The biggest game reserve in the Southern Cape.
There is no need to travel further than the Garden Route to enjoy a true, untamed African safari.
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the biggest game reserve in the Southern Cape, with more than 2200 ha spread out across the hills above the scenic Garden Route coastline. With its breathtaking views across the Bay of Beauty, its abundance of wildlife, superb facilities for day and overnight visitors and warm African hospitality, it offers an exciting child-friendly safari experience in a non-malaria area with an excellent chance of spotting four of Africa’s Big Five – buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhino. Just 12 km from Plettenberg Bay, one of the most popular and beautiful holiday destinations on South Africa’s Garden Route coast, Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is easily accessible for day visitors who want a big game viewing experience in an open 4×4 vehicle or on a guided horseback safari, or for those looking for an African safari getaway in a luxury 4-star lodge. The reserve boasts a diversity of natural biomes, including fynbos, grasslands and indigenous forests, and the property is the natural confluence of the Keurbooms and Palmiet Rivers. Over 35 species of game, including lion, rhino, giraffe, hippo, crocodiles, buffalo and a large variety of antelope roam free in their natural habitat which is also home to more than 101 different bird species. It is the biggest sanctuary in the area for the endangered white rhino. The friendly and professionally trained game rangers are passionate about sharing their vast knowledge of the local fauna & flora and are experienced guides. The Reserve has outstanding facilities for day visitors which are supervised by cordial, helpful staff. The reception area has a curio shop, coffee shop and well stocked bar and serves an all day menu of light meals and snacks. Guests can dine alfresco next to the children’s play area or on cooler days they can get cosy on the comfortable couches in front of two roaring fireplaces. Plettenberg Bay has one of the most temperate climates in the world, and the weather is suitable for game viewing all year round. During mid-summer temperatures average about 26 ºC by day. Winter temperatures are moderately cooler during the day but warm enough to enjoy the outdoors. The area does not experience the severe windy conditions common to the Eastern Cape and has an average of only four rainy days a month!
Horse and game safaris average at 2 hours.
All participants are welcome so bring your family and friends. However, for horse riding, children must be over 12 years of age.
Wear comfortable, casual clothing. If horse riding, long pants, and closed shoes are preferable.
Game driving a spectator sport from the comfort of one of our safari vehicles.
All bookings must be made in advance as we book up quickly and need to make sure a knowledgeable ranger is available for you.
Click to See Additional Info on this Adventure
Facilities For Day Visitors
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve has superb facilities for day visitors, making it one of the most popular reserves for game viewing in the Garden Route.
Day visitors check in at Reception where there is a bar, curio shop, comfortable seating areas, two huge fireplaces and a fenced outdoor garden with children’s play area and tables and chairs where you can eat outdoors while you watch the giraffe, zebra, and antelope drinking at the waterhole.
The bar serves light meals and snacks from an all-day menu.
The Baroness Luxury Safari Lodge has 10 stylish and spacious suites all with showers, baths, and king-sized beds. While there are no in-suite mini bar or tea and coffee making facilities, our helpful staff are on call to serve refreshments in your room, and there is a bar in the Lodge which is open all day.
We do not supply television sets in the rooms, however, there is a comfortable TV room in the Lodge with a fireplace.
The Lodge has an enclosed Boma with a central open fireplace, a bar and a deck over the dam where sundowners are served. The Boma is available for functions.
Within the main building of the Lodge are a number of comfortable sitting areas with fireplaces, a well-stocked library and two dining rooms, one open plan with the vast kitchen and the other a semi-enclosed area for dining alfresco. Both have fireplaces.
There is a plunge pool in the courtyard off the dining room.
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve will shortly introduce guided Bush Walks for both day and overnight visitors. You will be able to enjoy a two-hour excursion into the exquisite indigenous forests to see ancient yellowwoods, stinkwoods, and ironwoods and learn about these and other plants of South Africa’s Forest biome. You may even catch a glimpse of a Knysna Lourie.
In winter, there will be daily walking at 10h00 and 15h00 and in summer at 10h00 and 16h00.
Your most memorable African experience will be a horseback safari at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. There is no better way to view the game which, accustomed to the presence of the horses, will allow them within very close range. On horseback, you can go where vehicles have no access and are free to roam with the game or track them down. Feel the grass and bush brush past you, breathe in the fresh air around you and listen to the sounds of Africa.
On the two-hour horse, safari guests are accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable game ranger, keen to share his insight with you. Our horses are well-schooled and friendly and will provide a comfortable, easy ride for even the most inexperienced riders.
After the safari, relax at the bar with a drink and share your experiences.
Horse safaris at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve are open to day visitors and are scheduled daily at 10h00 and 15h00, weather permitting.
