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Storms River Mouth Rest Camp
This page displays all information relevant to this park/camp, except the following:
Where the booming breakers of the Indian Ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores, where temperate high forest and fynbos roll down to the sea in an unspoilt verdant carpet, where ancient rivers carve their paths to the ocean down rocky ravines.
This, "the place of much water", is the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. The heartland of the park stretches some 5km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish.
Dolphins frolic in the breakers, surfing and playing for the sheer joy of life, and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.//include(DIR_WS_ROOT.'about/news/news_code.php'); ?>
5 Things to seek
- Dolphins and porpoises – keeping vigil on the ocean will produce sightings of schools of dolphins and porpoises frolicking in the waves.
- African Black Oystercatcher – this red data species is one of South Africa’s most threatened bird species. Several pairs nest along the park’s rocky coastline.
- Knysna Lourie – these beautiful birds with a gruff call are common in the forest.
- Cape Clawless Otter – the source of the name of the Otter Trail, this shy and elusive species hunts crabs along the park’s coastline and rivers alike.
- Blue Duiker – this miniature antelope is found in the forests.
All accommodation is serviced daily and provided with bedding, towels and soap.
- Forest Huts – communal facilities (2 beds)
- Forest Cabins (a.k.a. Dolphin Cabins) – self equipped units 2 beds)
- Chalets – self equipped detached open plan units (2 single beds and either bunk beds, bed in lounge or double sleeper couch)
- Oceanettes – self equipped detached units on the ocean edge (3 or 4 beds)
- Cottages – self equipped free standing units (3 beds)
- Family Cottages – larger version of above (4 beds) - 2 bedrooms
- Honeymoon Cottages (double bed)
All with communal ablution, laundry and washing up facilities. A maximum of six persons, one caravan with a side tent and one vehicle, or one tent and one vehicle, or one autovilla or motorised caravan will be permitted per site.
- Caravan only sites with power point and view
- Caravan only sites with power point and no view
- Tent only site with no power point but with a view
- Camping sites (caravan or tent)
- Camping (tent or caravan) without power
To view the accommodation prices, refer to Tariffs
Activities & Facilities
Most of these activities are safe enough to undertake unguided.
For a small fee, groups of more than ten people can book a guide to accompany them and discover more about the history and ecology of the area.
- All activities are dependent on favourable weather conditions.
- For more information or directions, visit the Information desk, Enviro Centre or Reception at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- The park has a joint initiative it runs with private parties from on the park’s periphery. The result is a semi-luxury hiking trail known as the Dolphin Trail.
- Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail: Two - six day hiking trail (with optional equipment porterage): journey through forest, fynbos and many rivers in the spectacular Tsitsikamma mountains.
- "Spirit of Tsitsikamma" boat rides
- The Otter Trail, 42km long, 5 days and 4 nights: (www.footprint.co.za); Check Availability.
- Several nature trails (1-3 hours)
- Dolphin Trail – a joint initiative with private parties adjacent the park
- Marine and River Activities
- Bathing at a small beach, and swimming pool (for resident guests only).
- All angling in the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is prohibited.
- Guided outings (Eco-guides from local communities).
- Holiday programme during school holidays.
- Activities for School Groups.
There are many activities in the area of the park, for which staying in the park is an excellent base. The following are some that SANParks recommends.
- Abseiling & climbing
- Hiking (www.footprint.co.za)
- Mountain biking
- Tractor-trailer rides
- Tree top tours
- Bungee Jumping – worlds highest
- Shop where souvenirs and basic commodities may be purchased, a la carte restaurant, also serving light refreshments, laundromat and ironing room (flat-irons not supplied) and information desk at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- No ATM facility available
- Tigers Eye operates Tsitsikamma Restaurant. For information on the menu and tariffs contact the Manager on: : +27 (0) 42 281 1190.
- Fuel is available at Storms River Bridge (±25km from Storms River Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section)) and at Nature's Valley (adjacent Nature's Valley Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section)).
