During the long Easter weekend (4 days), we visited Nature’s valley in the Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa. Nature’s valley is a small village which is a good base to explore the area from, including Elephant park, Monkeyland, Birds of Eden, Nature’s valley and the Garden route area. We will post the pictures for Monkeyland and Birds of Eden separately. You can find pictures of the trip by clicking on the picture below.
Natures Valley Album
April has many holidays in South Africa, resulting in number of long weekends. It is a lovely time of the year to travel through South Africa as the weather is still nice and warm and there is not much rainfall. Unfortunately, it tends to also be very crowded during these long weekends, particularly the Easter weekend, which tends to fall within a two week school holiday .
By booking well in advance, we managed to get a reservation in Nature’s valley, which is a remote small town by the ocean in the Garden route. In fact, we briefly stopped over in the town during an earlier trip through the Garden Route.
For this visit, we stayed in Tranquility Lodge, close to the beach at Nature’s valley. Although the location was great, we found the lodge disappointing, which probably mainly had to do with our specific room. The rooms are tiny (more or less the size of the bed), but most rooms have a covered area with table and chairs outside where one can relax. Unfortunately, our room did not have such an area, making the whole three night stay rather uncomfortable. To make things worse, we were close to a pub which often had music blasting until late in the evening, which does not go with our idea of “Tranquility”.
Unfortunately, the weather was not too great which meant we could not do many of the things we had planned to do as most things of interest int that area are outside! At one point, we were in Knysna and the weather became sunny and pleasantly warm. Instead of staying at Knysna, we decided to go back to Nature’s valley to go canoe on the lagoon. By the time we got back there, the weather had changed completely – it had become windy, there was lightning and it started raining! We never did manage to do the canoeing 🙁
What we did also not realize that it is extremely difficult to get into any restaurants on the Saturday before Easter. Not only are there many tourists, but this seems to also be a very popular day to get maried in South Africa! Several of the restaurants were closed for private functions because of weddings. We ended up eating at Hemmingway’s restaurant right on the N2 on the lagoon of the Bitou River. The restaurant also was completely booked full, but the hosts went out of its way to find us a table. The service and food was very good and we strongly recommend the restaurant.