NATURE'S VALLEY SOUTH AFRICA

Out and about in and around Nature’s Valley.

Love nature and want to avoid the tourist traps? Nature's Valley is for you. It's in the heart of Tsitsikamma National Park but also conveniently situated to use as base within a 45 min. drive of all attractions this section of the Garden Route has to offer. visit http://www.cruisethecrags.co.za

The place
The unspoilt, undeveloped little village of Nature's Valley is uniquely situated in the heart of the Tsitsikamma National Park. An area regarded by many as the best part of the Garden Route. Bordered by enchanting indigenous forest, tranquil lagoons, towering mountains and kilometres of pristine beach Nature's Valley is a true paradise for the nature lover.
A place where you could find leopard spoor in the forests... (It's totally safe) or bush pigs foraging in the gardens and bush buck grazing alongside the road at night. Or see the famous Cape Clawless Otter in the moonlight and baboons in the early morning mist. Or dolphins and whales frolicking in the ocean or stars so bright at night that you feel you can touch them.

The history
Prior to the arrival of the first settlers only "Strandlopers" (beach walkers) roamed the area along the coast in the 1500's. In the early 1800's the first pioneers in search of timber and farmland penetrated the area. Amongst them was Lord Charles Somerset who hunted elephant in the vicinity. In 1880 Thomas Bain completed the Groot Rivier Pass, which has remained unchanged except for being tarred.
In 1953 the valley became a township.
Today there are approximately 340 houses (mostly holiday homes) and a permanent population of 84 people. There is also a shop and a restaurant. According to a survey some years ago the reserve area was still found to be in an almost pristine condition. On your visit to Nature's Valley the scenery you see around you could well be the same as thousands of years ago

Things to do in and around Nature's Valley:

Hiking trails:
Nature's Valley offers several trails of various lengths. Along the beach past tranquil lagoons and through cool, peaceful indigenous forests. Maps are available from Natures Valley Trading Store for a small fee.

Animals and birds:
The area has 88 species of birds and 21 species of mammals, which includes the rare black oystercatcher and the famous cape clawless otter. Whales and dolphin can also be spotted from the beach.

Beach activities:
The valley has almost 3 kilometres of near deserted pristine beach for a lazy stroll or for safe bathing or snorkelling in the many rock pools at the far side of the beach.

Lagoon activities:
The large and fairly shallow lagoon is perfect for canoeing, sailing, windsurfing and safe bathing for kiddies. No power craft allowed.

Fishing
It's a fisherman's paradise. From the rocks, beach or at the lagoon. And there is plenty for the family to do whilst waiting for the big one to bite.

Further a field within a 20 to 40km from Nature' valley
Bungi jumping * canopy tours * River ferry trips * whale and dolphin sea trips * monkey sanctuary * Motorised glider trips * scuba diving * Snorkel trails at * river rafting * horse riding. See below for more details.


Accommodation:
Besides Froggy Pond there is accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets. B&B's, comfortable Backpacker accommodation, houses to let, a camp site and caravan park.


RESTAURANTS

Nature’s Valley Restaurant, the rustic local restaurant serves wholesome and delicious but unfussy meals to suit all tastes. From light and tasty toasted sandwiches to gourmet hamburgers. Also wide ranges of seafood, steaks, spare ribs and chicken dishes. Or you simply enjoy an ice-cold beer, wine or cocktails on the sundeck. Take-away meals for you to enjoy on the beach can also be arranged.
OPEN FROM 9:30am till 8:45pm DAILY Monday to Sunday except for Christmas day.
P O Box 2 – THE CRAGS 6602 South Africa Phone and Fax +27 44 531 6835 email: beefy@xnets.co.za


Nature’s Valley Trading Store

You can shop for all your basic grocery or picnic requirements, sweets, coldrinks, ice cream, cigarettes, stamps, postcards, gas, T-shirts and a whole lot more. You can also get information on accommodation, where to go, what to do in the area. VISA & MasterCard WELCOME -- FAX FASCILITIES AVAILABLE P O Box 2 - THE CRAGS 6602 Phone and Fax South Africa code +44 531 6835 - email beefy@xnets.co.za


