If you love the stillness of the forest, dramatic sea cliffs and river gorges, then Storms River on the Garden Route is the place for you. It's the home of adventure activities in the beautiful Tsitsikamma region.
Storms River | Wild Beauty and Adventure Activities
Access:If travelling from Plettenberg Bay by car towards Port Elizabeth, the Storms River Village is located just off the N2 highway (before the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge which spans the Storms River Gorge), after turning right, the village is about 1km (0.6 miles) further in. Plettenberg Bay is 75km (46 miles) from the Storms River sign on the N2 - there is a toll station on this route. The Storms River Mouth is actually in the Tsitsikamma National Park which is the turn off before the Storms River Village sign if travelling from Plettenberg Bay.
Airport:Visitors can fly in to George Airport which is 150km (93 miles) away, or Port Elizabeth Airport which is 180km (112 miles way).
Regions:Storms River is an historic hamlet in the heart of the Tsitsikamma region of the Eastern Cape. This village on the Garden Route is backed by the majestic Tsitsikamma Mountains and surrounded by huge tracks of indigenous forest, plantations and farm lands. Other places to visit in this region include Nature's Valley, Bloukrans Bridge and the Tsitsikamma National Park.
The forest is characterised by spectacular ferns and giant trees that are hundreds of years old. This area is also rich in fynbos or wild shrubs of the renowned Cape Floral Kingdom. The Storms River cuts down through the plateau to meet the sea at the mouth where there is a small beach, an ancient cave and a suspension bridge.
Highlights:The beautiful Tsitsikamma region is a source of endless fascination to nature and adventure lovers. There is so much to do and experience in this area where the air is wonderfully clean and refreshing. Just a walk through the mysterious forest is a magical experience. Magnificent views of the Indian Ocean and the rocks below can be enjoyed from various viewpoints at the edge of the sea.
One of the best ways to experience the coastline and the surroundings is on a hiking trail. Options range from forest walks to longer journeys over a number of days. The famous Otter Trail is a 5 day adventure which explores the coast (book months in advance), while the Dolphin Trail offers the best in 'slack packing' with portage of your luggage and overnights in Tsitsikamma National Park and guest house accommodation.
Storms River Village may be a hamlet but it is the hub for arranging exciting adventure activities. Thrilling Tree Canopy Tours take you on the ride of your life in a harness that glides from platform to platform high above the forest floor. There is also kloofing, tubing on the river, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling available or you can go bungi jumping off Bloukrans Bridge.
Activities:There is something for all ages to enjoy in the Tsitsikamma:
- Adventure - Tree Canopy Tours, guided walks and hikes, kloofing, climbing and abseiling, river tubing, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving and snorkelling
- Hikes & walks - Popular options include the Otter Trail from Storms River Mouth to Nature's Valley (5 days), the Dolphin Trail with portage (2 days), Tsitsikamma Mountain Trail (2-6 days), Cadeau Hiking Trails (2 x 1 day); various nature trails and guided walks, Strip-Tease River Trail
- Cruises - Spirit of the Tsitsikamma explores the Storms River Gorge
- Wheel adventures - Segway Tours, forest safari on the Woodcutters Journey, mountain bike trails, tractor rides
- Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary - This wolf sanctuary is located on the other side of the Storms River Bridge (take the R102 off the N2)
- Adrenalin - Bungi jump from the Bloukrans Bridge (highest in the world), also Flying Fox (foefie slide) and bridge walks
- Golf - 9 hole course overlooking the ocean from above the cliffs
- Art & Craft - there are craft outlets in Storms River Village
Climate:This region experiences a temperate coastal climate with mild temperatures and high rainfall. Highest rainfall is in May and October, while the driest months are June and July.
The Experience:Storms River Village is a little gem on the Garden Route, tucked away off the beaten track amongst fynbos, Outeniqua Yellow Wood trees and mountain scenery. Cosy fires in winter, country charm and breathtaking views in summer are what you can expect.
The village has basic amenities, some shops, cafes and restaurants plus a variety of accommodation establishments from backpackers and country cottages to guest houses and a hotel. This friendly village is well placed for all kinds of adventurous activities. On the other side of the N2 highway you can enjoy a forest walk to the Big Tree which is said to be at least 800 years old.
Storms River Mouth falls within the boundaries of the Tsitsikamma National Park and is a great site for water sports and activities. The Tsitsikamma National Park covers a vast stretch of coastline between Nature's Valley and the Eerste River; it also forms the northern section of the Garden Route National Park.
While visiting Storms River and the national park you could spot some wildlife. The forest is a great place to look for the Blue Duiker (antelope), the Narina Trogon or the Knysna Loerie (birds), and at the shoreline you could see the African Black Oystercatcher (bird). Along the shore and river you might spot the Cape Clawless Otter.
What you need to know:Visit this beautiful area on the Tsitsikamma Mountain Bike Challenge which occurs annually in April, or on the Storms River Traverse which takes place annually in August.
Storms River Accommodation:The Tsitsikamma Lodge is located on the Port Elizabeth side of the Storms River Bridge. You'll find well appointed timber cabins and great facilities including a spa.
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