Plan a one or two day trip in the Gamtoos River Valley

Whilst vacating in Jeffreys Bay the Gamtoos River Valley is a vibrant mix of nature and agriculture with plenty to see and explore. Travelling along the R331 you first reach Loerie where the famous Naartjie Festival is hosted yearly in September. Citrus fruit grown in this area is the main form of export. 

Hankey is the oldest town in the Valley and is home to the largest Sun Dial in Africa (36.4 diameter). This area was also home to South Africa's first inhabitants, the Khoi and Mfengu people centuries ago. Sarah Baartmann, a Khoi-San woman who spent a tragic and lonely life as an “object of display” in museums in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries finally returned to her homeland in death in 2002 and was laid to rest upon a hill outside the town. 

A popular asset to the town of Hankey is the 9-hole Hankey Golf Course where golfers can putt on the wellkept greens. 

The Queen Victoria Profile, a natural rock formation, can be seen driving in the easterly direction towards Patensie from the Kouga Dam. The Kouga Dam is the first double arched dam built in South Africa and was built in the 1960’s.

Patensie is the last stop before entering the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area. Guarded by the majestic Cockscomb mountain, this little town's activities revolve around the Citrus Industry. 

Here you can visit Padlangs Farmstall where you can enjoy an exceptional view of the valley. It is the perfect location for family and friends to get together. There is a splash pad, a giant chess set, a fantastic play area for children, an outside shower for cyclists, and a fully stocked country shop.

Extending from a one day to a two-day trip there are endless options for Tented and Bush Camping, Guest House accommodation or Selfcatering, where adventure outings such as mountain biking and 4x4’ing, cycling and bird watching can further be explored.

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Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum

The Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum was opened on 15 September 1998 to house the collection of a local Me Charlotte Kritzinger, who dedicated many years to collecting shells. Over time, this collection was further enhanced, through donations and exchanges. A recent addition is a display of Jeffreys Bay micro shells, which is believed to be unique in the region. During December 2019 the museum was slightly upgraded and now also houses some other interesting artefacts. New projects under way will include information about the local fishermen and history of the town. A visit to Jeffreys Bay is not complete without a visit to the Jeffreys Bay Shell Museum which is situated centrally on the beachfront of the town. And houses more than 600 shells from species all of the world making it one of the largest shell collections in South Africa and attracts shell fanatics from all over the globe. Housed in glass cases is a huge variety of shells including the legendary cowrie, the rare paper nautilus, tiny baby jam tarts and a new species of cone. Visit the museum’s blog for information regarding activities at the Shell Museum as well as the Humansdorp Museum – Shell Museum Blog Local shells and shellcraft can be purchased just outside the museum from the shell shops and stalls Open Mon - Fri from 10am to 3pm and Sat from 9am to 2pm Closed on Public Holidays

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Situated only 20 km from Jeffrey's Bay lies the greater St Francis, the south eastern most tip of Africa.

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7 Things to do in Gonjah (Gamtoos Valley) this holiday season

Gonjah is located less than an hour’s scenic drive away from Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s or St Francis Bay which makes this hidden gem perfect for a quick day trip with the family – but be warned, you will probably end up staying longer. Delightfully set next to a gently flowing mountain stream, the site in the “kloof” is surrounded by towering Yellowwood trees – a real escape to the country. Gonjah is easily accessible and only 10 minutes away from Tolbos in Patensie, Gamtoos Valley.

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