If you are seeking a place in which to relax in a pleasant environment, the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is a wonderful destination to consider. We recently spent four days camping at the Storms River Mouth and can attest to its natural beauty. The first hint of the spectacular scenery comes from the Paul Sauer Bridge over the Storms River on the N2. There is something magical about those deep, rocky gorges and the fynbos-stained water so far below.
I never tire of the distinctive smell of fynbos and seaweed as one drives down the road winding through the forest to reach the rest camp. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word meaning, “place of much water”. There is plenty of it too, from the booming breakers crashing over dark rocks to the little streams one crosses on the forest walk – and the Storms River. The waves and the verdant landscape of trees hugging the steep cliffs are endlessly photogenic – especially at sunrise and in the late afternoon.
There is a lot to do too, from swimming in the pool watched by Kelp Gulls and dassies (rock hyrax), bird watching, exploring the rock pools, and walking through the forest.
On previous visits we have walked the start of the Otter Trail as far as the waterfall (a 6km round trip) but on this visit – in the company of very young children – we confined ourselves to the 1 km Loerie Trail through the forest and a walk to the suspension bridge over the Storms River Mouth. It was from this vantage point that we saw a group of visitors kayaking in the sea.
The latter walk is very pleasant for one follows the boardwalk through coastal forest. Every now and then one gets spectacular views of the sea through the trees.
The suspension bridge crossing the Storms River Mouth leads to a pebble beach, which is a lovely place for a snack.
The Loerie Trail is a very pleasant way of experiencing the indigenous forest. There are steps to help one up the steep slopes.
Steps leading down.
One can appreciate the patterns on tree trunks;
The colours of the forest floor;
Get a feel of the ancient legacy of the trees;
A pair of African Dusky Flycatchers took little notice of us as they perched on the fence nearby to hawk their prey throughout our stay. We were fortunate to see a pair of African oystercatchers near the pool late one afternoon as well as Paradise Flycatchers flitting through the coastal bush next to our campsite.