Nature’s Valley is one of the many gems on the Garden Route, and is unique because it is the only residential area located in a South African National Park.
With amazing natural surroundings, thick forests, stunning beaches, and so much wildlife, this area is the ultimate holiday destination. And with its position on the Garden Route, it’s the perfect stop on a road trip, and also an ideal main destination.
Nature’s Valley is part of the Garden Route National Park, with one of the rest camps, Nature’s Valley Rest Camp, located in the De Vasselot on the banks of the Groot River.
The resort village is accessed via the Grootrivier Pass along the R102 off the N2, and Nature’s Valley at the Groot River mouth is bordered by a cliff on the one side and the Indian Ocean on the other. However, in the mid-19th century, the area was virtually impossible to access. It was only in about 1880, when the Grootrivier Pass was completed, that Nature’s Valley became easily accessible.
In total there are about 360 homes in the area, of which about 80 are occupied year-round. As it is very much a holiday destination, the population changes considerably with the seasons – during the off-peak season the population is a few hundred, but that increases to about 2,000 during peak season, and that excludes day visitors.
Due to its prime location and natural beauty, property in Nature’s Valley is in high demand. Many of the homes are made from logs, almost blending right into the surrounds. However, there are a few modern homes, too.
Nature’s Valley is known for its safe, relaxed atmosphere – perfect for nature lovers, families, travellers and everyone in between. Whether you’re looking for a holiday or are considering moving away from the city and closer to nature, look no further than Nature’s Valley.
It’s a lifestyle that’s completely different from anywhere else. My traffic jam in the morning is seeing another person on the beach.
Richard Neisus, resident
The Crags Eco-Preschool
Best in food:
Nature’s Valley Restaurant: enjoy a wood-fired pizza in the restaurant’s serene setting.
- Enjoy the natural surrounds, from the beaches to the Phyl Martin Park, an indigenous nursery and botanical garden.
- Bloukrans Bungy: the world’s highest commercial bungy bridge at 216m above the Bloukrans River valley, about a 15-minute drive from Nature’s Valley on the R102.
- Otter Trail: there’s a reason this is one of the world’s most popular hikes – the trail takes hikers through some of the most scenic parts of South Africa.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
Take a spectacular tour through the Garden Route here: