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Top Billing explores Plettenberg Bay in the Garden Route
Top Billing explores the incredible scenery of Plettenberg Bay
The forests of The Garden Route and the fisheries of its coast were once treated as a limitless resource. Today, tourism is the renewable resource driving the economy, and Plett is its best example.
A century after Beacon Island was a whaling station, the nearby waters are now teaming with an amazing variety of aquatic species like dolphins, whales, sea birds and even Orcas occasionally.
Ocean Blue Adventures Director Tony Lubner now runs a thriving eco-tourism business here, the oldest marine protected area in the world, the Tsitsikama Marine Reserve.
Not having a harbour is part of the natural appeal of Plett but it’s meant that Central Beach has had to develop its own solution for launching boats into the surf. A powerful 4x4 tractor thrusts the boat to the water’s edge, slams on brakes, and the law of perpetual motion takes over from there.
For Skipper Nino Stuurman, who’s been a part of the company for 16 years, it sure beats sitting in traffic on the way to work! Once on the boat there’s no shortage of beautiful scenery to enjoy. The natural landscape of the area is stunning and strangely bears a resemblance to the Falkland Islands.
As for the wildlife, it’s hard to miss the Cape Fur Seals who’ve re-claimed a prize stretch of Plettenberg Bay real estate.
The current local population of seals is at about 4 000, a relief as they were nearly hunted into non-existence in 1945.
The real stars of the show, for Harmony anyway, were the beautiful common dolphins.
Swimming at speeds of sixty kilometres an hour, the dolphins bow ride on boats and even on the bow wave made by whales occasionally. Though they are usually found further off-shore we got up close with this incredible species.
It’s the fine dining on many local species of fish and squid which brings the dolphins in to the bay, and for that we can thank the visionaries behind the Tsitsikama National Park!