- Full conference equipment and catering service at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- Reservations: tel +27 12 426-5025 and fax +27 12 343-2005/6
How to get there
The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is situated some 615km from Cape Town, 195km from Port Elizabeth and 68km from Plettenberg Bay.
The access route from the N2 highway and all internal roads are tarred. Car hire is available at Plettenberg Bay, which is also the nearest airport (limited scheduled flights). Airports are also found in George and Port Elizabeth.
- Gate opening 06:00 and closing times 22:00 due to restaurant service.
- Security service, starting 18:00 - leaving 07:00 in the morning.
- Late arrivals (after 18:00) may collect keys at the entrance gate.Overnight guests arriving after 18:00 should call the camp on (042) 2811 607 - key(s) may be picked up at the gate with the security service.
- Day visitors allowed until 21:30.
- S 34 01’ 18.8”
E 23 53’ 47.9”
Natural and Cultural History
The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is situated at the heart of the picturesque tourist region known as the Garden Route, found in the Southern Cape of South Africa. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, “place of much water.”
The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea.
The Tsitsikamma’s spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180 m high cliffs, evergreen forests and fynbos (proteas and heath) rolling down to the sea in a lush carpet where ancient rivers have carved their path to the ocean through rocky ravines. All this conspires to attract large numbers of international and local tourist to the Park. The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is the third most frequently visited out of the twenty national parks in South Africa. This makes it one of the few National Parks where tourism revenue is adequately able to match the exhaustive expenses associated with conservation. Such an income source is imperative to help meet the immense financial challenges facing conservation in a developing country like South Africa, where national parks need to be able to have a tangible value both spiritually and economically to the communities around the parks.
The Park conserves a considerable portion of the natural biota (all living organisms) of the Garden Route. The primary vegetation biomes consist of Mountain Fynbos, Coastal Fynbos, Afro-montane Forest and the Marine herb-land-, inter-tidal-, and sub-tidal zones. The mean annual rainfall is 1200mm.
The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park protects a wonderland of inter-tidal and marine life. This is one of the largest single unit ‘no take’ (including fishing) Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world, conserving 11% of South Africa’s Temperate South Coast rocky shoreline and provides a 'laboratory' for fisheries baseline research on endangered line fish species. In 1964 when it was proclaimed, it became the first Marine National Park to be proclaimed in Africa.
Approximately 30% of the park is covered in fynbos (Cape Floral Kingdom), scattered amongst the forest vegetation, boasting a wide variety of beautiful flowers, including proteas and heath. Many species of forest, fynbos and sea birds are present.
The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park has a long history of Marine and Forest utilisation and most of the local communities relied mostly, in one form or another, on these two ecosystems for their survival. The previous resource utilisation was of obvious economic value gained from the region and now incorporated into the Park. Today, the National Park contributes in a different way to the economic development of the region. The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park attracts tourists to the region, provides economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs, (local trail guides, adventure operators, transport services, infrastructure development & maintenance services, etc.) and as implementing agency for poverty relief program’s, creates employment and training opportunities for some of the regions poverty stricken communities. Currently, two of the nationally running, poverty relief programs, namely Working for Water (Invasive Plant Clearing) and Coasts Care (Coastal Conservation) are operated within the Park.
The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park incorporates various cultural heritage sites ranging from Khoisan cultural heritage sites such as caves, shell middens and rock art to more recent cultural historic sites such as the ruins of small fisher settlements, remnants of the past forestry industries and grave sites. The park is currently embarking on a Cultural Mapping project with the aim of identifying and protecting all Cultural Heritage sites incorporated within the Park. An Oral History Collection project is being implemented currently to recover and interpret information relating to cultural heritage. The more recent history of the forestry and fishing industries that is still in the memories of older folk from the region, is the one thing that strongly connects local communities with the park and can enhance park-community relations. These processes will be developed and implemented in conjunction with local community members and the organisations representing community interests, as well as relevant academic institutions and researchers.
