Tsitsikamma is renowned for its natural beauty, being endowed with magnificent forests, deep ravines, towering mountain ranges and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In fact, the word “Tsitsikamma” is a San word that means “place of abundant waters”, testifying to the lush abundance of this very special part of the Garden Route.
There are a number of ways to enjoy the natural splendour of the Tsitsikamma including walking trails, cycling routes, horse rides, tubing along the river and more. Hiking through the forests and mountains is one more way to get the most out of your time in Storms River. Of course, the specific trail you choose depends on your fitness levels, the time you have available and the abilities of any children or elderly folk that may be accompanying you.
Here are some of the best known trails for hiking in the Tsitsikamma region
The Goesa Trail
the beginning of this trail is right next to the Tsitsikamma Village Inn Hotel, making it very centrally situated and easy to find. The trail is two kilometres long and manageable. The trail is lush with ferns, giving it a fairytale beauty of its own.
The Plaatbos Nature Walks
there are three different walks that are situated within Plaatbos, which is in the area around the Storms River Pass. These trails range between five and eight kilometres in length and vary in terms of difficulty.
The Ratel Walk
in the Tsitsikamma Forest, the home of the famous Big Tree (a giant Outeniqua Yellowwood), the Ratel Walk is three kilometres long. There is a small entrance fee of about R12 per adult (may vary according to season).
The Bloukrans Bridge trails
this bridge is the highest commercial bungy jump in the world and the mountains and valleys around it are simply breath-taking. There are three different paths on which to hike, ranging from 1.3 kilometres to 3.1 kilometres long. On the shortest trail, there is a yellowwood tree that is estimated to be 600 years old.
The Stinkhoutkloof Trail
this 8.4 kilometre trail starts at the Bloukrans forestry trail and is beautiful, although more suitable for the fitter walkers.
Before you go
When hiking, always take along plenty of water and a high-factor sunscreen. It is also better to take along a mobile phone and to tell someone that you know where you will be in the case of an emergency.