THREE DAYS IN TSITSIKAMMA
Welcome to the Tsitsikamma, place of abundant water, as the ancient San people called this region. We hope that you do not have abundant water from the skies during your visit and that you will enjoy your stay to the fullest.
To assist you in making the most of your time with us, we have compiled a menu of things for you to see and do. We have put this into a three-day format but you will obviously pick and choose the things you find of interest within the time available to you. It is of course permissible to stay for more than three days!
Day One (Assuming you arrive at about 15h00)
Book in and take a moment to read the information in your room. This will orientate you a bit as to where everything is and how things work ... theoretically!!
- Order something cold, take up a comfortable position on your patio or the deck at the pool and watch the sun heading west. In cases of emergency, order another cold one.
- Take a stroll around the metropolis of Storms River. On Fynbos Ave, just as you enter town from the N2, you will find the Information Centre (the one in the middle of town is NOT an Info Centre and we advise you not to use it) Next to the (real) Info Centre is the Bitou Art Gallery & Studio ... pop in to see the work of local artists. There is a shop in the main road (Darnell street) for any emergency purchases (tractor tyres, plough shares) Roughly across the street from the shop is the ever popular Storms River Adventures where they specialize in activities of a more lively nature. (See Day two). You may make your booking for Day Two right now of course ... speak to us and we can get you a small reduction in the price of the Canop Tour.
A little further along you will find the offices of the South African national Parks. They take care of the Indigenous forests and of course the Tsitsikamma National Park down at the sea. Here you can pick up maps of all the local walks. More or less across the road from them is the local nick (police) should you feel the need to chat to people in uniform. This more or less concludes a tour of the CBD. Take a wander around the residential areas of the Village (Laid out in the 1880’s with the addition of the new township in 2001.)
- Just before The Armagh's gate you will see a sign: "Start of Trail". This is the Fynbos Trail and runs for 2km through the fynbos with two loops making up the whole. This takes about half an hour depending on how long you take to look at the plants or, if you're Prince Charles, have a chat to them. This whole area burnt out in a big fire in 1998 but has now fully recovered. The dominant protea species here is the Proteacea Mundii ... medium sized white or pink flowers. Remember that fynbos means finely textured bush, so keep a sharp eye for little but lovely flowers
- If you have an hour or so you might like to have a look at the "Big Tree". Off the N2 about 500mtrs from the entrance to the Village you will find the signage. Take about R10 for entrance fee here. It is a lovely walk through the indigenous forest…the tree is an Outeniqua Yellowwood (Podocarpus Falcatus), which is between 800 and 900 years old. There is a longer walk here, which will take about an additional hour. If you do just the short walk around the tree you will be back at the lodge in about and hour or so.
- Dinner is served every night in our Rafters Restaurant ... typical South African home style cooking plus one or two more contemporary dishes. Remember to reserve a table if you need one near the fire or outside on our Fynbos Terrace by the wood-burning stove. Also open all day for breakfast lunches or whatever.
After breakfast, which is between 08h00 and 09h30 (08h30 in winter, May to September) you may like to try some of the following:-
A day at the Tsitsikamma National Park.
- Remember to ask for our packed lunch. The Tsitsikamma National Park (now a section of the greater Garden Route National Park) is arguably the most scenically beautiful park in South Africa - not to be missed. It is classified a Marine Park and protects, not only the flora, but also the fauna, of the Indian ocean.
- From the lodge drive to the N2, turn left and drive 5km where you will see the road sign "Tsitsikamma National Park". Turn left and drive 10km ... any further and you'll end up in the Indian Ocean. There is a restaurant here and a shop with curios. Cross the little beach below the restaurant and you will find the Mouth Trail. This has nothing to do with your partner but refers to the mouth of the Storms River ... a lovely walk with a suspension bridge across the river (very Indiana Jones) and then a walk up to a lookout point about 200mtrs above sea level. Watch out for whales and dolphins! The round trip will take about one and a half hours or so depending on how long you take to enjoy the views or argue with your partner about whether or not you're lost.
