Plettenberg Bay and Knysna – The Garden Route – South Africa
Often dubbed the playground of the rich and famous, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna are world renowned tourist/holiday destinations situated in the Garden Route, the sixth rated best driving route on planet earth. The region combines a variety of treasures not found in such abundance anywhere else – unspoiled nature, adventure activities and sophisticated and secure travelling.
The area includes the Lake District of South Africa, where coastal lagoons and intertwining channels form a series of silvery blue waterways and reed fringed back waters, all framed by the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountains on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other.
The Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma indigenous forests offer hiking trails and eco-tourism activities. Ten nature reserves encircle the varied ecosystems of the area as well as the unique marine reserves, which are home to soft coral reefs, dolphins, seals and a host of other marine life. Various bays along the Garden Route are nurseries to the endangered Southern Right Whale which come here to calve in the winter and spring (July to December).
The 2015 wealth report, compiled by New World Wealth, which provides information on the global wealth sector, with a special focus on the Middle East and Africa, showed that not only do Plettenberg Bay and Knysna top the list of the most popular second or holiday-home destinations among multimillionaires, they also feature among the top 10 most popular towns or suburbs in South Africa for the affluent to put down their roots.
The report showed 490 multimillionaires have second homes in Plettenberg Bay and Knysna, almost double the number of their closest rivals.
Western Cape MEC, Donald Grant said: “Tourism remains a huge economic driver in the region, contributing an estimated 60% to the area’s GDP – in excess of R2-billion annually.”
Plett Tourism Association Chairman Peter Wallington says the reason why the region had become a popular destination of choice among the wealthy is because it is a premier global destination which “compares favourably with similar destinations elsewhere”.
The choice by multi-millionaires to visit or live in the area comes with massive economic spin-offs.
“Wealthy investors make a significant financial contribution to the town in a number of ways. Jobs are created through construction and maintenance of homes, taking part in activities, eating out at restaurants and shopping in local stores.
A proportion of real estate investors make further investments in businesses in Plettenberg Bay creating additional employment opportunities. There is also a spin-off effect, whereby investors attract other investors”.
Principal of Pam Golding Properties in Plett and Knysna, Ling Dobson says that with Cemair now offering regular flights to the major cities direct from Plettenberg Bay; we are seeing more and more people considering the ease of lifestyle, as well as the secure environment that Plett offers. The year 2014 saw R750 million worth of property sales in Plettenberg Bay. The record price for Plett so far was R50 million for a residential property in 2006.
Knysna has been chosen as South Africa’s town of the year for a few years running and is even recognized as one of the Top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor, 2008 Travellers Choice Destination Awards.
Beaches, lakes, mountains and rivers provide infinite opportunities for leisure and outdoor adventure lovers, ranging from tree canopy gliding, kloofing, abseiling, boating to hiking. There are more than eight swimming beaches and daily cruises are held on the famous Knysna Lagoon.
Top spots for investment in Knysna include the world renowned Pezula Golf and Private Estate and the Simola Estate.
In and around the area, are a wide selection of gourmet restaurants, pubs and coffee shops to match any mood or budget. There is an abundance of accommodation options available from Guest Houses and Lodges, Bed and Breakfasts, Self-catering units and Hotels.
There are several festivals held in Knysna each year drawing crowds from all over South Africa and abroad. Knysna offers visitors a wide range of places to see and things to do.