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.

Natures Valley LR-4

(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)

Natures Valley

Natures Valley LR-6 Natures Valley

Natures Valley

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.

Tsitsikama LR-1 Tsitsikama LR-2  Tsitsikama LR-8

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…

Tsitsikama LR-3 Tsitsikama LR-5

Tsitsikama LR-6


Road Trip Part 1: Hogsback

Road Trip Part 3: Birds of Eden and Monkeyland

Road Trip Part 4: Knysna Elephant Park