Things To Do in Natures ValleyTsitsikamma Hiking Trails
Where? Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve, Storms River camp
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Free
Start: Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve, Storms River camp
Finish: Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve, Storms River camp
Duration: 1 km to 6 km
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: you don't need permits to do these walks, although you will pay an entrance fee into the park
The Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve - now part of the greater Garden Route National Park - sweeps between Grootbank in the west and the Groot River in the east.
The sheer beauty of the reserve with its cliffs, gorges, bays and rich indigenous forest provides the backdrop to a few trails that are neither difficult nor long (The Otter and Dolphin trails also start and end here although you need to book way in advance). The trails provide access to a variety of fynbos, scrub-like, dry forest, and inland high forests rich with white milkwood, wild camphor trees, Outeniqua yellowwoods, stinkwood, red alder, Cape beech and small-leaved saffron trees.
1. Blue Duiker Trail is the longest of the trails (6 km) and takes roughly three hours to do the there and back route through scrub to the Agulhas Lookout. From there the path enters indigenous dry forest (where you may come upon a blue duiker), crosses a stream and offers plenty of opportunity for spotting birds.
2. Mouth and Lookout Trail is another there and back trail of 4 km that heads through the indigenous forest to a cave above Storms River Mouth. Cross the river using the suspension bridge, after which a steep climb up the plateau is worth the views out over the coastline.
3. The Waterfall Trail is a 3 km there and back trail that follows the first 2.5 km of the Otter Trail to a cascading waterfall and accompanying pool. It is one of the most beautiful, and the easiest of the trails, but could take you the longest simply because of the magnificence of the surrounding flora (and the opportunity for a swim).
4. Boardwalk Trail – a popular and beautiful 1 km walk that follows the boardwalk from the restaurant to the Storms River Mouth and across the suspension bridge. There are a series of descending, steep steps down to the bridge that can become slippery during wet weather.