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…


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…


10 not to miss activities, restaurants and accommodation in the Tsitsikamma

Ahh, the Tsitsikamma.....  My favorite Sho't Left destination for a couple of days' breakaway.  Beautiful indigenous forests to sooth my soul, mountains on the horizon, streams running past ancient indigenous trees and forest giants to a rugged coastline where the blue ocean crashes as white waves on black rocks at the foot of sheer cliffs.  This part of the Garden Route must be one of the most beautiful places in South Africa.  Truly paradise.  The Tsitsikamma is a lot more than natural…


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…


A thousand years in the making -The Tsitsikamma Big Tree

One of the best know attractions in the Tsitsikamma is The Big Tree, one of the giants of the forest and thought to be up to 1000 years old.  The Garden Route from the Tsitsikamma through Knysna to Wilderness is famous for its indigenous forests and precious trees, amongst them the Yellowwood.  The Outeniqua Yellowwood tree is also South Africa's national tree which makes this particular Outeniqua Yellowwood even more special. Getting to the Big Tree is very easy.  First of all…

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Waterfall reflection

The Tsitsikamma is a world of indigenous forests bordered by mountains and a rugged coastline.  One of the most beautiful places there is.  At the heart of it lies the Tsitsikamma National Park.  The Mouth Trail takes visitors from the park's restaurant area to the Storms River Mouth with its three suspension bridges.  Just after you start off on the trail there is a little waterfall on the left hand side flowing into a pool.  A tranquil spot even with tourists…

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Tsitsikamma Lily

My three favorite flowers are aloes, proteas and arum lilies.  All flowers you can see in gardens and parks but at their most beautiful when you see them out in the wild.  Aloe flowering in the Karoo, proteas in the Fynbos on a mountain side and lilies growing wild in the forest.  This lily I found next to the path on the way to Kerneels se Klip in the Tsitsikamma National Park.  I was hoping to find one in the sun…

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The end of the Otter Trail

The Otter Trail is probably South Africa's premier hiking trail covering 5 days and 42 kilometers between the Tsitsikamma National Park at Storms River and Nature's Valley.  On the last day when hikers reach The Point, the end of the trail is in sight but not before descending down to Nature's Valley beach and then walking the length of it to the Nature's Valley Restaurant and Trading Store to kick off their shoes and have a welcome cold one.During our Sho't Left…


Outeniqua Yellowwood Tree at Natures Valley

I used to travel down the Garden Route quite often while I was still tour guiding but these days don't often get a chance to go further than the Tsitsikamma.  Driving down to Natures Valley on our recent Easter weekend Sho't Left in the area I had to stop at one of the view points on the way down on the Grootrivier Pass.  Its not a view point as much as it's a tree point.  The view is of a little…

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Storms River Mouth panorama

I just noticed this lone picture sitting in a file and realised that it is one from our recent visit to the Tsitsikamma that I forgot to upload.  Its a panoramic picture taken from the eastern side of Storms River Mouth shows the three suspension bridges in the background.