Tsitsikamma National Park:

Situated at the heart of the picturesque tourist region known as the Garden Route, found in the Southern Cape of South Africa. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, "place of much water." The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes. The Tsitsikamma's spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180 m high cliffs. The Park conserves a considerable portion of the natural biota (all living organisms) of the Garden Route.
Tsitsikamma National Park protects a wonderland of inter-tidal and marine life. This is one of the largest single unit ‘no take' (including fishing) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world, approximately 30% of the park is covered in fynbos (Cape Floral Kingdom), scattered amongst the forest vegetation, boasting a wide variety of beautiful flowers, including proteas and heath. Many species of forest, fynbos and sea birds are present. The Park also incorporates various cultural heritage sites ranging from Khoisan cultural heritage sites such as caves, shell middens and rock art to more recent cultural historic sites. During the First World Conference on National Parks in Seattle in 1962, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) appealed to governments for the establishment of marine parks and reserves. The National Parks Board responded with the proclamation of the Tsitsikamma National Park.


HIKING TRAILS

The entire Garden Route is a nature lover and hikers heaven with numerous day walks in the Storms River mouth, Nature's Valley, Plettenberg Bay, Harkerville and Knysna areas and longer hiking trails ranging from 2 days to 7 days.

Day walks in and around Nature's Valley
Nature's Valley offers several trails of various lengths. Along the beach past tranquil lagoons and through cool, peaceful indigenous forests. Maps are available from Natures Valley Trading Store for a small fee.

Major hiking trails in the area:
Amongst the longer trails there is the famous Otter Trail.
This five-day trail ranks as one of South Africa's most famous and spectacular hiking trails. The trail is 48km (5 days) and meanders along a unique and unspoilt coastal stretch of the garden route in the Tsitsikamma National Park coastal forest. It traverses forest, fynbos, and beaches, crosses several rivers and estuaries, and is graded as one of the more difficult hikes. The trail can take a maximum of 12 persons one way.
This hike is extremely popular; reservations need to be made well in advance, preferably a year. Huts include bunks and mattresses. All provisions such as sleeping bags, gas stoves, cooking utensils, etc, need to be taken with and carried on the trail. Barbecue facilities and toilets are provided, as is firewood, Water is either available at the huts or can be taken from the streams. No person should hike alone and care should be taken crossing rivers after heavy rains.
The trail starts at Storms River Mouth and officially ends in Nature's Valley at the Groot River Mouth. Unofficially we say it ends at the Nature's Valley restaurant where you can relax with an ice cold drink, have a delicious hot meal and reminisce on a fine achievement. Also available are a souvenir certificate, trail badges, caps and T shirts.
Other shorter trails include theTsitsikamma trail, Outeniqua trail and Harkerville trail. For more details you can contact SANParks via their website.

 


TOURS IN THE AREA

STORMS RIVER MOUTH TOURS
A guided tour in the Tsitskiamma National Park. Includes strandloper (beachcomber) caves, Swing Bridge and 20 minute boat trip up the Storms River Gorge. Approximately a 45 minute drive from Nature's Valley

BIRD WATCHING TOURS
The garden route is well known for the bird life and wide variety due to its diverse habitats. Bitou Bird Adventures offer guided tours.

CANOPY TOURS
The tour starts 30m above the forest floor in a giant yellowwood tree and offers spectacular views of the forest as you have never seen it before. Approximately a 45 minute drive from Nature's Valley.

BUFFALO HILLS/ Nyati mampoer tour and game drives
One of the many great game farms offering game drives and accommodation in the southern and Eastern Cape area. Situated in the Bitou River Valley, Wittedrift area it offers outride's to see rhino, leopard, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, kudu etc., and more than 150 species of birds.
It also has a fruit based distillery producing as high as 60% proof liqueur. Booking essential - Approximately a 40 minute drive from Nature's Valley.

TOURS FOR THE DISABLED - Nation wide.
Contact Pam and Jeff Taylor Telephone/fax 021 557 4496 or www.flamingotours.co.za email: info@flamingotours.co.za

MONKEY LAND
Is a primate sanctuary with experienced game- ranger guided safaris. Numerous species of monkeys as well as large varieties of forest-dwelling birds. Open daily 8am to 6pm. About a 20 minute drive from Nature's Valley.

