Robberg Nature Preserve is a scenic peninsula south of Plettenberg Bay. It’s well known on the Garden Route for its three hiking trails that loop the peninsula with sweeping views of the sea. I think it’s a must-do if you’re in the area.
We planned to check out Tsitsikamma National Park originally, but switched it up to Robberg instead from the suggestion of Natalie and Kate, our awesome hosts from Double Dutch Bed and Breakfast.
We’re so grateful that they suggested Robberg. Instead of driving all day to get to Tsitsikamma, Robberg is just a short drive from Knysna. Who wouldn’t want to spend more time outside and less time just sitting in car?
Getting to Robberg Nature Preserve
Robberg is on the Garden Route, located next to Plettenberg Bay. It’s on Google Maps so just use that or use your GPS.
You can reach here easily by car and enjoy an aerial view of the bay after you park.
Hikes at Robberg Nature Preserve
The main thing people do at Robberg Nature Preserve are hiking and enjoying the views. There are three options for hikes, depending on how much time you have. Robberg fits all schedules — it could be a quick stop or an all day (bust your ass) trip.
The three hike trails at Robberg are:
- Gap Circuit – This is a short 30-45 minute hike that gives you a teaser of the Robberg Nature Preserve. It’s just 2.1km and you get to see amazing views of the sea.
- Witsand Circuit – This is about a 2-3 hour hike that overlaps the Gap Circuit, and then continues to the middle of the peninsula before crossing down a giant sand dune. This hike totals about 5.5km.
- Point Circuit – About a 4-5 hour hike. The longest hike at Robber Nature Preserve. This goes along the whole peninsula all the way to the tip.
Witsand Circuit Experience
I thought the Gap Circuit was a bit not hike-ish enough and the Point Circuit looked like way too much work — so we went for the Witsand Circuit. The first part overlaps the with Gap Circuit and you’ll see some incredible views and smell some funky seals on the coast.
About half-way into the Witsand Circuit, you’ll start hiking across sand. Lots of sand. You’ll be sloshing around for a bit. It’s like walking around in a desert!
One side of this clearing drops off a cliff (so don’t go that way). The other side is something a lot more fun.
At the bottom of the sand dune, you’re rewarded with a DOUBLE BEACH (a beach on both sides!!!)
Perhaps if you planned ahead, you can bring a lunch picnic and enjoy the crashing of the waves.
There’s also a self-catering shack (as in your bring in your own stuff) here that you can reserve ahead of time if you wanted to stay overnight.
Tips for Visiting Robberg Nature Preserve
If you’re doing the Garden Route or in the Plettensburg Bay or Knysna area, I HIGHLY recommend adding Robberg on your short list of things to do. Before you go though, here are some tips from our experience there.
1. Try the inside parking lot
We parked before the gate entrance along with dozens of other people. Little did we know there’s a parking lot after the gate! So if you’re one of those people that must get the closest parking space at the grocery store, then go for the inside lot first.
2. Skip Nelson Bay Cave
Nelson Bay Cave is an archeological site located before the main trails. It’s a beautiful hike down to the site and an interesting site, but for the average visitor, you can skip it.
Here’s what you’ll see down there. A display of the layers of soil.
Some informative signs.
Now that you’ve seen it all, you don’t have to do it yourself and can spend more time on the hikes!
3. Bring sunblock and lots of water
So I totally forgot to bring sunblock and it was a sunny day. I have pasty pale New York winter skin, which meant, instant sun burn. ???? Even with a embarrassingly nasty sunburn that lasted all week, Robberg was totally worth it.
Bring sunblock, a hat, and/or other sun protective clothing or gear that you typically need.
Robberg Nature Preserve
R40/adult & R20/child, payable onsite