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, the Garden Route’s largest wildlife reserve, offers exciting game viewing experiences for day visitors and guests of the Baroness Luxury Safari Lodge.
Join our experienced and knowledgeable game rangers for a two-hour game drive in an open Land Rover so you can feel close to Nature and enjoy the sensory experience of Africa. Expect to see any of the Big Four species on the Reserve – buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhino – as well as numerous species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, hippo and crocodiles. If you are interested in birds and the smaller wildlife species which have made their home here, our rangers will gladly point out the indigenous reptiles, insects, and vegetation and share their knowledge about them.
At the close of your game drive experience, you are welcome to enjoy a refreshing drink at the bar, while you recollect your experience.
The game drives at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve are open to the public – so book your drive for the following departure times:
• May-September: 11h00 and 15h00
• October-April: 08h30, 10h00, 11h00, 12h30, 15h00 and 16h00
Why Visit Us
With its breathtaking views that stretch over Bahia Formosa (Bay of Beauty), Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is the biggest game reserve in the Southern Cape. Guests soon discover that there is no need to travel further than the Garden Route to enjoy a true, untamed African safari. Here are a few reasons why …
• Malaria Free
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is a malaria-free game reserve. As travelers become increasingly aware of the dangers of malaria and the difficulties of taking anti-malaria medication, malaria-free reserves are gaining in popularity.
• The diversity of Natural Biomes
The reserve boasts a diversity of natural biomes, including Fynbos, Grasslands, and Forests that are home to several giant yellowwood trees. It is also the natural confluence of the Keurbooms and Palmiet Rivers…
• Free Roaming Wildlife
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve boasts many high profile animals including lion, rhino, giraffe, buffalo, and leopard. The wildlife roams freely throughout the reserve and guests experience them in their natural habitat. For enthusiastic birders, the Reserve is a fantastic birding spot. The local bird society has spotted over 101 different bird species here.
• Passionately Professional and Friendly Guides
The guides at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve pride themselves with their extensive knowledge and deep understanding of African wildlife.
• Children Friendly
Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is a family safari destination – children are most welcome! There is an awesome outdoor play area for children to enjoy, supervised by helpful and friendly staff, while parents enjoy a well-deserved cappuccino (or ice-cold beer).
• Fantastic Weather Conditions
The temperate climate of Plettenberg Bay makes it a popular holiday destination for local and international visitors alike. The minimum average temperature is 13 ºC while the average maximum temperature is 22 ºC. Plettenberg Bay does not experience the severe windy conditions common to the Eastern Cape regions and averages a total of only four rainy days each month.
• Luxury Safari Accommodation at The Baroness
The Baroness is a graded 4-star luxury safari lodge at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve. Originally built in 1822, it was used as a hunting lodge by the Baron von Pletten, an early pioneer, and conservationist. Rates include a 2-hour game drive or horseback safari, dinner and breakfast. Guests of the lodge are treated to luxurious comfort and true African hospitality!
• Plettenberg Bay – a Family Holiday Destination
The seaside town of Plettenberg Bay has gained a reputation for being a top family holiday destination. There is something for everyone, and popular activities include close encounters with whales and dolphins, walking hand-in-trunk with elephants, personal encounters and walks with cheetahs, many scenic day-drives exploring the surrounding area, a vibrant nightlife, ample good restaurants, fresh seafood and world-class wines. Discover local cheese farms, snake parks and animal touch farms, tandem skydiving, sundowners overlooking the ocean, wine tasting at the local vineyard, relaxing and enjoy being pampered at internationally recognized spas, world famous golf courses, hiking trails, and river cruises. Take a dip in the warm Indian Ocean and visit quaint seaside shops.
• Centrally Located
The reserve is centrally located on the Garden Route and there are numerous options available for international or national guests traveling to Plettenberg Bay. Cape Town International Airport is a scenic 5-hour drive from Plettenberg Bay while Port Elizabeth International Airport is a 2-hour drive. Connecting flights are available daily to George National Airport, where guests have the option of either hiring a car through one of many internationally recognized car hire companies, or using a local transfer company. Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve is a 1-hour drive from George Airport and just 15 minutes from Plettenberg Bay.
Your carbon footprint is the negative impact your activities have on the environment and is measured by the number of greenhouse gases you produce in your everyday life through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and using various modes of transport.
Our primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of these gases (CO2) from burning fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation. We have direct control of these. The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the products we use, from the time of their manufacture to their eventual breakdown.
Apart from using Green Energy such as solar heating and wind turbines, recycling and using grey water and biodiesel, planting trees is one of the easiest ways to offset your carbon footprint and become “carbon neutral”. Trees absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and wood. It is estimated that the average person living in the Western World creates 10 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and that 10 trees are needed to absorb 1 tonne of carbon for one year!