TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
The Tsitsikamma National Park is an hour’s drive from Plettenberg Bay. This beautiful natural park has a beautiful location, namely on the coast of the Indian Ocean.
The park is approximately 50 miles “long” and is known for its beautiful ocean views. The park is part of the Garden Route. You can start or end this route here, depending on where you come from. Knysna is not far away.
HIKING IN THE TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK
The park is known for its beautiful flora and fauna. You will find the fynbos here, but also a lot of birds. If you look at the sea, you will see that dolphins and whales (in the season September – March) swim by every now and then. There are also dassies here and you sometimes see an otter.
The park is known for the famous Otter Trail, a 42 kilometer hike between Storms River and Nature Valey. For this walk you need a number of days (on average five) and you sleep in huts along the way. This also applies to the Tsitsikamma trail.
This is no less than 60 kilometers and on average 6 days it is recommended to hike the entire trail. Finally, you have the Dolphin Trail, where you sleep in more luxurious accommodation.
Of course, Tsitsikamma national park also has plenty to offer for day visitors. For example, there are several shorter walks. One well-known hike is the Mouth Trail, which starts at the Storms River information point.
TSITSIKAMMA NATIONAL PARK WALKS
This route is about 2 kilometers back and forth and it will take an average of 1 hour to 1.5 hours. There are ramps and stairs so the route is quite manageable. The route is special because it takes you over the suspension bridge built over the mouth of the Storms River.
This river flows into the sea and you literally walk across the ocean. It is wobbly. If you have walked the long bridge, approximately 77 meters long, you can still climb up for a beautiful view of the ocean. In bad weather, this last bit is not recommended and you better turn it around and cross the bridge again and continue your way back.
There is also a restaurant at the information point; The Cattle Baron. For about 35-40 rand you can get a tasty wrap with fries or a sandwich under 50 rand. A coffee costs 17 rand.
Another fun walk is the Waterfall Route. Active hikers take about two hours to get there and back. If you are a less experienced hiker, count on about three hours. You have to clamber a lot and climb over rocks in different places.
Halfway along the route you will also encounter a large cave. Keep your eyes open on the route, everywhere on the bushes or on the path itself you will find many large and small steps that make a crossing.
The entrance to the park costs 196 Rand per person. The road to it is a toll road for which you also pay 45 rand twice. In the park you can also camp at Storm River Mouth Rest Camp.
There are only a few places, so in high season you would do well to reserve on time. Read more about Tsitsikamma National Park and the Garden Route on the official SAN parks website.
Plettenberg has plenty of useful facilities, supermarkets, shops, ATMs and petrol stations so you can restock all your supplies here.
A number of restaurants are also located. We recommend LM in Plett (a Mozambican restaurant) and Ghillies (an Italian restaurant with some South African dishes).
Both restaurants are located on the Mainstreet, where you will find more cafes and restaurants, as well as the shops.
ROBBERG NATURE RESERVE AND MARINE PROTECTED AREA
In the Robberg Nature Reserve, which is 8 kilometers from Plettenberg Bay, you can take a beautiful walk, which takes about half a day.
You pay 40 Rand entrance per person when you enter the park. As with most nature parks, there are limited parking spaces where you can park your car.
Important to check upon entering are the times for high and low tide. Parts of the route can be underwater if you do not start your route on time.
The Robberg Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site
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