Dwesa Nature Reserve

Dwesa Nature Reserve, Port St Johns: Address, Phone Number, Dwesa Nature Reserve Reviews: 4/5

Dwesa Nature Reserve
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16 reviews
Very good

Warner Beach, South Africa50 contributions
Jun 2021 • Couples
This is truly a gem of the old Transkei (eastern cape). The park has 60 campsites and 7 chalets. The campsites have no power with sporadic taps located around, the ablutions facility were nice and clean but small, only 3 showers and three toilets with two basins so it could be unpleasant in season. We were lucky and had the whole park to ourselves for the week.

The chalets have solar power and looked nice.Best choose campsite numbers from 24 to 35 as they are located near the ablutions. Sites 36 to 60 are located opposite the river and you have to cross a swing bridge to get access to the toilet. Site 1 to 23 are a long walk to the toilet.

The beaches are awesome with the most sea shells I have ever seen on a beach.
Fishing is good.
4x4 drives into the reserve are fun and worth while to go to Dwesa point and walk to Mendu point and see the shipwreck , sea shell midden and whale bones. We used local guide vuyani,highly recommend.
Out side the reserve is Nqabara river which is awesome spot with excellent fishing and great river vistas.
Also note that this is a bird Mecca truly awesome.
Written 21 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pierre M
Pretoria, South Africa34 contributions
Dec 2020
Wow , took as forever to reach the reserve as roads are really bad, and with the rainy season muddy and slippery. Roads full of goats, cows, chickens, dogs, children and donkeys and it seems to be the norm for them to stand in the road, they do not even move when you approach ....except for the kids who run into the bushes.
We were lucky to be booked into one of the cabins as it was muddy and wet in the campsite ( also had pouring rain the evening of our arrival)
The beach is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled Wild Coast.
Will be back in future
Written 5 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Charmaine P
28 contributions
Dec 2019
The road down to Dwesa Nature Reserve is extremely hair raising and not easy, you are crazy to attempt it without a 4x4. It tooks us 2 1/2 hours to drive 47km, dodging kids, cows, pigs, potholes, donkeys, goats. BUT ... the screnery is spectacular and untouched.
On reaching the entrance to the DNR, we realised we are in the middle of nowhere with very limited resources. The staff at the gate were not very good in English and didnt know how to communicate or have any skills in dealing with tourists. After filling in a huge amount of paper work, we were told to go to campsite #39 - on arrival (a distance from the main gate) we found someone already set up in our site. The guy came out and said sorry there is a mix up and we must go back to the main office. We drive back - we get told they dont know what to do, we must sort it out with the people in our site. We drive back to the campsite and try and establish the problem, to be told the people camping there arrived two days before us and they liked site #39 more, so we must take the site that they would have been allocated to. We were not at all happy because #39 was a much nicer site, but we were tired and just wanted to set up camp and rest. The Manager arrive much later that day to ask if we want her to get the other couple to move, but as we are not so unreasonable and were already set up so we just stayed where we were.
Besides that unpleasant experience the area is absolutely phenomenal in beauty, with lush forests and mangroves. It is truelly still a untouched part of the Eastern Cape and I hope it stays this way for a long time. The access to the beach is not easy either, if you are a beach person.
Written 28 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Jan 2020 • Couples
If this is the same Dwesa reserve that I know and which we visited yesterday and have done for 30 years, not sure why Port St John's is mentioned.
Port st John's is a long way from Dwesa at a guess around 5 hours by road
Written 2 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Billy Talent
1 contribution
Nov 2019 • Solo
Difficult to spot game as it is very dense bush. Saw a few small buck. Allowed to catch 1 fish per day inside the reserve and release all other cathes. No bait collecting inside. Outside the reserve normal regulations apply. All fish brought inside need to be declared at the gate. Bait can be requested in advance with staff.
Written 22 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roodepoort, South Africa305 contributions
Dec 2017 • Family
If you enjoy fishing, birding, hiking and the beach then this is the place for you. We spent four nights at Dwesa and it was to short. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The only negative would be the ablutions, over December there were to many people to service that amount of people.
We will be going back, Thanks Family JAK
Written 18 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bloemfontein, South Africa154 contributions
Apr 2018 • Friends
