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Garden Route from Port Elizabeth in 2 weeks!

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Garden Route from Port Elizabeth in 2 weeks!

Hi all,

My husband and I will be arriving in Port Elizabeth in about 2 weeks around 9-10 in the morning and intend to drive straight to Addo, to spend the day there and return to Port Elizabeth that evening. I was originally planning on spending the following morning in Port Elizabeth to take a look around and driving to Storms River around noon, spending couple of hours in Storms River, then driving to Plettenberg for dinner and staying overnight in Knysna. However, after doing more research, I know feel like we should also stop in Nature's Valley but don't see how we can fit all that in one day. Would you recommend if we skip Port Elizabeth and have an early start that day so we can see Nature's Valley or skip Nature's Valley? Also, would you recommend kayaking or snorkeling in Storms River? Finally, is the water warm enough for swimming around this area this time of the year or would we need wet suits?

Since we have one more day in Knysna after, I figured we can drive back to Plettenberg for whale watching, so that part I'm not too concerned about.

Thanks in advance.

Bloemfontein, South...
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1. Re: Garden Route from Port Elizabeth in 2 weeks!

That is quite a lot to fit into one day.

Port Elizabeth to Storms River: 183 Km. About 2 hours’ drive.

Storms River to Natures Valley: 41km. About 1 hours and 15min drive.

Natures Valley to Plettenberg Bay: 34km. About 30min drive.

Plettenberg bay to Knysna: 33km. About 45min drive

South Africa
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2. Re: Garden Route from Port Elizabeth in 2 weeks!

It's a short time and you will not be able to see and do everything. My first suggestion is to consider spending the night at Addo, instead of returning to PE. That will give you more time to enjoy the park, and maybe do a final early morning game drive the next morning before heading down to Storms River. From Addo, it is about 3 hours to Storms River. If you plan to overnight in Knysna that night, you can certainly pop in at Natures Valley along the way, but you may not have time to do much so you may have to focus on sightseeing rather than activities. Snorkeling or kayaking for example, takes a bit of time. Having said that, the snorkeling at Storms River Mouth is very good, there are a few nice protected gulleys and they have a suggested snorkeling route laid out. The water temperature in this area is notoriously unpredictable because of the currents. It could be 15 degrees C, even at this time of year, but more likely it will be in the high teens (17 to 19). If you are lucky, it could be above 20 degrees C but I would not count on that. Better to bring a wetsuit.

You can reach Natures Valley by taking a left at The Crags, shortly after the toll gate. The road drops down a scenic pass through the forest and then you turn into the village of Nature's valley on the right. The lagoon at Natures Valley is a great place for kayaking or swimming, and the beach is great for taking a long walk. Natures Valley is best enjoyed over a couple of days so you can take time to explore the area, do a short hike to the Salt River mouth, or try some fishing or kayaking. There is no view point, so as a quick sightseeing stop for 30 minutes it is not essential to include, in my opinion. You may want to skip that so you can spend more time at Storms River.

Close to Storms River is one of several "Big Trees" along the garden route, and a short walk into the forest will bring you to this ancient, huge yellow wood tree. There is another one closer to Knysna.

At Plettenberg Bay, a very nice walk to do is to drive out to Robberg Nature Reserve on the peninsula. There is a short circular walk you can do in one hour, or a longer walk. Amazing scenery, and with some luck you may be able to spot some seals and whales (there is a seal colony a bit further down the peninsula).

Hope this helps!

Onne from Wild Wings Safaris

3. Re: Garden Route from Port Elizabeth in 2 weeks!

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