10 convincing reasons why you should add Nature’s Valley to your garden Route Itinerary

by | May 5, 2024 | Africa, South Africa, Travel Guides | 0 comments

10 reasons why you should visit Nature's Valley
10 reasons why you should visit Nature's Valley

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There are certain places that catch your attention because of a photo you see on social media or a recommendation from a friend. And then there are those destinations that captivate you solely because of their name. It sounds so promising that you add it to your bucket list immediately. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!

One such place is Nature’s Valley!

The name itself sounds like an amazing place, right? And it truly sets the scene when it comes to Nature’s Valley. Imagine a small coastal village surrounded by lush forests, a postcard-worthy beach, and a tranquil river estuary.

Nature’s Valley is located in the Tsitsikamma National Park along South Africa’s Garden Route. While the Garden Route is one of the most popular destinations, Nature’s Valley is still a hidden gem many people skip in favour of more popular destinations like Knysna or Plettenberg Bay.

In my opinion, that’s a big mistake. Nature’s Valley perfectly blends natural beauty, adventure, and tranquillity. 

In this blog post, I’ll reveal 10 compelling reasons why Nature’s Valley deserves a spot on your Garden Route itinerary.
2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

1 | It is a hidden gem along the popular garden Route

The Garden Route is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa. The coastal stretch from Mossel Bay to Stormsrivier is packed with pretty beachside towns, stunning beaches and lagoons, dense rainforests, and a vast array of activities. 

However, Nature’s Valley is often overlooked in favour of more popular destinations like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. This is why Nature’s Valley has remained a hidden gem despite the Garden Route’s popularity.

2 | It is less crowded than it’s busy neighbors

The locals love the Garden Route just as much as the tourists, and especially during the high season from December to February, the Garden Route is buzzing with people.

Amidst it all Nature’s Valley provides a welcome relief from the crowds. We did visit Nature’s Valley in February, and even though a lot of the accommodation was fully booked it never felt crowded and we had the hiking trails all to ourselves.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

3 | The road to Nature’s Valley is spectacular

Nature’s Valley is situated approximately halfway between Plettenberg Bay and Stormsrivier. Two routes lead to Nature’s Valley and depending on your starting point, the turn-off from the N2 is either around 30 minutes from Plett or Stormsrivier. 

Once you take the turn-off, the roads start to wind their way down to Nature’s Valley. The road closer to Plett, in particular, is very bendy and reminded us of all the U-turns we drove in Montenegro. As you approach Nature’s Valley, the vegetation becomes increasingly more lush and overgrown.

4 | The beach at nature’s valley is stunning

South Africa boasts an abundance of stunning beaches. While I would give the award for the best beaches to the Wild Coast, the Garden Route definitely has amazing beach destinations to offer as well.

Nature’s Valley boasts a windswept, rugged beach with golden sand and a backdrop of deep green forests and steep cliffs. The only signs of civilisation you see from the beach are the paths and boardwalks leading through the forest to the village. 

The beach is around 1 km long, stretching from one side of the valley to the other. It never gets too crowded, and you’ll truly feel like you have it all to yourself.

5 | The nature is the star of the show

As the name suggests, Nature’s Valley is all about nature. True, the landscapes along the Garden Route are stunning anywhere you go. But with its verdant forests, meandering rivers, and a gorgeous stretch of white sand Nature’s Valley is truly one of nature’s masterpieces.

The houses are embedded in nature and the few roads are flanked by shrubs and trees. It really feels like nature has taking over in Nature’s Valley.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

6 | The only restaurant serves wood fired pizza

I don’t think this one needs any further explanations. Wood. Fired. Pizza!

Blue Rocks Cafe is the sole eatery in the village of Nature’s Valley. It is situated at the far end of the village, adjacent to the only supermarket in the area, Nature’s Valley Trading. In addition to wood-fired pizzas, the menu at Blue Rocks Cafe features prawn curries, burgers, pasta, breakfasts and milkshakes.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

7 | Nature’s valley is a hikers paradise

One of the most popular hiking trails in the area is the Otter Trail, a multi-day hike stretching from Stormsrivier to Nature’s Valley. But many gentle and scenic walks offer opportunities to spot bushbuck, bushpigs, and wild birds. 

We did the Salt River Trail, a moderate 5 km loop to the Salt River Mouth. The viewpoints along the way provide the most epic views of Nature’s Valley, and the secret beach at Salt River Mouth is a great spot for a swim. Make sure to bring your swimsuit!

8 | The lagoon is Great for kayaking

The Groot River lagoon at Nature’s Valley is perfect for canoeing and kayaking, with many passageways to explore. The lagoon is inhabited by a range of wildlife, including baboons, otters, and wetland birds. You can rent kayaks and canoes at Nature’s Valley Rest Camp.

9 | Nature’s valley is the perfect place to unwind

Nature’s Valley is the perfect place to stay along the Garden Route if you want a serene and peaceful home base, while still being close to all the excitement. 

Staying in Nature’s Valley is all about unwinding and rejuvenating. You can breathe in the fresh air, listen to the sounds of the forest and the crashing waves, spend your days outdoors or relax on your balcony, all while being surrounded by nature.

2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

10 | It is a great base to explore the Garden Route

Nature’s Valley, despite being slightly off the beaten path, is an excellent place to use as a base for exploring the Garden Route. You can reach Stormsrivier and Plettenberg Bay in just 30 minutes by car, while Robberg Nature Reserve is only 45 minutes away.

Similarly, Knysna is just under an hour’s drive from Nature’s Valley. This means that you can enjoy the peace and tranquility of Nature’s Valley without missing out on any of the Garden Route’s other attractions.

How to get to Nature’s Valley

Nature’s Valley is situated within the Tsitsikamma National Park on South Africa’s Garden Route. To reach Nature’s Valley, you will need a car, and I highly recommend planning your stay as part of a longer road trip along the Garden Route.

Alternatively, the two nearest airports are George and Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), and both are approximately a 2 to 2.5-hour drive away from Nature’s Valley.

I always love using Rentalcars.com to find the perfect car for my holidays!

Where to stay in Nature’s Valley

  • Tranquility Lodge is a quaint Bed & Breakfast with 7 rooms located right next to the only restaurant and shop in Nature’s Valley, and only minutes from the beach. Delicious breakfast is included in the room rate and served on the terrasse, and the little pool is the perfect spot to relax.
  • Kamma Otter has to beautifully furnished apartments, one sleeping 4 and the other 6 people. The apartments have fully equipped kitchens, private terraces, and are close to the restaurant, shop and beach at Nature’s Valley.
  • Forest Cottage @ our Happy Place is a cosy cottage set in a quiet location at the back of Nature’s Valley, about 350 meters from the beach. It features two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, and even a washing machine. 

Browse Booking.com for the best places to stay in Nature’s Valley!

I hope these 10 reasons are enough to convince you to add Nature’s Valley to your Garden Route itinerary. The Garden Route has so many amazing destinations to offer, but Nature’s Valley is truly one of my favourites and I’m convinced you’ll love it too!

Pin this post on Pinterest to save it for a future trip to South Africa!
2-week Namibia itinerary
2-week Namibia itinerary

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Welcome to my world!

Hi, I’m Sara, a twenty-something Swiss on a mission to become a full-time travel writer and digital nomad.