By Dale R Morris
Tsitsikamma is a forested, mountainous coastal area straddling the border between the Eastern and Western Cape provinces. Its famous as a tourist destination because of a plethora of adrenalin focused activities that can be ‘enjoyed’ there. Think Bungee jumping (the highest in the world)’, canopy zip lines, hectic surf, and steep cliffs, and you’ll get an inkling for why this place is so popular with the ‘Type A personality’ brigade.
But fear not (literally) for if you’re not an adrenalin junky, there’s still plenty of wonderful peaceful and tranquil activities to draw you into, and back to, this beautiful region time and time again.
Here’s a list of five of our favorite non hectic things to do in and around Tsitsikamma.
Much of Tsitsikamma is incorporated into the Garden Route National Park, and within its boundaries there are literally dozens of splendid walks.
- Hikes and walks
From the Storms River Mouth rest camp, you can hike across a lovely suspension bridge and up to a magnificent coastal viewing platform, or else take a stroll beside the sea to a pretty little waterfall. There are forest trails, mountain trails, beach walks and rock walks.
- Boat cruises
Take a tranquil nature lover’s boat trip up the Storms River and witness spectacular gorges, caves full of bats, and if you get lucky, a cavorting otter or two. The ‘Spirit of Tsitsikamma’ cruise departs every hour or so from a small jetty at the SANParks Storms River Rest Camp.
You can also Kayak a ways up the Storms River Gorge, Guided tours also leave from the Jetty.
Visit www.untouchedadventures.com for more info.
- A day at the beach
Much of the 80+ kilometers of coastline along Tsitsikamma is rocky, rugged and regularly pounded by humongous and violent waves. It’s a treat to watch the sea crash against the jagged shore, throwing spray and spume tens of meters into the air.
At the Storms River Mouth there is a small and relatively calm and sandy beach where you can take a refreshing dip without fear of being pounded into paste.
- Natures Valley
At the Western extreme of the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park, you will find the beautiful and secluded Natures Valley. Spend a day or two here enjoying the uncrowned beaches, the calm water lagoon (which is great for kayaking) and the various forest and hill top walks.
Visit https://www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/ for more info on the Garden Route National Park
- Dine with Elvis
The Storms River Village (on the N2) has numerous lodging and dining opportunities, the most unusual (and fun) of which is Marilyn’s 60s Diner.
The shocking pink 60s rockabilly décor, combined with ‘traditional’ sixties music, is so at odds with the local forest setting, that you cannot help but be drawn towards it.
The burgers and milkshakes are great too.