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~ I dont blog about things to be liked. I blog about things that I like ~ ... so that one day, on my death bed, I will have said and done what I wanted to do, and die peacefully without regrets.
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Waterfall Hiking Trail (aka Day 1 Route and start of the Otter Trail)

Get your walking shoes on, put on enough sunblock, take lots of drinking water and experience nature at its best!

Hiking Trail: Waterfall Trail (Known as Day 1 Route and start of the Otter Trail)
Name of Reserve / Area: Tsitsikamma National Park
Nearest Town: Storms River Village, Plettenberg Bay
Province: Garden Route
Country: South Africa

This route starts (when facing the ocean) to the far right of the Storms River Mouth Resort, just next to the camp grounds. Wow! this was such an amazing walk we had here.

One is often exposed to only one type of environment... Here we had thick dense forest, some board walks and bridges, shrubbery, rock scrambling, flat open fields, bolder hopping along this magnificent coastline and a nice freshwater pond to swim in at the end... definitely a must do when you visit the area.

Duration of hike: 4 hours if you stop as often as we do to have fun and take pictures. Its a 6,4km route to the waterfall and back. Without stopping, it took us about 45 minutes to walk the 3.2km back to base.

Directions to get there: From Cape Town, take the N2 towards Plettenberg Bay. About 60km pass Plettenberg Bay, and just after the Blaauwkrantz River is a turn to the right which takes you to the entrance of the Tsitsikamma National Park by the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp.

Recommended starting times:
Summer: not later than 14h30
Winter: not later than 13h30

Contact Information:
SANparks - Tsitsikamma Section
Phone: +27 (0) 42 281 1607
Reservations: +27 (0) 12 428 9111

Best time of year to go: Anytime.

The route is marked with little yellow otter paw prints all along the way...

What costs did you incur to do this hike:
Entrance to the Park: Free entry (if you are a South African Citizen) for Wild Card Holders (
Accommodation: varies from Camping to Stunning self Catering log cabins of up to R900 per night in season.
Actual hike: Free when in the park.

How safe is it: We felt very safe walking in the park and on this route. Do not go without water as its is a long walk and there is limited shade from the heat of the day.

Fresh Water: Only at the camp. The walk does cross a stream at various points but its not recommened to use as drinking water.

Difficulty: Due to the uneven & slippery terrain, The Waterfall Trail is rated as difficult and is not recommended for unfit hikers.

Pets: No pets allowed in the park.

How will I rate this hike? The route hugs the cliffs all the way to the waterfall. We experienced bolder hopping and rock scrambling, as well as various flat sections all along the route. At the start we were very fortunate to see a Blue Duiker grazing on the beach below us. The pond below the Waterfall provided everyone with a welcome break from the heat of the day. The Tsitsikamma area is experiencing a severe drought during the time we visited the park (and wrote this article), which explains why the waterfall was so small.

The actual (and very popular) Otter Trail starts on this walk and continues past This waterfall for about 45km in total. It takes the hikers an average of 5 days to complete this grueling but very scenic challenge, and is booked out 2 years in advance.

1 comment:

Parag said...

Plettenberg Bay has an extremely mild temperate climate with very little annual rainfall.Just off Piesong Valley Road, Wild Waters Adventure Park has a swimming pool with waterslide, a playground, mini-golf, trampolines and a sand pit.
Plettenberg Bay Beaches

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