The Tsitsikamma National Park in the Eastern Cape of South Africa can be found on the top section of the Garden Route. This coastal reserve is a protected area, 80 km long stretching from Natures Valley on the Western side to Storms River on the East.
Visitors to the park will experience breathtaking scenery from lush forests to the magnificent Indian Ocean coastline. The boundary of the park stretches out to sea for about 5 km and in season the Southern Right Whale can be spotted in these waters as they come inshore to breed. Dolphins are also a popular sighting here.
Tsitsikamma is well known for its’ hiking trails, the most popular being the Otter Trail. This Trail begins at the Storms River Camp and has various shorter trails within it that are available for day visitors i.e. Waterfall Trail, Lourie Trail and Blue Duiker Trail. All trails lead through forest scenes and pass by waterfalls, streams and rivers. The Duiker Trail is a particular favorite of birdwatchers. For those who don’t want to “rough it” as much, the Dolphin Trail is a coastal trail that is well worth the exercise.
Accommodation can be found at Storms River Camp and includes camp sites, caravan parks and chalets. A small shop, information and adventure booking office as well as a restaurant can also be found here.
Things to do and see:
With so many attractions you will never find yourself wondering what to do or where to go. Tsitsikamma National Park is a superb destination for all, young and old, looking for adventure or a relaxing getaway.
Recommended best time to visit – September to May
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 28˚C
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 21˚C
Commercial Airlines offer flights into Port Elizabeth, Eastern Province and George Airports, Western Province, the closest Airports to this region. The N2 from both the East and West will lead you into the Tsitsikamma region and car hire facilities are located at both Airports.
May – Elvis / Rock-n-Roll Weekend: Held at Marilyn’s 60’s Diner in the pretty little Village of Storms River.
August – Storms River Traverse: A 3-day bike ride through mountains, plantations and coastline alongside the Storms River Village.
Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word, tse-tsea meaning “clear and gami meaning “water”, also translated as “place of much water”. The park was established on 4th December 1964 after the first World Conference on National Parks was held and an appeal was made to create more marine parks and reserves.
The administrative office is at the Storms River Rest Camp, which is approximately the midpoint of the park.