Plett Game Reserve

From the Blog

History of the Baroness Lodge

Baroness Game Lodge, the charming safari lodge at Plett Game Reserve, has a very interesting and significant history as the residence of Baron Joachim von Plettenberg. Yes – that Plettenberg, the man for whom the town of Plettenberg Bay is named!


Baron von Plettenberg was the governor of the Cape of Good Hope from 1771 to 1785. A great explorer and conservationist, von Plettenberg travelled extensively throughout the Cape-Colony area. During one such trip, in 1778, he erected a column for the Dutch-East India Company called the Van Plettenberg Beacon on the spot that is now Plettenberg Bay.

As a conservationist, Baron von Plettenberg was concerned about the deforestation of the beautiful indigenous forests and suggested a control post be erected to prevent the overuse of timber. Today, that “Old Timber Shed” is one of Plett’s most iconic buildings.

Joachim von Plettenberg enjoyed the Plett area so much, he built the lodge’s original building as his base to hunt and explore the untamed South African landscapes.   Today, that base is still the core of Baroness Game Lodge and while we have added on additional buildings, the lodge still retains its “out of Africa” feel, with original polished cement or yellowwood floors and high ceilings while modern comforts have been incorporated through four-poster beds, shabby-chic sofas and kilim floor rugs.

When von Plettenberg built his original lodge, the area teamed with animals including the now almost-extinct Knysna Elephant. He would have been able to stand in his doorway and watch the passing of African animals on their way to the water hole, hear the calling of birds and watch the sun set over the Tsitsikamma Mountains.


Today, you can sit on a verandah as zebras and antelope meander across green fields and experience something similar to what the early European explorers would have encountered in the 1800’s. Let Plett Game Reserve turn back the clock, sit back, relax and enjoy all that the reserve can show you, including the newly introduced elephants of “Harry’s Herd.” Continue in von Plettenberg’s footsteps with a horse safari on the game reserve or take it easy with a 4×4 Game Drive – you choose. At the end of a day exploring Plett Game Reserve, you can sink into a comfortable couch and mull over the history of the Baroness and the beauty of the Garden Route.




Book your stay at Baroness Game Lodge at Plett Game Reserve.

To enjoy the beauty and splendor, you don’t need to be staying at the Baroness as day visitors are welcome at Plett Game Reserve and have use of the beautiful, colonial reception area, patio, restaurant and bar.