Family Friendly Activities in Plettenberg Bay

07 September 2023

— by Clare Van Rensburg —

Our kids count the minutes until their next holiday to Plettenberg Bay. The long days, warm weather and comparatively few tourists mean that spring is a secret season on the Garden Route. September temperatures here are mild, often ranging between 16 and 22 degrees, which is ideal for the busy little ones in our family. A spring, seaside break to Plettenberg Bay often means up to nine hours of sunshine per day, delivering ample opportunities for fantastic outdoor fun, beach time and family focussed excursions.

A family friendly hotel

Situated on a rocky headland in Plettenberg Bay, along the famous Garden Route, The Plettenberg Hotel has become our ultimate ‘kid friendly’ favourite. The unique coastal hotel extends a warm welcome to families and has a host of boutique hotel touches to put huge smiles on little faces. Their five-star luxury amenities extend to junior guests, with child-sized fluffy robes, kiddies bath amenities and bubbles, a surprise turn-down treat, and an activity pack, as a welcome gift. But it’s the beachside location that gets the biggest stamp of approval from younger guests. Families can choose to book spacious interconnecting suites, so that the kids are just a few steps away or, alternatively, the hotel has two exclusive villas, where larger families can experience the most stylish and private accommodation. The Lookout Villa and Beach House each have their own private heated pool and sundeck for family time.

The gourmet kids’ menu at the Restaurant features a range of child-friendly, nutritious dishes, which make family meals a pleasure. Room service is available for tired parents and the hotel offers a babysitting service for parents wanting to dine alone in the evening. As one of only three South African “Small Luxury Hotels of the World,” The Plettenberg offers families a true experience beyond expectation. Best of all, their springtime offer, to stay for four days and only pay for three, means families can enjoy an extra night of pampering. In addition, the Plettenberg Bay region offers a massive array of educational, ethical, and responsible ecotourism attractions and has become an iconic destination for family trips.

Photo Credit: Plett Tourism

Nurture Nature

Explore the world’s first free roaming primate sanctuary at Monkeyland, in The Crags near Plettenberg Bay. The centre focusses on educating visitors on animal welfare and restoring the freedom of ex-captive primates. This rescue centre offers guided “monkey safaris” (in five different languages) where guests can observe their 550 furry residents (nine different primate species) in an enclosed, semi-wild, forest environment.

The inquisitive and intelligent primates at Monkeyland are all rescue animals. Previously abandoned, abused or neglected, they originate from zoos, labs, circuses, and private collections. The one-hour guided tour leads guests along wheelchair and pushchair friendly walkways and across a swaying suspension bridge. Kids love to watch the indigenous Vervet Monkeys as they bathe and dive-bomb each other in the shallow swimming pool. Elsewhere, the long-limbed Spider Monkeys swing through the canopy while visitors listen carefully to identify the deep whooping calls of the Howler Monkeys. Smaller kids might recognise the striped raised tails of the Ruffed Lemurs who look just like King Julien from Madagascar! Families young and old will enjoy spectacular photo opportunities during every stage of the tour.

Monkeyland follows a strictly #handsoff approach to wildlife interactions. No petting or touching is allowed, attracting international awards for responsible tourism.


Families with wildlife-loving little ones should consider the Wacky Wildlife Special, which offers guests entry to Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, the Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary and an unforgettable Ocean Blue Adventures whale watching cruise. 

Amazing Mazes

The Plett Puzzle Park is a wonderful place for busy bodies to burn off some extra energy. The park features the first life-size 3-D maze in South Africa. This interactive, timber plank maze challenges guests to find keys for all four corners and then escape! The park also has an exciting Forest Puzzle Walk, which meanders through the vegetation, and a fun Rope Maze for the kids. Children under three years are free.

On the Water

Adventurous families will dive at the chance to paddle in the placid waters of Whiskey Creek. Book a boat trip up the Keurbooms River, followed by a one-hour-long, stand-up paddling experience in the tranquil surroundings of the Keurbooms Nature Reserve. No experience is necessary, all equipment is provided, and kids are provided with life jackets. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the glorious sunshine and pristine nature that is so plentiful in Plettenberg Bay. 

After a fun filled day, retreat to the Plettenberg Hotel to take in a movie on Netflix or enjoy a pampering ‘Mommy and Me’ treatment at the Fresh Wellness Spa. The heated swimming pool is a firm favourite with the kids and the tired parents, who can relax on the sun loungers with a glass full of bubbles and a head full of holiday memories that will last a lifetime.


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