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Welcome to Tsitsikamma – a nature lover̵...

Welcome to Tsitsikamma – a nature lover’s paradise

Looking for a place to escape the winter chill? Look no further than the Garden Route and the Tsitsikamma area for an immersion into nature. Think lovely warm days, visits to the ocean, walks through indigenous forests and a variety of outdoor adventures to partake in. I recently spent two nights in Storms River, a little village set amidst forests with the the majestic Tsitsikamma mountain range as the backdrop. Due to its ideal position along the Garden Route, this small village has grown organically and more tourist facilities and adventure experiences have developed in recent years. It has now become a popular place for travellers to stop on their route up the coast and is a real must for the outdoor lover.

The village is set inland so one needs to drive to get to the ocean. Of course a visit to the Tsitsikamma National Park (part of the Garden Route National Park) is a must. This is where the renowned 45km Otter Trail begins. This 5 day hike with its numerous river crossings is undoubtedly one of the most iconic hiking trails in South Africa. The trail runs along the spectacular coastline between the Storms River Mouth and Nature’s Valley and needs to be booked well in advance. Hop over to Hiking South Africa for further information and to be enticed! 

There are number of day hikes and walks one can do as a day visitor and the walk to the the suspension bridges is easily accessible and so beautiful. With the ocean on one side and indigenous forest on the other, it’s truly an invigorating experience. The park also has camping and accommodation options on offer. Visit their website here.

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park

At The Woods Guest House, Storms River Village

Tsitrus Café, Storms River Village

I stayed at Tsitsikhaya Lodge and At The Woods Guesthouse, both were really lovely and offer bed and breakfast. At The Woods also runs Tsitrus Café which sits along side the guesthouse. It’s a great spot full of local character and they offer really excellent meals. 

Tsitsikhaya Lodge has a number of suites in a garden setting and just one wooden cabin set down a path all by itself. I opted to stay in the cabin and loved the sense of privacy and the views from the deck. The hammock was an extra bonus for some much needed relaxation. I was also treated to a fabulous full body massage from their resident therapist. So book a treatment ahead of your visit.

Tsitrus Café, Storm’s River Village

Tsitsikhaya Lodge Garden Spa

Tsitsikhaya Lodge, Storms River Village

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour

A fun outdoor activity is The Canopy Tour which takes you into the indigenous forest and involves zip-lining from one treetop platform to another along steel cables suspended up to 30 meters above the forest floor. It’s a great outing for kids too.

“Located in the magnificent Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest, many of the platforms are built around giant Outeniqua Yellowwood trees that are up to 700 years old! Standing within the crown of these giants and looking down at the lush forest floor thirty metres below is an experience of a lifetime. The scenery and birdlife is spectacular and professional guides ensure your safety while keeping you informed about interesting features of the forest ecology. If you are fortunate enough, you will spot a pair of Knysna Loeries or the brilliant red plumage of the elusive Narina Trogon.”

If you’re planning on visiting Storms River, I highly recommend you visit The Crags and Nature’s Valley while you’re in the area. There are spectacular walks to do, wine farms to visit and country style restaurants to enjoy. Hop over to Airbnb to browse accommodation options.

For further info on the Tsitsikamma area, follow their Instagram account.

Salt River Mouth in The Crags & Nature’s Valley beach

All photography: Lana Kenney


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