We left Hogsback and headed back along the Garden Route, which lies between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town in the Western Cape and is a popular road trip/ backpacking destination for many people visiting South Africa.
We stayed in Natures Valley, a small village on the garden route and is actually a part of the Tsitsikamma National Park. It’s surrounded by the ocean on one side and mountainous, indigenous forest on the other so you really get the best of everything. It’s a great place to relax and has a very chilled out vibe, the backpackers we stayed at did a communal meal every night and everyone has an environmentally conscious outlook on life. It literally gives you a chance to take a step back from modern life and get back to nature.
(The river water gets it’s brown colouring from the roots of the trees, as is referred to by some of the locals as ‘coca-cola’ water)
We also ventured into the second indigenous forest of our trip, the Tsitsikamma forest. One thing the Tsitsikamma boasts is a ‘big tree’, an estimated 600 – 800 year old yellowwood (South African national tree). Yellowwood trees were apparently once plentiful around Plettenberg bay, now a popular tourist destination due to the gorgeous white beaches, but many of them were exploited for their wood and felled, and are now an endangered species.
This time there was no need to battle through the undergrowth as there’s a boardwalk that takes you straight to the tree, and only takes about 10 minutes. However that was still enough time for us to see plenty of wildlife…