Tsitsitkamma National Park in South Africa Part 3

By Halal Trip | 18, Mar, 2022
Tsitsitkamma National Park in South Africa Part 3

Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park is located in Storms River which is any adrenaline and nature lover's dream come through and must feature in a trip through South Africa's Garden Route. There aren't many overnight lodging options as tourists prefer to camp or take up spots in the numerous caravan parks but being just a stone's throw away from Plettenberg Bay this holiday destination is easily accessible.

Tsitsikamma National Park Famous Bridge storms river

Image credits: evaneos

Additionally, due to the outdoor and rustic nature of the location, you won't come across 5-star hotels however a popular and child-friendly BNB is the Tsitsikamma Village Inn. The inn is located on Darnell Street and the exterior boasts a traditional architectural design meant to mirror the early Cape Colonial homes. The inn is truly a treat for the eyes because you literally feel like you've taken a step back into time. We stayed in the log rooms which includes a double, a single, and a mattress bed made up on the floor. The amenities are very basic and lack luxuries that we've become accustomed to such as USB ports, a hairdryer, or a bar fridge but the ambiance, location, and tranquility make up for the lack of technology. The hotel houses a swimming pool and playground for the kids and the highlight is an authentic 50s diner with an array of timeless memorabilia. Halaal food though is extremely hard to come by so a suggestion is to either grab something from Port Elizabeth before leaving or to live off the land for the night with light snacks and beverages. The restaurant is a bit problematic as well in terms of its vegetarian options because there aren't strict enough measures taken in the kitchens to ensure that the meals prepared are in fact 100% vegetarian. Interestingly enough though, there is a jamaat khana just behind the diner put up by the Muslim community which is a convenient stop for those passing through. The breakfast provided is a wonderful spread and actually quite impressive for the price per night. The eggs are fried on a completely separate fryer so at least a decent English breakfast can be expected. Across the road, there is a mini supermarket for any necessities you may require and there are also a few tour operators who offer adventure tours. A particularly interesting activity is the segways that take you on a mobile tour around the luscious surrounds-not exactly suited for younger children but a great treat for adults. Within the surroundings, you can find additional accommodation and eateries but they too are very minimal, especially in their selection.

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Fun activities to do in Tsitsikamma National Park

About 5 kilometers away from the inn is the entrance to the Tsitsikamma National Park. The park forms part of the SANParks group and offers a number of activities including camping, hiking, water activities, horse riding, and the infamous 45 km Otter Trail which with its beautiful scenery is one of the most iconic trails in the country if not the world. The entrance fee is about R140 for adults and R70 for kids-a bit more expensive for non-South Africans- but is worth every penny. Once you enter the park the route leading towards the suspension bridge takes you along a road that has the ocean crashing against the rocks on your right and the mountains towering over you on the left. There are a number of trails but the easiest is the 1km trail to the suspension bridge which is quite manageable even for children. Although there are some areas of elevations the bridge is a treat for the entire family. Before embarking on the trail, there's a section within the park used for swimming and where you can book kayaks. Once at the bridge, you get spectacular views of the ocean and mountains and between the valley, kayaking can be spectatored or even enjoyed by children as young as 5 years old. For the more ambitious, there are a few more challenging routes to enjoy.

water activities and other to do in Tsitsikamma National park

Image credits: evaneos

About a km away from the inn is another must see-Big Tree which is an 800-year-old Yellowwood Tree. At a height of approximately 36 meters and 9 meters wide, the tree holds true to its name. The entrance fee differs depending on whether you are a citizen or a foreign tourist but the minimum fee is worth the scenic one km long walk to the tree which offers a wonderful selfie opportunity.


The last stop on the way and statically dividing the Western cape from the Eastern Cape is the Bloukrans Bridge. This bridge is synonymous with Bungee and anyone who wants the ultimate bungee jump adventure needs to make a stop here. Coming in at about 216 meters this bridge is the largest in Africa. The jump unfortunately can only be enjoyed by 14-year-olds and above - so my little guy lost out-takes you dipping into the gorge before being propelled back into the air. You can however walk across the suspension bridge but this is a paid-for, guided tour and is obviously not for the faint-hearted. The mere sight of the Bridge through in all its glory will be enough for most passerbys but be careful because the mountains can get very misty and you may drive right past the bridge without even realizing it.

Cover Photo by Thomas Peham on Unsplash  

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