- On the western side of the park you'll find the Otter Trail ... a five day hike to Natures Valley. Day visitors are permitted to walk to the waterfall along this trail. Glorious scenery with sheltered rock pools - great for swimming…do not swim in the open sea ... it is dangerous. At the waterfall there is a beautiful fresh water pool, which is delightful for swimming. The water is a brown colour from tannin leached from the vegetation ... it is totally clean and drinkable. Wear good walking shoes ... this is a somewhat more strenuous walk with some boulder hopping to be done.
The Tsitsikamma Forest
Most of our guests like combining the coastal experience with that of the indigenous forests on the Tsitsikamma plateau. You might like to enjoy the morning at the National Park, have lunch at the lodge and then do some of the lovely forest walks in the afternoon ... if you still have the energy!
The indigenous forests of the Tsitsikamma are all protected conservation areas and support a very large number of plant species (500 -1000 plants per hectare) as well as a variety of wildlife. The dominating feature of these forests is obviously the trees, which are almost all evergreen and include, Yellowwood, Candlewood, Red Elder, Hard Pear, Essenhout, Stinkwood, and Ironwood in all 116 species. Many types of fern may also be found and the wildlife includes wild pig, bushbuck, blue duiker, baboon, vervet monkey, porcupine, leopard and various smaller cat species. For the convenience of birders approximately 250 species of bird have decided that the Tsitsikamma Forests and fynbos is a very fine place to live. Ask for our bird list and see if you can add to it. For more info on the forests and the eco system, please ask us. Also ask for directions…we will be very glad to help.
Please ask us for more ideas ... we have an excellent collection of accommodation contacts up and down the coast where you will be well looked after without being overwhelmed. We can arrange forward reservations so that you will not waste precious time driving around looking for appropriate accommodation.
- No visit to the Tsitsikamma will be complete without a Tree Top Canopy Tour. This is an exhilarating zip lining experience through the canopy of the indigenous forest. Your guide will inform you about the flora and fauna of the forest ... this is an experience not to be missed! Ask us to make reservations for you. (and get that discount!)
- Also on the adrenalin side of life is the Tsitsikamma Falls zip lining…beautiful scenery coupled with white-knuckle adventure!! Or for those in need of death defying antics, Bungi jumping at the Bloukrans river bridge ... in my opinion this is an excellent spectator sport. Adrenalin junkies however report the ultimate rush when leaping off the 216 metre bridge ... I'll take their word for it. Mountain biking down the beautiful Storms River pass is another option ... ask us about bike hire. New on the adventure menu is Segway Tours ... a guided ride through forest or town on two wheeled contraptions ... heaps of fun!! Black Water Tubing is an amazing experience ... float down the river on a guided tour ... beautiful and exciting!
- On the more civilized side of life is Tsitsikamma Mountain Spa. Tucked away in the indigenous fynbos facing the Storms River peak it is a haven of peace and tranquility where you can allow yourself to be pampered and soothed. See your room folder for the list of treatments available.
- Should the weather be a bit on the San side of things (abundant water, ie: raining) - why not take a short drive to Plettenberg Bay for a spot of retail therapy. En-route you will find Birds of Eden, the world's largest free flight aviary, a visit to which is an absolute must. Also here you'll find Monkey Land, a primate sanctuary where you can experience these animals in a completely free environment. Next-door is the Elephant sanctuary where you can walk with the elephants ... a great experience!! And just down the road is Bramon, our first wine estate ... try the Bramon Sauvignon Blanc ... really excellent! They also do lovely lunches among the vineyards. Ask us and we shall gladly reserve any of the above for you.
- For a fantastic beach visit Natures Valley (ask for directions). A beach of over a kilometer - almost always deserted because it is off the beaten track. Very well worth a visit.
Distances in kilometers from The Armagh:
|Addo Elephant Park||195km|
Contact us on:
+27 (0)42 281 1587/1512
Book your Activities Online