Tsitsikamma is a khoi word meaning "place of abundant or sparkling water". The region stretches from the Bloukrans River in the west to Eerste Rivier in the east, is bordered on the north by the imposing Tsitsikamma mountains and in the south by the Indian Ocean.
The area is covered in large tracts of indigenous forest, commercial plantation and Fynbos. Deep river gorges cleft the plateau as they make their way down to the sea, creating spectacular waterfalls and deep kloofs.
A mild all year round climate allows one to make the most of all the outdoor activities that are on offer, whilst a high rainfall ensures the lushness of vegetation that the area is renowned for.
Storms River Village stemmed from a shooting box built by Lt TH Duthie the later road side Inn the Tzitzikama Forest Inn the forerunner of the Tsitsikamma Village Inn.
Tsitsikamma National Park, declared in 1964, encompasses a marine reserve made up of 80km of coastline and offers the visitor magnificent scenery, walks, a small beach, restaurant and shop. The famous Storms River Suspension Bridge spans the river mouth.
There is also the Natures Valley rest camp at Natures Valley. This is where the world renowned Otter and Tsitsikamma Mountain trails starts.
Activities in the Area
Tsitsikamma is where you will find some of the most pristine forest areas on the whole of the Garden Route, equalled only by the forests in the Knysna area. The forest areas left after extensive deforestation by the early 18th century European settlers in the area are today strictly protected.
Most of the indigenous forests in the western section of the Garden Route fall within the Tsitsikamma National Park. Commercial plantations in the area are also regulated as to not impact on water catchment areas and wildlife. The Park not only conserves indigenous flora and fauna but also marine life as it incorporates a marine belt stretching 5.5km into the ocean. Because this is a national park you have to obtain a permit (small fee) before exploring forests and other natural areas.
The Tsitsikamma area is geared for visitors who prefer simple accommodation, unspoiled nature and active holidays.
The world's highest jump from the legendary Bloukrans Bridge.
This is the Rolls Royce of jumps. Access to the jump point on the top of the arch is via a specially engineered walkway underneath the road deck in almost a mystical way.
Guided Bridge Walking Tours
Personally guided tour of the bridge and bungy system to gain a first hand understanding of the most high profile adrenalin sport on the planet. Bridge tours take place daily at Bloukrans, experience tour guides will take you on a historical journey through the environment conquered by bridge engineers many years ago with a perfect view of the thrill seekers jumping off the bridge.
Explore the eco-experience and Adventures in the Tsitsikamma, Bloukrans & Surroundings. Big Tree - experience a 660-year-old Yellowwood "Mother of our indigenous forest".
Paul Sauer Bridge
The Paul Sauer Bridge (1954), 160km from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, spans the impressive Storms River Gorge on South Africa's Garden Route. It is erroneously known to many as the Storms River Bridge. It is a marvel of architecture and engineering and was designed by Italian Riccardo Morandi.
The well sign-posted "Big Tree" is located a short way west of the Paul Sauer Bridge along the N2. A pathway through indigenous bush leads to the Yellowwood giant. Walking to the tree takes about 10 minutes. The tree is estimated to be ±800 years old, it stands 36.6 metres high and has a circumference of almost 9 metres.
Storms River Village
Storms River located between Paul Sauer Bridge and the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, approx. a kilometre south of the N2. It's surrounded by plantations and forest. The peaceful village is really just a collection of smallholdings, a few houses and a couple of shops.
The main attraction of the Village is a number of great adventure-type activities operated from or close to the village, also known as the Adventure Capital of South Africa. Options include the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour, Woodcutters Journey, Black Water Tubing, renting of mountain bikes, kayak & kloof, scuba & snorkel, Tsitsikamma boat dives, boat cruise, hiking and walking etc.
Storms River Mouth
The Storms River Mouth section of the Tsitsikamma National Park is very scenic and a must-visit. A number of short trails (2-6km) allow you to explore the coastal bush and rocky shoreline. The most popular walk is to the river mouth with the well-known suspension bridge that spans it.
Other facilities include a restaurant and dining deck with great ocean views, a tidal pool and a small curios and convenience store. A number of short trails (2-6km) allow you to explore the coastal bush and rocky shoreline. The most popular heads to the nearby river mouth and pedestrian hang-bridge that spans it.