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Hiking trails in Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma National Park is located in the heart of the famous Garden Route in South Africa. The park offers beautiful coastal scenery and sometimes whale watching opportunities.

There are some pretty amazing Tsitsikamma hikes that allow you to explore this beautiful national park on foot.

Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan word (early inhabitants of the region) and means „place with a lot of water”. They were probably related to the average annual rainfall of 1200 mm.

Check out our hiking gear guide.

Tsitsikamma treks, South AfricaTrekking in the Tsitsikamma National Park

Tsitsikamma Hikes: The most popular hiking trails

Nature – Storms River suspension bridge

The forest path to the bridge has recently been upgraded and the development of a circular route with a few more suspension bridges is underway.

Short Tsitsikamma hikes

Here are two quick ways (no fees or permits required):

  • Mouth mark. 1 km, a linear route. Walk from the park’s restaurant to the suspension bridge, the main feature of Tsitsikamma National Park, a long free-hanging bridge. It can often be seen in photos promoting the Tsitsikamma.
  • Lookout Trail. Go past the suspension bridge, 2 km, linear route. The first part is quite a steep climb, towards the lookout it becomes a gentler slope. You have a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean, the estuary, the bridge and the rest camp.
  • Waterfall path. First half-day hike on the famous Otter Trail, starting at the Oceannettes on the east side of the restcamp. 6.4 km to the waterfall and back, a little over 3 hours (a linear route). The latest start time is 2:30 p.m. in summer and 1:30 p.m. in winter. The hike is rated difficult due to the uneven and slippery terrain. Bring your swimming gear for a refreshing dive under the waterfall that marks halfway. – –
  • Loerie Trail. Starts a little east of the restaurant, a short walk past a viewpoint that only offers sea views. 1.5 km and circular. – –
  • Blue Diver Trail. 5.5 km and circular. It starts along the Loerie Trail, later turns towards the coast and follows the Waterfall Trail back to the Oceannettes.

Multi-day Tsitsikamma hikes

  • Otter Trail. 42 km, 5 days and 4 nights with good overnight huts. You need to book in advance. Bookings can be made a year in advance which means last minute cancellations are common. So it’s always worth checking out if you can get in at the last minute. Bring your own food and sleeping bags. You don’t need tents. You have to be fairly fit as the trail follows the cliffs and hills along the coast and goes down to the rivers. What goes down has to come up … It’s beautiful and only 12 people are allowed to partake in part of the hike so it’s really pristine and worth doing. Prepare for a difficult river crossing on day three. Please inquire with the Park officials When the tide is out, ask for advice on how to get across the river.
  • Tsitsikamma Trail. Hike from the natural valley through the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the Storms River. You can choose to run for 2 to 6 days with or without a porter. If all you want to do is walk one section, even just one day seems to be possible. Visit their website.

Are you visiting the Garden Route? Check out these posts: