📸Bottlenose Dolphins in Plettenberg Bay. By Alejandra Vargas
PLETT OCEAN FESTIVAL 30 JUNE – 9 JULY 2023
“We only protect what we love, we only love what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught.” ― Jacques-Yves Cousteau
The second Plett Ocean Festival will take place from 30 June – 9 July 2023. While it is anchored by a Marine Science Symposium to be held at the Beacon Island Resort from the 30 June – 2 July, the festival also provides a shoal of ocean-themed entertainment for both adults and young people.
The programme includes fun and educational events to engage young people, inspire young citizen scientists and entertain young minds – appropriate for a festival that begins on the final day of Youth Month: June. In Plett, we are privileged to enjoy the ocean every day, while being aware of the responsibilities that we have to protect it, and to pass these enjoyments and responsibilities on to the next generation so that they may do better and make wiser choices to protect the lifeblood of our planet.
If you go down to the beach in Nature’s Valley, prepare to be amazed. Nature’s Valley Trust intends to showcase their natural wonderland with an “Explore Our Rocky Shores” excursion, “Shark Smart Awareness” to address the growing interest in these animals with help from Plett Shark Spotters and, for the creatives and builders, a popular “Sandcastle Competition”. Additionally, youngsters can join Chantel Elston on a “Shark Egg Hunt” to support Elmo Africa’s research. And, continuing with the artistic and creative, Manya Marais will present a two-day children’s ocean art workshop at Sky Villa Art Gallery.
The festival also brings back two passionate educators and ocean lovers: The Black Mermaid Foundation’s Zandile Ndhlovu – fresh from the launch of her new children’s book, Zandi’s Song – and Louise Auersperg from Adopt-A-Swimmer, in partnership with Emily Moon River Lodge, to bring a brand new experience to the children of Bitou. Donning snorkels and masks for the very first time, these children will be introduced to the reef and underwater sea life under the guidance of children’s free dive instructor, Ndhlovu. Zandile “Zandi” Ndhlovu is South Africa’s first Black African freediving instructor, TEDx speaker, filmmaker, explorer, and passionate storyteller. Louise Auersperg of Adopt-a-Swimmer is inspired by the collaboration which resonates with her belief that “once the sea has touched your soul, life on land will never be the same again.” This is a closed workshop, however spectators are welcome.
If not all of the children can get to the sea, the sea will come to the children of Bitou in the form of a beautiful and entertaining movie, The Whale Rider, a visit from CapeNature’s Cubs Club, and an educational programme with Lauren Moriarty of Nature’s Valley Trust. The film will be screened in the following community halls: Kranshoek, Green Valley, Kurland, Simunye and Formosa Primary in New Horizons over the festival period. Entrance is R5 or, in support of stopping plastic pollution reaching our oceans, a bag of trash collected from the area.
Plett Shark Spotters will also present two Kids Shark Club events. In Kranshoek, youngsters can try out themes such as Eco-Friendly Kids, Future Marine Scientist, Junior Shark Spotter and Our Ocean Our Life. Kids Shark Club then visits Main Beach with an Amazing Race for young eco-champions who love the ocean. From mini scientists to artists, from adventurers to naturalists, there is something for all young people at the Plett Ocean Festival.
Please check out the programme for an Opening Night Celebration at Surf Cafe, additions to the activities and excursions programme, the full Marine Science Symposium programme, and Whale Heritage Area celebration to finish off the festival. www.plettoceanfestival.co.za
PLETT OCEAN FESTIVAL ACCOMMODATION
Please visit the Special Offers page on the Plett Tourism website for accommodation, restaurant, and activity specials during the Plett Ocean Festival.
The 2023 Plett Ocean Festival is scheduled for 30 June – 9 July 2023, and tickets are available here.
For more information about the line-up of events, view the programme here.