Tsitsikamma – the Garden of the Garden Route!
To the east of Plettenberg Bay lies the Tsitsikamma region. A dense luxuriant indigenous forest, with rugged ravines, streams and waterfalls, as well as delightful sandy coves. Tsitsikamma is a Khoi word meaning “place of abundant or sparkling water”. The region, which sits on a 200m high plateau stretches from the Bloukrans River in the west to the Tsitsikamma River in the east. It is bordered by the imposing Tsitsikamma Mountains and by the Indian Ocean. This undoubtedly superb area of primeval rain-forest and wild coastline is incredibly beautiful.
We have divided it into two areas – Firstly, The Crags near Plettenberg Bay (20km from Plett) and secondly The Tsitsikamma National Park area which is urther (50-60 mins drive from Plettenberg Bay).
The Crags, Plettenberg Bay
We could have included this area with Plettenberg, because it is only 20km away. But it is a great area to base yourselves, as you can easily reach Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and the Tsitsikamma from here. We recommend the following lodges: Kurland Hotel, Hog Hollow Country Lodge and Lily Pond Country Lodge. There’s lots on offer in the immediate vicinity as well.
The Crags Highlights
• Monkeyland – you see many rare monkey species from the majestic Black lemurs of Madagascar to delightful Squirrel Monkeys, all in an open forest environment
• Birds of Eden – a giant walk-through bird aviary set in the indigenous forest
• The Elephant Sanctuary specialises in up close and personal educational tours
• Tenikwa Wildlife sanctuary
• Bramon Wine Estate offers wine-tasting and a delightful country restaurant (local cheeses, oysters, homemade bread and mezze platters)
• Plett Puzzle Park is a great day out for the family, especially on a off weather day
Tsitsikamma National Park
The Tsitsikamma National Park is a coastal park stretching for 75 km along the southern Cape coast. It comprises a wild, unspoilt and rugged stretch of dense indigenous forest. There are numerous walks and trails through the park. An example is the pretty boardwalk to the suspension bridge over the Storms River.
• Walking trails of varying lengths through the wild forest flora
• Dolphin Trail – 3 night/3 day guided ‘slackpacking’ walking trail
• Tsitsikamma Treetop canopy tour – glide along in a harness on steel cables 30m above the forest floor
• Bungy jumping at Bloukrans bridge – the world’s highest commercial bungy jump (216m)
• Storms River Adventures is the home of adventure tours – choose from the world’s longest bungee-jump, treetop canopy tours, kloofing…