Tstisikamma Travel Guide, Garden Route, South Africa

Tsitsikamma, Garden Route.

This top Garden Route area encompasses magnificent indigenous forests, waterfalls and pristine rugged coastline. Visitors the world over come to breathe the Tstisikamma champagne air!


The Tsitsikamma region unfolds along the N2 highway from Nature's Valley (near Plettenberg Bay) through to the Eerste River at the Kareedouw turn-off which is before Jeffrey's Bay and Port Elizabeth.

In between is the Bloukrans Bridge for adrenalin sports and bungi jumps, the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park, and Storms River Village where visitors can enjoy thrilling adventure rides in the tree top canopy, forest tours and tubing. Storms River Mouth is located where the river meets the sea and falls within the Tsitsikamma National Park.

The distance from Bloukrans Bridge to Storms River Village is around 42km (26 miles). At the foot of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, visitors will find huge swathes of indigenous forest, plantations, and beautiful fynbos (wild shrubs) which form part of the famous Cape Floral Kingdom. There are also deep kloofs and gorges slicing down the plateau toward the sea.

A mild climate and high rainfall ensures lush green vegetation and spectacular ferns, often growing above head height in the forest. It is estimated that there are around 116 kinds of giant trees here including the mighty Outeniqua Yellowwood - a remarkable species that has grown, unchanged for millions of years.

Visitors on a Tsitsikamma holiday in Garden Route can enjoy all the attractions of this region year round. This is a hiker's paradise - the most famous of them all is the Otter Trail. Travellers come from all over the world to experience the stillness of this ancient forest and dramatic coastline.

Tsitsikamma Accommodation

A wide range of Tsitsikamma accommodation is offered from country lodges and hotels to cottages and guest houses. Backpacking, camping and caravanning facilities are popular alternatives.

There are many Tsitsikamma guest houses in this area located in a variety of settings overlooking the sea, in the forest or on small holdings. Self-catering options are also available. The main areas for comfortable accommodation in Tsitsikamma are located in Storms River Mouth, Nature's Valley, Bloukrans Bridge and Storms River Village and through to the Eerste River.

For something different there is a unique Khoisan Village with hut accommodation amongst other regular options at Bloukrans Bridge, and Tsitsikamma bed & breakfast in the township at Storms River.

Tsitsikamma National Park has 2 self-contained restcamps, one at Nature's Valley, offering forest huts, caravanning and camping, and the other at Storms River Mouth offering cottages, chalet, cabins and huts as well as caravanning and camping.

Tsitsikamma Attractions and Activities

Those who love the outdoors will love the Tsitsikamma National Park and surrounding mountains and forest. Secluded beaches and rivers set the scene for adventurous holidays.

Nature's Valley

This little Garden Route town is situated just off the N2 highway between Plettenberg Bay and the Bloukrans Bridge and has the distinction of being the only town within a National Park. Visitors will find a pristine lagoon and beach, indigenous trees and forest alongside the Groot River. The great Otter Trail ends in this village after a 5 day hike from Storms River.

Bloukrans Bridge

Home of the highest Bungi Jump in the world! This Tsitsikamma attraction is one of the highest single span arch bridges in the world. Visitors here can bungi jump 216 metres and enjoy other thrilling adrenalin rides and walks. Tsitsikamma Forest Village is located next to the bridge and offers accommodation, art and craft and refreshment stops.

Tsitsikamma National Park

A wonderful national treasure, this Garden Route National Park covers around 65km (40 miles) between Nature's Valley and the Eerste River. It extends for about 5km (3 miles) out to sea and protects life on the shore, reef and at deep sea level. The dense indigenous forest and unspoilt coastline is a popular holiday, adventure and hiking destination.

Storms River Village

Storms River is a great Garden Route eco-tourism destination. This charming hamlet started life as a shooting box before becoming a crown village in 1845. Surrounded by massive trees (one is 660 years old) and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the village has some small shops, restaurants and basic amenities. Visitors come to experience fabulous hiking, Canopy Tours, tubing and forest tours.

Storms River Mouth

This area is actually located in the Tsitsikamma National Park. The sought after Otter Trail for hikers starts here and ends in Natures Valley further south after a 5 day journey. There is a suspension bridge across the mouth, a pretty beach, an ancient cave, fynbos garden, snorkel routes and more. Visitors can enjoy a number of excellent hiking routes.

Hiking

Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do within this Garden Route attraction. Wholesome family holidays and thrilling adventures can be enjoyed in a fabulous natural setting. For an overview of activities available, this Tsitsikamma guide offers ideas for an exciting Garden Route holiday. There are many hiking options and shorter walks throughout Tsitsikamma. The most famous is the magnificent Otter Trail, a 5 day journey. The Dolphin Trail is a luxury hike with portage, catering and combination Tsitsikamma National Park and private guest house accommodation.

Eco-adventure

At Storms River visitors can enjoy gliding from platform to platform, secured with a harness, in the Tree Top Canopy Tours as well as a Flying Fox (zip-line or foofie slide). Also available; forest tours, tractor trailer rides, tubing on the river.

Adrenalin

At Bloukrans Bridge visitors can bungi jump 216 metres (the highest in the world), also available; Flying Fox (zip-line or foofie slide), Bridge Walking Tours.

Bird watching

The beautiful Narina Trogon can be seen while on a Tree Top Canopy Tour. An estimated 250 species live here including the Knysna Loerie, Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Chorister Robin and the Grey Cuckooshrike.

Wildlife

Tsitsikamma wildlife includes Southern Right Whales (Jun - Dec), Bottle Nose Dolphins, Leopard, Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Porcupine, Bush Pig and Bush Buck, also the Blue Duiker and the Cape Clawless Otter to name a few.

Snorkelling and diving

A great snorkelling trail can be found at Storms River Mouth and guided scuba diving is also offered in the rich marine reserve of Tsitsikamma National Park.

Boating and canoeing

Storms River Gorge is inaccessible except by boat ride this Tsitsikamma attraction is called the "Spirit of Tsitsikamma". At Nature's Valley, board-sailing, rowing, sailing and canoeing take place on the lagoon and along the Groot River.

Art and craft

There are various outlets in this region. Tsitsikamma Forest Village produces various hand made crafts such as beautiful stationery and paper, useful wooden items for the home and kitchen, scented and plain candles, delicate silk / cloth paintings.

Other activities:

  • Mountain biking and cycling
  • Kloofing, abseiling and climbing
  • Horseriding
  • Golf - 9-holes at Eerste River

Contact a Siyabona Travel Consultant to book an exciting Tsitsikamma, Garden Route holiday!