Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsiwhat?

Tsitsikamma National Park is located on the Garden Route, Western and Eastern Cape in South Africa. It is well-known for its beautiful natureside that covers all outdoorsy wishes – indigenous forrests, impressive mountains, awe-inspiring coastlines; you name it – as well as for Storms River’s mouth which is located in the Tsitsikamma section, and the start of the famous Otter Trail. Otter Trail is supposedly one of the most beautiful hiking trails around the world. It stretches out over 44km from Storms River Mouth to Natures Valley and can only be accessed with reservations (that have to be made years in advance). However, the first 2.65km (1.65 miles) are free of charge and lead to a waterfall. Day visitors may take this short but demanding Waterfall Trail to enjoy the view of the coastline and go for a swim in the cascades. I recommend starting out early. We started our hike at around 7:30a.m. and had the waterfall to ourselves for a little while before the place started filling up.

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What else is there to do?

Besides the Waterfall Trail, Tsitsikamma offers a wide range of shorter trails with easy access. One of them leading over suspension bridges and to a lookout point, giving it the very creative name “Suspension Bridge and Lookout Trail”. (Who came up with this??)

Right outside the park and about a 15 minute drive to the East starts the Striptease Trail. You heard right. The trail got its name through the multiple natural pools along it which just make you toss your clothes and splash around for a little while. But beware! This trail is rather unknown. You may see some animals or bugs you don’t necessarily want to see. It was peaceful – a little too peaceful for me, a little more nature I could handle at that time. We turned around about an hour into the hike. The scenery was beautiful though and I highly recommend this trail to those who aren’t bothered by the full natural experience.

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If you aren’t really into hiking that much, canoing is offered every day the weather allows it; there’s a tiny beach where you can just sit and relax and cool off. You’ll get used to the people passing by on their way to the trails, I promise!

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Marilyn’s 60s Diner

We were rather unfortunate. One of our three days in Tsitsikamma National Park was super rainy, so we headed to Storms River Village, ate at Marilyn’s 60`s diner and asked for alternatives to outdoor activities. Well… It’s not that easy. It seems like everything takes place outside. But we decided to go fourwheelin which is wayyyy more fun if you get dirty and muddy anyways! It was only Tristan and I who signed up for it, so it was just us and the guide. When he realized that we’d ridden quadbikes before he even sped up and gave us a dope time!

 

By the way and in case you wondered: We stayed in one of the Oceanettes inside the borders of Tsitsikamma National Park. This accomodation was really rather expensive for us who usually travel on a low budget. But I wouldn’t miss it! We sat outside on the balcony every night and watched the waves crash and the sun set over the sea. That last part in the video? The view from our balcony.<3

 

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