LAWNWOOD SNAKE SANCTUARY
The sanctuary offers a 1-hour guided tour, including how to respond to unexpected encounters with local snakes. Approximately 20 minutes from Nature's Valley

FOREST FERNS
Near Storms River is an environmentally friendly fern-harvesting and cultivation industry. Visitors have the opportunity to view the indigenous ferns of the Tsitsikamma forest. Teas and light lunches. Approximately 50 minute drive from Nature's Valley

ELEPHANT PARK
feed and touch elephants. Open 365 days a year from 8.30am, booking is not required as guided tours are offered throughout the day. Approximately a 20 minute drive from Nature's Valley

OCEAN SAFARIS IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE CENTRE FOR DOLPHIN STUDIES
Boat based whale and dolphin watching. Officially licensed for close encounters - Based in Plettenberg Bay - 30 minutes from Nature's Valley

KNYSNA LAGOON FERRIES
John Benn -
Knysna's luxury floating restaurant. Fully licensed. Daily lunch-time and sundowner cruises with meals. About 1 hours drive from Nature's Valley.
Featherbed Cruises
4 hour excursion onto the famous western head of Knysna. Experience the untouched beauty preserved in our nature reserve.

 

 


ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES

BUNGI JUMP and BRIDGE TOURS
Claimed to be the world's highest bungi jump at 216m off the Bloukrans River Bridge. Situated approximately 11km from Nature's Valley on the N2 towards Port Elizabeth. Open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm.

STORMS RIVER CHALLENGE
Includes 110m abseil to the river, down the rapids in a tube and a mountain bike ride. Contact Storms River Adventures

SCUBA DIVING
There are several dive operators offering tours, courses and shark cage diving. Situated in Plettenberg Bay, about 30 minutes from NV and also Knysna and Mossel Bay.

FISHING
Deep-sea fishing
Salt-water fly fishing, tag and release shark fishing offered by Plett Fishing Charters

CYCLING TRAILS AND BICYCLE HIRE
There are several cycling trails in the area. Some are marked and others undesignated routes. Further information can be obtained from the Forestry department in Knysna and from various cycle shops and tour operators also in Knysna.

 


GENERAL ACTIVITIES IN THE AREA

HORSE RIDING
A variety of options are offered. For the experienced and beginners.

MORNING CRAFT MARKETS
There are various interesting craft and home produce markets every Saturday morning. The nearest is approximately 45 minutes from Nature's Valley. The farthest at Sedgefield approximately 1 hour from NV. )

THE BARNYARD THEATRE - SEASONAL
Arrive well before curtain up, bring your own picnic basket supper and enjoy your meal before the show in a lovely barn style atmosphere.
The Crags; Barnyard/Hog Hollow turnoff off the N2, just 15 km from Nature's Valley. Doors open at 6.45pm and show (Soft drinks and wine available, catering on request)

GOLF
There are several golf courses to choose from within a 50km distance from Nature's Valley. Closest is the Goose Valley estate and Plettenberg Bay Country Golf Club. For further information you can visit their websites at www.goosevalley.net or www.plettcountryclub.co.za

 


TODO WITHIN A 3 HOUR DRIVE FROM NATURE’S VALLEY.

THE GREATER ADDO ELEPHANT PARK
is an all in one park comprising a 372 000 ha terrestrial zone and a 120 000 ha marine zone. The only wildlife park in the world where you can view the Big 5 plus whales and great white sharks in a malaria free area. The park is situated 72 km northeast of Port Elizabeth.

CANGO CAVES
Awe-inspiring as one of the oldest natural attractions in South Africa and acknowledged as one of the most beautiful calcite caverns in the world. Guided tours from 9am till 4pm.

SAFARI OSTRICH SHOW FARM
Thousands of ostriches to view from incubation stage to full-grown adults those visitors can ride. The farm has a restaurant and curio shop.

CANGO WILDLIFE RANCH
Have crocodiles and alligators, and a snake park. At cheetah land, one of the only two successful breeding ranches in the southern hemisphere, you can interact with a cheetah.