A Kite spider’s web in the forest

An early morning walk on a trail through the bush or forest often leads to the person in front doing strange dancing moves swinging their arms and ducking their heads. It's not due to music playing but rather them walking into a spiderweb spun overnight. Not always the most pleasant feeling, especially if you don't know what or where the actual spider is. A walk along the old Storms River Pass in the Tsitsikamma had me spot a spider's web…

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Plaatbos forest and Storms River Pass

The Tsitsikamma is one of my happy places. It is where I go to recharge my soul and get close to nature and that is what we as a family did a couple of week ago. It wasn't a comprehensive charge, but a quick visit one just to breath in the fresh Tsitsikamma air and get away from lockdown at that stage. One of our stops for the day was the Plaatbos Forest section of the Garden Route (Tsitsikamma) National…

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Spending a day in the Tsitsikamma – video

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IFafsAvdCQ&w=500&h=400]I have always wanted to make travel videos.  When I started working as a tourist guide in 1998 I had a little video camera which I filmed my tours with.  Back then I didn't know anything about editing.  The video was basically what I shot and I had to make sure the video was rewound just far enough for the next shot to start where I wanted it to.  All those videos are somewhere on VHS tapes in a cupboard at…

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Hogsback – a fairy wonderland of forests and waterfalls

Hogsback must be one of the most beautiful areas in the Eastern Cape and one of my favorite destinations in the province yet it's been a good decade and a half since I've last been there.  Every year the Damselfly and I threaten to go for a weekend but every time we end up going somewhere else.  Not that difficult with all the travel options the Eastern Cape has to offer.  But this time the decision would be carried through…

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Exploring the old Storms River Pass

I have a special connection with the Tsitsikamma forest.  It is where I go to plug in my soul for a bit of a recharge.  It doesn't even have to be an extended recharge.  Just a couple of minutes sitting in the forest next to a stream taking in the forest with all my senses is enough.  There are various ways to explore the forest with trails being the most effective way to leave everything behind.  One of these "trails", the biggest…

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A stream runs through it

If I had to show this photo to anybody and ask them where the picture was taken, they would probably guess places like the Tsitsikamma, Knysna forest or Hogsback.  Although all of these are likely candidates, in all cases they would be wrong.  This specific scene is hidden away in a valley near Baviaans Lodge in the Baviaanskloof.

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Forest scenes and senses from the Tsitsikamma

The Tsitsikamma is famous for its stunning scenery, magnificent forests and exciting adventures.  I often wonder how many people visit here and marvel at the big things but totally miss the little ones.  Ferns with new leaves opening up, soft moss growing on a rock, bracket fungus on the side of a log, the sound of a forest stream slowly flowing through the underbrush and over a little waterfall and the call of baboons in the distance.  What about the sound of the…

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The Big Tree

For my last post in this week's series on the Tsitsikamma I featuring a thing and not an activity.  The Big Tree is probably one of the best known landmarks in the area and a very popular stop for tourists.  An easy 500 meter boardwalk takes visitors to one of the giants of the forest.  I haven't been to the Big Tree for a couple of years and one of the things I noticed while there was that the signs no…

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Storms River Mouth Trail

I can never rave enough on how awesome the Tsitsikamma National Park.  Its an absolutely beautiful place and the amount of visitors, both domestic and international, that go there daily is proof that its one place you cannot miss when travelling along the Garden Route.  Most of these visitors do the Mouth Trail from the rest camp to the Storms River Mouth which is one kilometer away.One of my personal highlights of the walk is the stream that flows past…

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Tsitsikamma Forest Trail Part 3: Up the old pass

The first part of our walk through the Plaatbos Nature Reserve took us on various trails through the forest before taking a halfway break next to the Storms River by the old low water bridge.  This left us with the walk back up to the village on the Storms River Pass. In 1879 the famous pass builder Thomas Bain was busy surveying the area east of Plettenberg Bay and found it to consist of almost impenetrable forests and deep river gorges.  To get…

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