Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tsitsikamma National Park

Over the last couple of days I've done some posts on the area called the Tsitsikamma on the Garden Route west of Port Elizabeth. The word Tsitsikamma comes from the original inhabitants of the area. The Khoisan called it Tsitsikamma which means "Place of many waters" due to its high rainfall. The jewel in the crown of the Tsitsikamma is the Tsitsikamma National Park. The Tsitsikamma National Park was proclaimed in the early 1960's and became the first marine reserve on the coast of Africa. Stretching over 80km long the park is probably one of the most scenic spots in the whole country with lush green indigenous forests stretching down to cliffs and an awesome coastline with black rocks and white breakers. Truly a photographer's paradise. There are two rest camps in the park. The main one is the Storms River Mouth Rest camp, while there is a smaller one at Nature's Valley. The orange flowers on the photo above is a type fence aloe. I have posted a pic of a sunbird on one of these flowers before.
At the main rest camp there is accommodation ranging from chalets to caravan and tent sites, picnic spots and loads of walking trails. Most visitors to the park are day visitors who come to walk the one kilometre trail to the mouth of the Storm River. At the end (well, actually the turning point as you still need to walk the one kilometre back) visitors will find the suspension bridge that crosses the river mouth. The walk through the forest is an easy one and is on a boardwalk all the way.
The coastline is a awesome sight (I have said that before haven't I). There aren't a lot of sandy beaches in the park so most of the coastline is rocky and when the sea is a bit rough the white waves and black rocks make for great photos. The rock is called "Skietklip" which means shooting rock and the water shoots several meters into the air when the tide is just right. One of my favourite photos of my kids is Chaos Boy standing on the rocks looking at the waves during a camping trip there last year.


  1. When I was still at school my parents, siblings and I used to go camping in Plettenberg Bay for the December holidays. We never went home without visiting Storms River Mouth and it still is one of my favourite outings. Those were the days before I constantly carried a camera with me - I can't wait to go back for a few shots!

  2. What amazing photography, I am blown away by that wave shot, it is indeed awesome, and just tell me is that bridge one of those that wobble when you walk on it ?

  3. Ann, it does wobble. Specially when you have groups of people all on at the same time. And when you have some smart oke who wants to be funny and makes it wobble, you just want to grab him by the neck and wobble him.

  4. Its a beautiful park indeed. The wave shot is outstanding. It sure shows the power of the sea. The shot with your son watching the waves is precious :)

    No way would I ever walk across that bridge. It would be almost as bad as the bungee jumping off the other bridge.

    Your acceptance speech was funny.You done good. :)

  5. Used to have a smaller version of the suspension bridge near by. They put in timbers and more wire so now no wobbling bridge. Cool photos!