CAMPING WITH CROSS AFRICA
- Storms River
- Garden Route National Park
- Suspension Bridges over Storms River Mouth
- Waterfall Day Hike, Otter Trail
GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA
The team from Cross Africa (in other words, my sister and I) would set off for the eastern-most point of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, Storms River. We would be camping at the Storms River Rest Camp in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park.
At Storms River you camp on a sliver of land caught between the white spray of the breaking ocean waves as they smash onto famous rocks like ‘skietklip’, and the heavily forested hillside covered in by the indigenous coastal forest.
As avid hikers we’d soon take on the most famous boardwalk to the suspension bridges over the mouth of the Storms River. Passing construction on a new restaurant and shop complex (finally … after years of a tented restaurant venue and a second shop fire) we made our way on to the little beach below the slipway launch site for the kayaks of Untouched Adventures.
The boardwalk starts just beyond the beach and leads up and along the hillside to come out at the series of three suspension bridges, two over little cove-like inlets and the third being the main and oldest bridge spanning the 77m over the mouth of the Storms River.
Rather than return from the bridges, we’d head up the opposite headland in a stiff climb to a lookout deck above the park.
In staying with the hiking theme we’d take on the Waterfall day trail as well. This follows the famous Otter Trail’s first day but as day hiker you turn back once you’ve had your ‘must-do’ swim in the dark tannin stained waters of the pool below the waterfall all rimmed in with massive rocks that keep the sea at bay.
What a privilege to relax in such rugged beauty with the wind in your hair and sound of the big waves crashing in your ears … bliss.
Before finally moving on from the Tsitsikamma, we’d visit the Big Tree, a 1000 year old Outeniqua Yellowwood with a circumference of 8.5m … a massive tree standing in the forest a few meters away from the N2.
It would be with the N2 that we’d move on westwards past the highest bridge bungy in the world, Bloukrans Bungy. But we wouldn’t bungy … we’d just watch.