I stayed at the De Vasselot Rest Camp in Nature’s Valley on the Garden Route for both the 2010 and 2011 Hi-Tec Otter African Trail Runs. The first year I camped, and the second year upgraded to a Forest Hut.
Getting there: head east on the N2 from Plettenberg Bay. Take the R102 turnoff to Nature’s Valley. As you approach the village will be to the right — continue along the road with the Groot River lagoon on your right; the gate will be on the right.
GPS Coordinates: -33.97066, 23.56176
Booking: SANParks Central Reservations
The camp is on the banks of the Groot River which flows down the eastern side of Nature’s Valley, and is in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. Everything is fairly basic, and you are left feeling connected to the indigenous surrounds. There is plenty of bird-life, and you will certainly hear the kok-kok of the Knysna Loerie. You are also likely to be raided by cheeky vervet monkeys. The camp is run by SANParks, and is traditionally the end of the world-famous 5 day Otter Trail.
There are neat and tidy communal ablution, laundry and washing up facilities. Two coin-operated washing machines and tumble driers are available in the main ablution facility.
You are in walking distance of the Nature’s Valley beach. There is a restaurant and a small shop for basic needs on the other side of Nature’s Valley.
Each Forest Hut has two single bunk beds. They have standard three-point electric plug, microwave, kettle, and basic cutlery and crockery. The hut we stayed in was right on the river front, with the stilts of the balcony in the water!
The camping sites are fairly simple and have no electric points. They are all in the deep shade and shelter of magnificent indigenous trees.
A maximum of six persons, one caravan with a side tent and one vehicle, or one tent and one vehicle, or one autovilla or motorised caravan will be permitted per site.
For more information contact the receptionist at the Nature’s Valley Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section) on telephone (044) 531 6700.