Storms River is a tiny village (less than 200 souls), situated in the Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. If the village in itself is not all that exciting, the beautiful surrounding area offers a tone of activities and fun things to do! There’s the sea, the forest, the wildlife, … everything for some adventure! You could spend a full week in Storms River and have activity filled days. To help you in your planning, here are 10 amazing things to do in Storms River!
There’s a bunch of hiking trails, both inside the Tsitsikamma national Park and in the surrounding nature reserves. In Tsitsikamma, I recommend exploring the suspension bridge and hiking the Waterfall Trail (3 hours and a lot of scrambling around on rocks, take good shoes).
From Storms River itself, you can hike the Plaatbos Nature Reserve. The three paths available are well marked and will take you deep in the forest on easy, flat trails. Maps are available in every accommodation in the village.
2. KAYAK AND LILO TOUR
I’m not a big fan of water sports, but I took this opportunity to try kayak with this tour from Untouched Adventures, and I loved it! The kayak part goes into the gorge, Lord of the rings style (my geeky readers will know what I’m talking about). It was beautiful and silent, the water was sending beautiful rays of light on the rocks on each side.
Then I switched to the Lilo: a pneumatic mattress, and paddled upriver with my hands. On the way back, I simply lay on the Lilo and let myself get slowly carried back to the kayaks. A perfect afternoon!
3. CANOPY TOUR
The Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour takes you high in the trees on a series of 10 ziplines. This is not an adrenaline adventure (unless you’re scared of heights), but more of a relaxed discovery of Tsitsikamma’s beautiful forest.
As you’re gliding along, you’ll have plenty of time to look around you and admire the sunlight on the leafs and hear the birds hidden in the canopy! The staff is constantly there to insure safety and, bonus, this company does amazing things for the community, acting for the environment, for education, distributing food, … show your support!
4. BUNGY JUMPING
The bungy on the Bloukrans Bridge is the second highest in the world (and the highest from a bridge). It’s an opportunity hard to miss ! There’s music and an experienced staff to help you make the jump. If you’re not sure you want to jump, you can still access the bridge and watch your friends scream as they fall!
5. LOOKING FOR WILDLIFE IN TSITSIKAMMA
As a protected area, Tsitsikamma is full of wildlife. I was not particularly looking for it, but I managed some amazing (and very close up) sightings the day I was here!
6. DIVING AND 7. SNORKELING
The Tsitsikamma area is great for diving and snorkeling. There’s even some reefs right where the river meets the sea. You can try it out with Untouched Adventures and their amazing staff as well!
8. BIG TREE
The Big Tree is a real symbol for the area. This tree is 1000 years old and 36 meters high. It stands a few steps from the N2, and definitely deserves a visit! You can also walk there easily from the village (about 5 km).
9. MOUNTAIN BIKING
The mountainous area behind Storms River is ideal for Mountain biking. I’m not fit enough for this kind of thing, but I’ve heard only good stuff about this activity!
The Tube’n Axe Backpackers organises tubbing on the river. You can book this experience without staying at this hostel, of course. Before booking, ask around about the water level, in some seasons it might be too low for tubbing and you’ll be walking as much as floating!
Where to stay? I stayed at Dijembe Backpackers. This hostel might not be the cleanest or most comfortable place I’ve been to, but the atmosphere is good and the meals (vegetarian and vegan options available) are simply delicious! Breakfast is provided in the form of free pancakes every morning!
If you don’t need a budget accommodation, check in at the Village Inn, it’s the best in the village!
The entrance to the Tsitsikamma National Park is 98R per person. You have to pay it if you get in through the main entrance (by car), but you can also walk there from the village and bypass the entrance fee. You should pay at least once though, the money is used to maintain the park in a conservation effort!