The whole Dwesa National Park is absolutely beautiful in scenery, with thick bush of big and over-hanging trees. We camped and the campsites are under big trees, but without electricity. The gravel road was bad, because of all the rain! What a jewel of nature and so quit and peaceful!!
Written 17 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Potchefstroom, South Africa48 contributions
Dec 2016 • Family
We spent 8 days during December 2016 holiday period at Dwesa in one of the cabins. The cabins had everything we needed. We came prepared as we knew there was no electricity and no shops nearby. The roads from Willowvale were in a much better condition than in 2014. The park also upgraded their internal roads and should be congratulated for all the new upgradings they added and are adding to the park as well as the camping sites. They are also building additional bathrooms for campers. When you travel in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape it is always important to get an update on the condition of the roads as a rain storm can change the position from one day to another. Although the cabin was small we sat out on the deck and watch the butterflies, fireflies, night skies and birds. We were amazed by the sounds of the bush and the surrounding area. Although it was clearly a dry season and water was scarce we had enough water for ablutions - some of the guests from the camping sites seem to think water was in unlimited supply when showering though... The area is an amazing place for bird watching, to walk on pristine beaches, to walk along the coastline over hills and on animal tracks or to follow the road through the bush. If you open your mind and your heart to the people living in the surrounding area you will always receive a welcome smile and a wave. We felt save and secure and never had to lock our stuff away (except for the monkeys). We were safer in rural Eastern Cape than we are living in our urban area! It is a place worth a visit! Vuyani is to be recommended for walks and birdwatching.
Written 2 January 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Johannesburg, South Africa29 contributions
Dec 2016 • Friends
Not sure why trip advisor lists Dwesa in Port St Johns as it is nowhere near there. Spent eight nights there this December and was blown away by the beauty of the nature reserve. The beaches are breath-taking, and mostly empty even during the peak December holiday period. Spent endless hours walking on the beach, exploring rock pools, hiking, sitting on the deck and watching the monkeys. The chalets and campsites are clustered close to the entrance. The rest of the reserve can be explored on long hikes, or via 4x4 or high clearance vehicle. The 2 person chalets are quite small and dark (chalets 1 through 4). The 4 person chalets (numbers 5 through 7) are nicer, built on stilts above the tree line. Fortunately we were in a group and spent most of the day either at the beach or with friends in chalet #7 which was much nicer. I imagine I wouldn't have been quite so happy spending the rainy days in our dark and somewhat damp chalet. Be prepared for rustic accommodation (no electricity, no cell phone signal) and 1 hour of bumpy road to get there from Willowvale. The gas fridges don't work very well if you have large amounts of food (as we did for our 8 day trip), would recommend storing items you don't need immediately in the freezers at the park offices at the entrance which are electricity powered. The chalets are very clean and the maintenance isn't too bad. Maintenance staff are very responsive and repair things as soon as you ask. Don't follow google maps directions for the reserve, best way to get there is N2 to Idutywa --> Willowvale --> Dwesa. Excellent sign posts to Dwesa along the way. Highly recommend that you contact Vuyani (park staff have his number) to take you on guided hikes and drives through the park. The two hour forest walk was lovely, and the more challenging half day hike to Dwesa beach was absolutely stunning. Vuyani has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the park, and its flora and fauna and is a lovely guy. Although the chalets were really private I was struck by how close together the campsites are, and all immediately adjacent to the main road. I don't think I would have enjoyed camping due to the lack of privacy. Highly recommend driving or hiking to Dwesa point and also driving out of the reserve to the Nqabara river mouth which is a lovely spot to spend the day swimming. The beaches at Dwesa can be quite windy so Nqabara was a nice reprieve from the wind, and swimming in calm waters of the river mouth was lovely (was told best to swim in the river during the incoming high tide, and void during low tide, as the pull into the ocean can be strong).
Written 30 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pretoria, South Africa4 contributions
Dec 2015 • Friends
Need of maintenance other wise the place wont last. But other than that great stay in the cabins. Road from N2 bad would not advice to take this on with out a high vehicle.
Great beaches in the reserve.
Written 7 January 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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