The Garden Route, a gorgeous tourist destination in South Africa’s Southern Cape, contains the Tsitsikamma National Park at its centre. A distant mountainous area with solitary valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges flowing down to the sea, 80 km of rocky coastline with breathtaking sea and scenery, and a remote highland region are all included in the Park.
The Tsitsikamma is known for its breathtaking landscape, which includes the Indian Ocean breaking against rocky coasts beneath 180-meter-high cliffs, ever-green woods, and fynbos (proteas and heath) sweeping down to the sea in a thick carpet. All of these factors work together to draw numerous tourists to the Park from both abroad and locally.
Marine and intertidal life are protected by Tsitsikamma National Park. One of the largest single-unit “no take” Marine Protected Areas in the world, it preserves 11% of the rocky shoreline along South Africa’s Temperate South Coast and serves as a “laboratory” for baseline research on fisheries including endangered fish species. It was established in 1964 and was the continent of Africa’s first Marine National Park.
Fynbos, which is interspersed throughout the forest vegetation and covers around 30% of the park, is home to a variety of lovely blooms, including proteas and heath. There are several species of seabirds, fynbos, and forest animals. The Tsitsikamma region has a long history of utilising the marine and forest ecosystems, and most local groups rely heavily on these two ecosystems in one way or another for their survival.
Along the coastline, Cormorants, Kelp Gulls, and African Black Oystercatchers are common. You can find both Pied and Giant Kingfishers fishing in tidal pools or in rivers that empty into the Indian Ocean.
Half-collared Kingfisher and African Finfoot are less noticeable but also live in these rivers. The Knysna Loerie prefers to hang out in the Tsitsikamma Forest. Emerald Cuckoo, Narina Trogon, Knysna and Olive Woodpeckers, Chorister Robin, and Grey Cuckooshrike are additional woodland species worth keeping an eye out for.
Although the aquatic portion of Tsitsikamma has a fascinating world of intertidal life and reefs, the park is also renowned for its lush woodland, delicate fynbos, and steep cliffs. Podocarpus falcata, often known as the Outeniqua yellow-wood, is one of the more noticeable trees.
How Much Is Tsitsikamma National Park?
Daily Conservation Fees
|Daily Conservation fees for 1 November 2021 to 31 October 2022|
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)||R68 per adult, per day|
R34 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport)||R136 per adult, per day|
R68 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee (International Visitors)||R272 per adult, per day |
R136 per child, per day
How To Get There
Garden Route, Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa
Approximately 615 kilometres (382 miles) separate Tsitsikamma National Park from Cape Town, 195 kilometres (121 miles) from Port Elizabeth, and 68 kilometres (42 miles) from Plettenberg Bay. All interior roads and the access route from the N2 motorway are tarred. In Plettenberg Bay, you can pick up a rented car. George is the closest airport for regularly scheduled flights, whereas Plettenberg Bay is the closest airport for private planes.
- Scuba-diving and snorkelling
- Inter-tidal excursions
- Kayaking and tubing
- The Otter Trail
- Dolphin Trail
- Tsitsikamma Trail
- Several nature trails (1-3 hours)
- ”Spirit of Tsitsikamma” boat rides
- Marine and River Activities
- Bathing at a small beach, and swimming pool
- Guided outings (Eco-Guides from local communities)
- Activities for School Groups
- Holiday programme during school holidays
Activities offered by operators in the area
- Abseiling and climbing
- Mountain biking
- Tree top tours
- Tractor-trailer rides
- Bungee Jumping – world’s highest
- Monkeyland Primate Sanctuary
- Mon – Fri. 08:00 – 17:00
- Saturday. 08:00 – 12:00