUESTLODGE,PLETTENBERGBAYPeriwinkle is a friendly beach house overlookingthe Robberg Peninsula, enjoying sweeping oceanvistas. There are seven guest rooms, decorated inseaside pastel colours and all but one have seaviews. Robberg Beach's three miles of goldensand is only a gentle stroll away, and therestaurants and shops of Plettenberg Bay arewithin easy reach. There is a lovely lounge andswimming pool but the real highlight is thespacious terrace, a perfect spot to enjoy a glass of wine while watching the dolphins swimmingout at sea. 24Plettenberg BayEmily Moon River Lodge, Plettenberg BayLAIRD'SLODGE, PLETTENBERGBAYThis charming Cape Dutch homestead is situated ten minutes drive from Plettenberg Bay,offering luxurious accommodation in peacefulsurroundings. There are 17 tastefully designedrooms dotted around the tropical gardens on this nine hectare estate. The main lodge features a spacious lounge, grand dining room,shady courtyard and wine cellar, as well as aswimming pool. There are various courtyards and lounges in which to relax, and gentle walks to explore the estate. Overall, Laird's Lodgeblends comfortable accommodation with arelaxed ambience. Laird's Lodge, Plettenberg Bay
www.audleytravel.com/southafrica ?01993 838 550 ?The Garden Route & Eastern Cape25Storms River Mouth suspension bridgeAnlin Beach House, Plettenberg BayBrown lemur, Monkeyland, The CragsANLINBEACHHOUSE,PLETTENBERGBAYLocated only 100 metres away from RobbergBeach is Anlin Beach House, a lovely affordableoption in Plettenberg. Owner-managers Dermotand Fran offer a warm welcome and will gladlygive advice on excursions. There are three guestrooms and one apartment, all of which arefurnished in a modern style. African artworkadorns the walls, adding a unique character to this beach property. Each room has a smallkitchenette, offering the choice of self-catering.Continental breakfasts are served on yourveranda -at whatever time you choose, allowingyou to fully relax and catch up on some sleep ifyou wish. Tsitsikamma National ParkDolphin, Plettenberg BayLovebirds, Birds of Eden, The CragsThe CragsOnly 16 kilometres east of Plettenberg Bay, theCrags is not a destination in itself, but home to anumber of attractions. The elephant sanctuaryrescues elephants from culling and visitors canenjoy short elephant-back rides or walks alongsidethese gentle giants, trunk in hand. Monkeylandprovides refuge for primates from variouscontinents and guided walks lead you through theforest in search of species including langurs,gibbons and lemurs. Next door, Birds of Eden isthe largest free-flight aviary in the world. Theimpressive two-hectare dome houses local andexotic bird species including flamingos, blue cranesand colourful macaws. Tsitsikamma National ParkTsitsikamma National Park is a real must-see onthe Garden Route. Named by the native Khoipeople, it means 'place of sparkling water'. Thescenery is spectacular, combining a dramaticcoastline, steep cliffs, deep river gorges withwaterfalls and a forest filled with centuries-oldhardwood trees. The park is split into twosections: Nature's Valley to the west and StormsRiver Mouth to the east. Nature's Valley istranquil and best explored on foot, making use of the network of hiking trails, perhaps taking aswim in a waterfall pool. The Storms River Mouthsuspension bridge connects the sides of a steepgorge, with the river surging beneath on its wayto the Indian Ocean. The park can be explored in any number of ways, including hiking, mountain biking and horse riding. For a differentperspective, take a canopy tour ziplining throughthe treetops.