Central Beach, Plettenberg Bay, top tourist destination for the whole of southern Africa
Of all the tourist towns along the southernmost shores of Africa, the one called Plettenebrg Bay in the Garden Route, is perhaps the most beautiful, and of all the faces of Plett, as the locals call it, Central Beach is perhaps the most public. As the name says, it lies in the center of the town, with suburbs and long stretches of sandy white beach stretching on either side for some miles.
Central Beach is where you will find the final destination of the Piesang (Banana) River, as it flows out onto the beach and into the Indian Ocean. Surfers love to catch a nice wave occasionally at this river mouth, which is merely a trickle by this stage, after flowing down the valley toward the sunny shoreline.
At this very point you will notice the most outstanding building called the Beacon Isle resort, a time share type of hotel that is built on what used to be a little rocky island right on the beach itself. In previous centuries it was the location of a whaling station, as whales come here to give birth annually in winter, and I presume our ancestors were catching them here for their valuable oil which was used to light lamps. I shudder to think of it now.
Today whales are protected and this region hosts a marine reserve. Tourists go out on whale watching tours in little boats when the world’s largest mammals are visiting for their calving. And families of holiday makers from all over the country and the world flock here to bask in the sunshine and bathe in the warm waters.
In these photos, I’m standing at the Beacon Isle resort which is joined to the beach by a neat pedestrian bridge, under which the Piesang River trickles on its way to join the sea. You can also get a general impression of the hill that houses the finest real estate in the land. Just behind and up that hill is the town center, with its single main road. Everything is really nearby and the top of the range holiday beach called Central is nestled at the foot of the town for all to admire.
Every year the school leavers come here once they finish and graduate for their passing out holiday, called the Plett Rage. During this holiday recently a massive white tent was erected on the beach front for two weeks of festivities and night time dance parties for the school leavers from the top schools in the country. Accommodation and real estate here is not cheap as you can imagine for a coastal resort, so only the lucky wealthy get to attend these exclusive passing out parties for the young adults during this festival.
The DJs play tunes and the youngsters party into the night right on the beach front. The town really comes alive for the festival annually and it also obviously boosts the tourist economy upon which the town relies. This tourist region naturally appeals to outdoor lovers and those keen on water sports as well as nature exploration.
Not only the whales but also the seal colony nearby attracts tourists who wish to catch views of some of the marine mammals in their natural habitat.
All year long Plett is a haven for tourists and adventurers from all parts of the planet. It’s just such a healthy environment for people of all ages. I highly recommend a little holiday getaway for yourself or your family to this little part of paradise called Plettenberg Bay. You will be truly impressed and inspired by the healthy lifestyle and natural environment for your traveling pleasure. This truly is one of the top gems of the African coastline so be sure to put it near the top of your travel list now that you know of its glories.
(photos my own)