One of the best-kept secrets of the Western Cape South Africa is undeniably the rugged treasure that is Nature’s Valley, about a 20-minute drive outside Plettenberg Bay.

The road twists and turns down toward the coast, hugging the hillside ever so closely as you descend. It’s not uncommon to spot a Knysna Loerie or Green Woodhoopoe display a brilliant flash of colour as it swoops across the road in front of your car – taking refuge in the lush paradise of Nature’s Valley; an ancient, indigenous forest lying at the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains where the elephants once roamed freely. Now a small village, it still retains plenty of natural beauty.

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At the end of the road, you’ll find a lagoon where the noble Salt River meets the Indian Ocean. The area is blessed with a balmy climate but swimming at the blue flag beach is not recommended. Although being a great spot to surf, the waters are too sharky and notorious for unforgiving rip currents. Instead, just marvel at the majesty of it all when you visit, but, if you’re really feeling up to the challenge, this is the place where one of South Africa’s finest hiking trails ends – The Otter Trail.

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Spot the Loerie.

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There’s something magical about this place. Book your Garden Route trip and venture into Nature’s Valley.

Photography Bev Klein

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