Plettenberg Bay is a perfect stop for families. It has nice family beaches, a quaint downtown, reasonably price accommodations (on the off season at least) and great activities for adults and kids alike.
Breakdown of costs for 3 nights and 3 full days for a family of 4 in Plettenberg Bay
Accommodations – $226 for 3 nights in a 4 star B&B (we splurged)
Excursions – $110
Groceries – $41 (lasting 4 days)
Eating out – $36
Total cost: $413
Things to do with families in Plettenberg Bay
All the guidebooks and the millions of pamphlets that populate the walls of every public enterprise around South Africa will lead you to three places:
Birds of Eden
Surprisingly, I enjoyed these place in this order, completely the opposite of what I thought heading into our journey.
Birds of Eden
Birds of Eden – This place was a delight,honestly amazing! Walking into the dome you will definitely feel like you are a tribute in the hunger games. That is where the parallels end, well except for the talking birds of course.
This can be done on the same day as Monkeyland, although we did this second and by the end our kids were tired and wanting to be carried. We had some great food and played with the adventurous birds during our mealtime.
Tenikwa – I would say this was right on par with Monkeyland. The only reason I am ranking it third here is because this might be the only place in the world you can interact one on one with Cheetahs, Servile’s and African wildcats. Our kids loved it and so did we.
There are two options for small children. You cannot take kids under the age of 16 on the morning and evening cat walks (the cats will want to eat them) so you can do the 1 hour standard tour or you can do the 2 hour children focused learning tour. We opted for the 1 hour tour because in our experience this is about right at the point our 4 year old starts to lose focus. If you have kids 6 and up I would do the 2 hour tour. Make sure you book in advance.
Monkeyland – Just one hour like Tenikwa but it will be a memorable one. Interact (but don’t touch) the monkeys. We loved the spider monkeys and all it was very educational. Neat being in the enclosure right along with the monkeys.
I would recommend doing this first then going over and checking out the Birds of Eden which is self guided and can be enjoyed att an easy going pace.
Where to Stay with Kids in Plettenberg Bay
Swallow’s Nest: We ended up at a B&B ran by a Dutch couple and their son. We talked them down to 700 rand a night for a really nice 2 bedroom cottage overlooking the entire bay. They had a good internet connection a small pool (that was too cold for the kids unfortunately) and the best part…. The most amazing breakfast I have ever had.
Honestly I would probably recommend the beach-side backpackers just because their location is a bit better and it is probably a bit more budget friendly for families but this breakfast was so good I may actually consider going back someday for that alone.
We made breakfast our one big meal and prepared sandwiches and the like at home for the rest of the time. But there are tons of quaint small restaurants in town that can be enjoyed, there is a nice big grocery store in the center of town which we used to buy our food.