Do, dine and sleep: getting the most out of Tsitsikamma National Park

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 4 April 2022

Near the end of the Garden Route, deep in the forest, parallel to pristine coastlines lies Tsitsikamma National Park.

It’s a top-tier destination for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike, with no shortage of adventures and sights. Let’s take a scenic drive down the yellow brick road (or the N2), so pack your bags, we’re taking a road trip.

Where to stay

1. Tsitsikamma Cottages

Tsitsikamma Cottages is a resort on a 4ha property with nine self-catering options.

Though it’s a stone’s throw away from popular activities in the area, the resort has several on-site recreational facilities, such as a braai area, a pool, a pool table, a trampoline and ping pong.

Cost: From R450 per person.

Where: Farm 542, R102, Witelsbos.

Contact details: i[email protected]

2. Tube ‘n Axe

Amid the Tsitsikamma indigenous forest sits Tube ‘n Axe, offering the perfect hideaway in custom luxury safari tents.

In addition to offering budget friendly accommodation, there is a breakfast add-on for those who don’t want to stray too far from their safe haven.

Enjoy the tranquility of nature in comfort and style or get your blood pumping with the adventure packages.

Cost: From R450 per person for the tented lodge rooms.

Where: 85 Darnell street, Storms River.

Contact details: 079 636 8008

3. Tsitsikamma Lodge & Spa

Tsitsikamma Lodge and Spa comprises 34 free-standing log cabins and self catering units.

Each cabin comes with a spa bath and a private braai area. In the main lodge, you can find a restaurant and bar. There is also a quaint fireplace, where the drinks are plenty and conversations are many.

Cost: From R490 per person.

Where: On the N2 near Storms River.

Contact details: 042 280 3802

Leave no stone unturned

1. Explore the iconic Storms River

Storms River winds through the Tsitsikamma Mountains. It has deep gorges leading into the sea, surrounded by indigenous trees and fynbos vegetation.

For the water babies: take a kayak down the river or go snorkelling for a sneak peek of the marine life at the river mouth.

Who: Untouched Adventures

Cost: Kayak and Lilo adventure at R695. Self guided snorkelling at R200 per person per hour.

Contact details: [email protected]

If you’re not keen on getting wet, take the Storms River Mouth Bridge Trail. Starting at Sandy Bay, the hike takes you through the indigenous forest onto the suspension bridge.

This gorgeous waterfall isn't just for multi-day hikers. You can do it in a day hike from Storms River Mouth.

Credit: Getaway Gallery

For those up for a challenge, take the Waterfall Hike. It’s fairly strenuous and makes up the first three kilometres of the Otter Trail.

Cost: There are no costs other than the conservation fees of R65 for adults and R34 for children.

2. Take a leap of faith

The Bloukrans Bridge has amassed fame from thrill-seekers worldwide, all eager to take a plunge off South Africa’s highest bridge. If this isn’t on your bucket list, it should be. Take a zipline to get to the jump point and cross the suspended skywalk to return to safety.

Who: Face Adrenaline

Cost: R1 400 per person (excluding conservation fees).

Contact details: [email protected]

3. Don’t mind the bats

Tsitsikamma is home to the The Klasies River Cave complex – a set of coastal caves that’s recognised as a National Heritage Site by the South African Heritage Resources Agency.

The site has become well known for paleoanthropological discoveries made in the caves that include some of the oldest evidence of modern humans, according to Britannica.

If you want to take a deep dive in the treasure troves of rich cultural heritage, don’t turn around after the suspension bridge on the Waterfall Hike. Continue with the trail and visit the Stormsriver Mouth Cave.

This is just one of the many ways to visit the Klasies caves.

4. Live life in the fast lane

Credit: Unsplash

The forest has ample terrain to explore. All you need are four wheels and a need for speed.

Who: Tsitsikamma Adventure Land

Cost: R680 per person.

Contact details: [email protected]

If you’re looking for something with a little more horsepower, the park has several 4×4 trails.

There are also plenty of mountain biking trails.

READ: 5 Epic Eastern Cape mountain bike trails

5. Get to know the diverse flora and fauna

Tsitsikamma forms part of the Garden Route National Park. Aside from being an adventure hub, it’s also recognised by the Unesco as a Biosphere Reserve under its Man and the Biosphere programme.

Additionally, the Garden Route National Park is listed as one of the protected areas under the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, which is not only a World Heritage Site, but also a global biodiversity hotspot.

READ: 5 critically endangered South African flora

What to see

Tsitsikamma Park has a multitude of extraordinary flora and fauna, waiting to be explored.

Outeniqua yellowwood. Credit: Jimfbleak/Wikimedia Commons


Cape clawless otter. Credit: Frans Vandewalle/Flickr Commons

READ: How otters are playing their part in fighting climate change

African wood owl. Credit: Frans Vandewalle/Flickr Commons

Caracal. Credit: Getaway Gallery

READ: Fierce felines: Everything you need to know about the caracal

Something to sink your teeth into

Looking for a bite to eat? Look no further.

1. Nature’s Way Farmstall 

On the menu: fresh bread, honey, homemade jams and cheese and free-range eggs.

Where: Natures Valley (off the N2).

2. Tsitsikhaya Restaurant

On the menu: traditional South African dishes.

Where: 24 Fynbos St, Storms River.

3. Marilyn’s 60’s Diner

On the menu: All-American burgers, cocktails and steaks.

Where: Darnell St, Storms River.

Pictures: Supplied


The ultimate Eastern Cape road trip

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