Monday, January 21, 2013

Tsitsikamma Segway Tours

They say that once you learn to ride a bike you never forget it.  But two wheels in front of each other and two wheels next to each other are two very different things.  Not for the worse though.  For one its more difficult to learn how to ride a bike than to ride a Segway.  A Segway Personal Transporter, for those who doesn't know what they are, is a two-wheeled self-balancing battery-powered electric vehicle and can go up to 20 km/h (or 12.5 miles per hour).  Computers and motors in the base of the device keep the Segway upright when powered on with balancing enabled. A user commands the Segway to go forward by shifting their weight forward on the platform, and backward by shifting their weight backward.  The Segway then detects, as it balances, the change in its center of mass, and first establishes and then maintains a corresponding speed, forward or backward.  To turn, the user presses the handlebar to the left or the right. 
Tsitsikamma Segway Tours is a new addition to the array of great adventure activities (both soft and hard) one can participate in when visiting the Tsitsikamma and is based at Tsitsikamma Backpackers in Storms River Village.  We spend a couple of days in the village and the KidZ really looked forward to our Segway tour.  The previously saw the Segways at an exhibition in Port Elizabeth and nagged me since that occasion for us to go and do it.  On arrival and after signing in you get a bit of a tutorial on how to control the Segway before a couple of practise runs and maneuvers on the grass.

The minimum age to go on their tour is 10 years old and with Drama Princess only being seven I was in for a bit of a problem if she couldn't go. But I've known the owners for a couple of years now and they agreed for her to try it out and if she coped she could go.  And she did.  I have to add to this that our guide, Welcome, was SUPER AWESOME with her. He stayed with her all the time and helped her whenever we made a turn or went over uneven ground.  He probably got more agitated with us adults than he did with her. A big up to him.
We went on the short tour which took us through the village's township and out towards the pine plantation.  The section of the ride through the plantation and on the old road was stunning, so I can only imagine how much better the longer tour into the forest would be.  The Segways are very easy to control so going off road was no problem at all.  Chaos Boy who, even though he's 10, isn't much bigger than Drama Princess picked up on it very quickly and maneuvered like a pro. 

This is really an experience which I would highly recommend to anybody visiting the Tsitsikamma.  There are two tour options.  The one hour tour includes a ride through the village and adjoining township, over the historic Witteklip bridge and  into the pine forest while the two hour tour goes through the village and pine plantation into the indigenous Tsitsikamma forest and on to the famous Big Tree.
Our tour was courtsey of Tsitsikamma Segway Tours in Storms River Village. 
Tours cost R285 for the one hour experience and R400 for a two hour experience.
Contact Andre and Michelle for more information:
Tel: (081) 320 3977


  1. Yip, have wanted to do this for a while so on the list for next time I am in Storms River

  2. This looks brilliant! A great way to tour :-) Will have to investigate as a day out for our upcoming trip to the area...

  3. That does look like fun. But this year's choice is the canopy tour.