Nature's Valley is a small village on the Garden Route along the southern Cape coast of South Africa, tucked between the Soutrivier, the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the Grootrivier lagoon. It has a balmy climate and the unusual status of being surrounded by the Tsitsikamma National Park.
It is just a short drive east of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay and just west of Storms River.
A network of trails covers the surrounding hills and beaches. The lagoon offers sheltered water for sailing and canoeing, without powerboating and beach buggies. A walk along beaches and a rocky path leads to the Salt River Mouth after crossing Pebble Beach, a large area completely covered in sea-smoothed cobbles.
East of Nature's Valley is the Grootrivier Lagoon, which marks the end of the Otter Trail, starting at Storms River Mouth, 60km further east. This 5-day trail is considered by many hikers to be the finest in South Africa, being strenuous, scenic and extremely varied. The route meanders along the coast through evergreen forest, past boulder-strewn beaches and frequently crossing tannin-stained streams. Huts are available for the hiker at the end of each day, but bookings have to be made well in advance.
There is plenty to offer the visitor to Nature's Valley, from the many varied hiking trails to the Animal Sanctuaries next door in The Crags. It is also just a short drive to the World's Highest Bungee at the Bloukrans Bridge and Storms River Mouth
Located on the R102, just off the N2, the village is easily accessible by car from Port Elizabeth (3hrs) and Cape Town (6hrs) as well as other towns along the Garden Route.
The main companies pass along the N2 on their Cape Town to Port Elizabeth route. You can ask to be dropped at the R102 in The Crags and from there you can hitch down to Nature's Valley.
The only BazBus stop is at the Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers on the R102 Nature's Valley Road.
By rail & plane
There is no rail station nor airport in Nature's Valley, the closest airport is in George 100kms west.
The only way to get around Nature's Valley without your own car is to walk.
Nature's Valley beach is one of the most spectacular along the Garden Route. The village is surrounded by the Tsitsikamma National Park.
- Hike the Salt River Cove Trail and the Kalanderkloof Trail, a 5 hour mini Otter Trail
- Birds of Eden, The Crags (10kms out of Nature's Valley), ☎ +27 (0)44 534-8906 (firstname.lastname@example.org), .
- The Crags Elephant Sanctuary, The Crags (10kms out of Nature's Valley), ☎ +27 (44) 534 8145 (email@example.com), .
- Visit the other Animal Sanctuaries in The Crags (10kms). Snakes, Birds and Big Cats.
- Jump from the Worlds Highest Bungee at the Bloukrans Bridge (20kms)
- Rent a canoe and spend some hours on the lagoon.
- Walk the final stage of the Otter Trail.
Local Craft shops in The Crags
Eat & Drink
There is only one shop / restaurant / bar in Nature's Valley serving good food and beer at a reasonable price.
- Tranquility Lodge, ☎ +27 (0)44 531-6663 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +27 (0)44 531-6879), . A haven of peace and luxury awaits you in the heart of the Tsitsikamma, surrounded by mountains and a pristine beach. The garden hosts a unique hot-pool.
Outside Nature's Valley, known as The Crags
- Plateau Country House, ☎ +27 (0)71 112-9011 (email@example.com), . All suites are climate controlled and luxuriously appointed, and are complimented by saunas, gymnasium, underground wine cellar, massage studio, hair salon and library. This private 82ha reserve is surrounded by the National Park. R1.150 pps b&b.
- Lily Pond Country Lodge, R102 Nature's Valley Rd., ☎ + 27 (0)44 534-8767 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . From R650 per person per night.
- Wild Spirit Lodge and Backpackers, R102, The Crags (From Plettenburg Bay, 3km along R102, see sign), ☎ +27 (0)44 534-8888 (email@example.com), . Backpackers Lodge and self-catering. Accommodation incl. Dorms, Doubles and Camping. Shuttle Service to all nearby attractions. BazBus stop. Dorms from R100. (-33.948878,23.521256)
The rest of the Garden Route. Nearest cities are Plettenberg Bay to the west and Storms River to the east.