The meandering road swings left and right under the indigenous forest canopy, with rays of sunlight playing on the road from time to time. As I exit the N2 highway onto the R102 towards the Nature’s Valley Rest Camp, it becomes evident that I am entering deeper into untamed wilderness. My imagination drifts to a time when elephants roamed the area.
Words and Pictures: René de Klerk (SANParks Times Reporter)
Yes, I definitely get the sense that I can unwind in my own piece of forest here. I am brought back to reality as I see the sign for De Vasselot, the area where the rest camp is situated, and where I stay in a forest hut, just one of the accommodation options in this section of the Garden Route National Park.
With my very own piece of forest surrounding the hut, I almost forget that I share the rest camp with other people. I have to get used to local residents, but luckily the only evidence is a few spider webs spun over the path. Early the next morning I am greeted by some of the feathered species of the forest.
The forest huts are very basic, but the serenity more than makes up for it. All huts are equipped with two single beds and some basic appliances such as a microwave, kettle and cutlery. Unfortunately there is no running water available inside, but there is a communal kitchen area and ablution facilities nearby.
There are no shops in the camp, but a small restaurant and shop in the village will cater for your basic needs. Take some time to visit the Groot River estuary as it attracts a rich diversity of birds to the area. The beach is also right there, so you can soak up the sun or cool down in the refreshing water.
Nature’s Valley is the perfect place to sit back, unwind and enjoy one of Nature’s great showpieces.
- Location: A forest hut in Nature’s Valley Rest Camp.
- View: Indigenous forest on the bank of the Groot River.
- Moment to remember: The vast birdlife in the vicinity, and the natural beauty.
- Who should go: Those looking for accommodation in the Tsitsikamma section of the park without the hustle and bustle of the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp.
- Price: The two-man forest huts are R600 per night during high season and R490 from 12 January 2016, excluding the conservation fee.