Plett Ocean Festival 2023: Tickets go on Sale for Symposium

After months of planning, countless queries about the programme and a fair amount of excitement in the Plett Tourism office, tickets are on sale for the three-day Marine Science Symposium (30 June – 2 July 2023) during the 2nd annual Plett Ocean Festival 30 June – 9 July 2023.

The symposium will return to the iconic Beacon Isle Resort from 30 June –  2 July 2023 and will, once again, be MC’d by the Black Mermaid Foundation’s Zandile Nhdlovu.

Take a deep dive into marine conservation and sustainability, coastal exploration, and sun-kissed days on the water. The festival is positioned to take advantage of a number of Plett’s most attractive winter attribute: abundant marine life during the winter months including southern right and humpback whales, visiting and resident marine scientists and conservationists working through the winter months due to gentle weather conditions with mild, windless days and, as the winter months tend to be quieter for accommodation, restaurants and activities, an opportunity to visit Plett and experience our attractions for a new market.

Plett Ocean Festival
Whale and dolphins, Plettenberg Bay coastline by Dr. Gwen Penry

The festival returns after a successful launch in 2022 which fostered much conversation around citizen science, inclusivity and Plett’s position as a destination for ocean-lovers and marine conservation which resulted in the bay being selected as a candidate Whale Heritage Site.

In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught.

Baba Dioum

The landmark Beacon Island, with its near-panoramic ocean views and exquisite sea lounge perched over the rocks and waves of the bay, is the perfect location for a symposium and various conversations about marine science. The symposium brings together experts in their oceanic fields and storytellers for a series of sessions that ocean lovers can really immerse themselves in.

Plett Ocean Festival
Plett’s Wedge Wave by Keegan Pierre Jordaan

Plett Tourism’s Cindy Wilson-Trollip, who spearheaded the development of the festival and the symposium has curated another excellent symposium and festival, gathering experts from the Garden Route and further afield to bring to life conversations about marine conservation and Plettenberg Bay’s marine assets in an entertaining and thought-provoking way:

“The depth of knowledge and extent of research in Plettenberg Bay and the Garden Route on oceanography, conservation and marine life is vast, and we want to share it with the world. The symposium is about a sustainable ocean economy – the ocean and our beaches are Plett’s most important tourist attraction and Plett Tourism is committed to continuing the work of keeping these attractions pristine and flourishing.”

Plett Ocean Festival
Plett’s Robberg Seals

An impressive lineup of both speakers and topics features experts on marine mammals, sea birds and sharks, marine life both great and small, and inspiring lessons from the ocean. The symposium will also take on tougher topics such as the sustainability of boat-based whale watching, the dangers facing our migrating whales, spatial planning for marine protected areas and the importance of diverse representation in the ocean.

It is a well-rounded programme including both crowd pleasers while also seeking to ask difficult questions, stimulating conversation and immersing attendees in a world that desperately needs conservation. As Dr Syliva Earle, founder of global Hope Spots says: “No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Dr Earle visited Plett in 2014 with Mission Blue to launch the Plett Hope Spot.


The Plett Ocean Festival will also offer a variety of fun and family friendly activities – and that undeniable Plett feeling – including rocky shore excursions, scuba diving and snorkeling, collaborations at the festival with Nature’s Valley Trust and Open Plan Pictures to screen the fascinating and inspiring movie, Whale Rider alongside a marine educational programme for young learners. Adopt-A-Swimmer and the Black Mermaid Foundation have partnered to introduce youngsters to the wonders beneath the waves.


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 via For more information about the line-up of events, visit

Accra Weizo 2023

Coming soon! The autobiography: “Alain St. Ange, My Journey”

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