Tsitsikamma was one the areas of the Garden Route where we spent a lot of time camping during my childhood holidays. Still to this day when I think of Tsitsikamma and Storms River valley I think of lushious forests, bridges, untamed ocean and heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. Tsitsikamma is the Khoi word for ‘a place of abundant water’. A weekend in Tsitsikamma is really is not long enough to stay here, but if it’s all you have, here are some must-do’s …
JUMP OFF A BRIDGE
With a rope attached to your ankles or around your waist. A few years ago I chose the latter option at Gourits, the bridge swing and was crazy enough to attempt it twice just to get the video. The Bloukrans Bungy is the world’s highest commercial bungy bridge and borders the Eastern and Western Cape. It is a whopping 216 meters high and you can jump on any day of the year supposedly during any weather conditions. If you have the heart to take this kind of adrenalin, I say do it!
Photograph: Stefani’s “Leap of Faith” off the Bloukrans Bridge
BLACK WATER TUBING
This really is something which the only family can try as it includes a little paddling, swimming and enjoying the river. The more adventurous can however be a part of the rock jumping, and paddling your way through rapids on high water in the indigenous forest part of Tsitsikamma’s National Park.
TSITSIKAMMA HIKING TRAIL
Explore the picturesque mountains of Tsitsikamma and get your hiking boots on. This 2-6 day trail will take you past indigenous forest, river gorges, fynbos, rivers and rock pools for swimming. Get a good night’s rest in wooden cabins provided.
Photograph: Blackwater Tubing in Tsitsikamma, Garden Route
It’s like hanging onto a foofie slide beneath the highest trees and is one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the forest. It lasts for about 2-3 hours and children from the age of 4 can participate. In between sliding along to ten platforms, you’ll get to hear some interesting facts about the forest and the history of the area from the guides – see more info here.
WHERE TO STAY
Blue Horizon Cabin can be found right on the rocks beside the ocean where you can truly submerge yourself in nature and the beauty this area has to offer. There are four bedrooms each with their own spectacular view of the sea. There are braai facilities for you to enjoy during the day or night and is the ideal location to enjoy a little break along the coast.
Storms River Guest Lodge is a B&B with 14 large rooms in a double story house. From the veranda you can enjoy the garden and views of the Storms River mountain Peak. From here, it is super easy to get to the Canopy Forest Tours, go Black Water Tubing or go on short hiking trails through the forest. There are electric blankets and fireplace for the winter time and a swimming pool for the summer. Find more places to stay at accommodation in Tsitsikamma or see Garden Route accommodation for options nearby.