Where to Stay - South Africa
 

Nature’s Valley had been on our ‘bucket list’ of places to go to in South Africa for quite some time so it was with great excitement when we sent off this weekend for a last minute getaway. We left Port Alfredat about 13h00 and drove the 360 km in just over 4 hours which included a short stop off at the garage at Storms River. There is only one toll road on this route which you pay R38 for just as you turn off the N2 down to Nature’s Valley. Strangely when you go back home the toll road costs R40 – don’t ask me why there is a difference I have no idea.

Things to do in Natures Valley

Nature's Valley

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Ramsgate Beach on the South Coast

Ramsgate

The stretch of coastline to the south of Durban is commonly known as the South Coast or sometimes the Hibiscus Coast. No matter what the time of year tourists and locals flock here in their thousands to soak up the sunshine that lingers long into the winter months of June and July.

At the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast scene is Margate just 130km south of Durban. This is a real holiday town perfect for family holidays where the beach takes precedence. Its’ sandy beaches are filled with tanning bodies during the holidays along with the aroma of coconut sun-screen which seems to be everywhere. READ MORE


The Garden Route is a well-trodden and frequently driven route for many visitors to South Africa but too many of us don’t venture

self-catering-accommodation-along-the-garden-route

Eersterivier - Garden Route

away from the popular stop off points and stick to those places identified in the numerous tourist magazines. Just about midway between Krugersdorp and Storms River along the main N2 route there is a turn off to Eersterivier. The road is a dirt-track and a little bumpy but it is only a short drive to reach the small but quaint seaside village of Eersterivier. On your way down the road look out for the Oudebosch Farm Stall which sells all sorts of things and a good place to stock up on things that you will need for your self-catering holiday here. The drive down to Eersterivier, with the Tsitsikamma Mountains in the background, is just a taster of what is to come.

The first thing that strikes you when you reach Eersterivier is the stunning views which all the houses that are built up on the hillside here seem to have. The many wooden log cabin style homes seem to have merged into the countryside surrounded by the flowers that seem to cascade down to the sea. This is Garden Route self-catering accommodation at its best. The peace and tranquillity is only disturbed by the sound of the Indian Ocean waves crashing – seemingly right on your doorstep. READ MORE


Umhlanga on the North Coast

Umhlanga Rocks

The North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal stretches from Umhlanga all the way up to the Tugela River Mouth. Commonly known as the Dolphin Coast due to the regular sightings of large dolphin pods seen in its warm Indian Ocean waters the coastline is interspersed with pretty small seaside towns such as Zinkwazi, Ballito, Salt Rock, Tinley Manor and Umdloti.

Originally a quite sleepy area of KwaZulu-Natal the Dolphin Coast is now a popular holiday destination with numerous holiday homes and a great selection of guest house and North Coast accommodation within easy reach of the beaches. What were once small towns like Umhlanga have grown to accommodate the busy December holiday season with large hotels along the beachfront and the excellent Gateway shopping mall to service the increasing demands of holidaymakers. Umhlanga is one of the most expensive places to stay along the North Coast but there are many other cheaper and more remote alternatives such as Zinkwazi, Salt Rock and Tinley Manor. READ MORE


TripIt Travel Itinerary

Travelling on holiday to South Africa typically entails multiple flights, multiple stopovers and probably a hire car. In this age of independent travel this means you have probably booked a flight on one website possibly two, booked accommodation directly with multiple venue owners and organised a hire car on another website. By the time you have everything arranged your itinerary has left a trail of email confirmations in your inbox and you have created any number of Login account details.

Ordinarily this means you have now a wad of paper printed off with all your reservation details, arrival times, directions and everything else you will need along the way. We recently came across a travel application called TripIt which seemed to provide a really practical alternative to carrying these important documents. READ MORE