During the First World Conference on National Parks in Seattle in 1962, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) appealed to governments for the establishment of marine parks and reserves. The National Parks Board responded with the proclamation of the Tsitsikamma National Park (currently known as the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park).
The original Coastal and Forest National Parks were proclaimed on in December 1964, by the then Minister of Forestry in conjunction with the Director of the National Parks Board (Government Gazette 1964). The original coastal park extended some 59 km between Groot River (east) (24°12' E, west of Oubosstrand) and Groot River (west) (23°34' E, at Nature’s Valley), and included the areas approximately 800 m landward and 800 m seaward of the low water mark (horizontal distance - contours ignored).
In September 1983 the seaward boundary of the park between the Groot River (east) and the Bloukrans River (23°,39' E) was extended to three nautical miles and the remainder (Bloukrans to Groot River(west)) changed to 0.5 nautical miles offshore. (Government Gazette 1983). The small Tsitsikamma Forest National Park was deproclaimed in 1989 (Government Gazette 1989) and the coastal park became known as the Tsitsikamma National Park (TNP). In December 1987 the De Vasselot Reserve (2561 ha) was added to the park (Government Gazette 1987). During April 1996 an extension of the seaward boundary was proclaimed as part of the Tsitsikamma National Park. This section extends from Groot River (west) along the same seaward boundary to a point parallel to Grootbank and then back to the Groot River (west) along the high water mark.
Contractual areas (Schedule five National Parks) have, subsequent to the original proclamation, been added to this park. During March 1995 erven 382 and 444 and the remainder of erf 434 Natures Valley were added to the TNP as contractual areas. The farm Buitenverwachting was gazetted as a contractual National Park in 1996. In October 1991 a 30-year lease for the neighbouring Soetkraal area (24 372 ha) was signed with Rand Mines Properties Ltd.
Map of the Otter Trail (pdf 2mb)
- General Tariffs Information
- 2012/2013 Tariffs (word document or pdf document)
- Pensioners' Discount
- Daily Conservation Fee
- Members of SANParks’ loyalty programme WILD do not pay conservation fees provided that proof of Identity and their WILD card are shown on arrival.
- Cost of a Wild Card
- View accommodation pictures and availability for Garden Route National Park
A temperate coastal climate with an annual rainfall of 1 200mm. The wettest months are May and October, and the driest are June and July.
Day visitors are welcome subject to the payment of a nominal daily conservation fee.
No firearms are allowed.
Visitors should remain in their vehicles and are serviced through their vehicle window.
- Office hours: 07:30 – 18:00
- Gate opening and closing times: 06:00 – 19:30
- Security service 19:00 – 07:00
- Visitors with reserved accommodation who arrive after 18:00 may collect their keys to their accommodation at the entrance gate.
- Check-in - 12:00
- Check-out - 9:00
Tips & Hints:
- Nearest garage or vehicle repairs at Witelsbos – 30km from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- Medical/hospital and pharmaceutical facilities at Kareedouw – 55km from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- Post Office and police services at Storms River village – 13km from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section) (a post box is available at the rest camp).
- This is a multi-dimensional marine/forest national park. Remember to bring the following: bathing suit, hat, binoculars, sun block, walking shoes, bird and mammal reference books, snorkelling equipment.
- Vehicle fuel is available in all parks (or is available on the park periphery) - South African legislation stipulates that fuel stations will accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage/credit/debit cards or cash as a form of payment for any fuel purchase.
- Scuba divers must present valid certificate and supply own equipment. SCUBA refill facilities are available at Storms River Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section).
- The swimming pool at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp (Tsitsikamma Section) is reserved for resident guests only.
- Roller blades and skateboards are prohibited.
- Pets are not allowed in a national park.
- No bait, shells, driftwood or any other organism, living or dead, may be removed from the Garden Route National Park.
For enquiries e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on the following numbers:
- Tel +27 (0) 42 281 1607
- Fax +27 (0) 42 281 1843
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