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Tsitsikamma Waterfall Hiking Trail

Tsitsikamma Waterfall Hiking Trail
tsitsikamma waterfall hiking trail Duration

Duration

3 – 4 hours

tsitsikamma waterfall hiking trail Difficulty

Difficulty

Moderate

tsitsikamma waterfall hiking Trail Type

Trail Type

Out & Back

tsitsikamma waterfall hiking trail Distance

Distance

6 km

The Tsitsikamma Waterfall Hiking Trail, which makes up the first 3 kilometers of the famous Otter trail, offers a little something for all tastes – forest, coast line, caves, and rock climbing.

The trail begins at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, which is the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park (found between Plettenberg Bay and Jeffrey’s Bay). Since the trail is within a National Park you will need to purchase a permit before the hike. A day permit will set you back R40 per person. If you are staying at a SanParks Rest Camp the permit will be covered in your accommodation costs.

Coastline along the Tsitsikamma Waterfall Trail

Getting started on The Tsitsikamma Waterfall Hike

You can expect the hike to take around 3 hours, excluding the amount of time you opt to spend at the waterfall. The trail starts out with an easy stroll through mixed terrain – some of it through shady indigenous forest, and some of it on a footpath along the dramatic coast line of the Indian Ocean. Before too long the rock hopping begins – quite a shock to the system if you’re not expecting it. For about two kilometers you will be navigating your way over boulders and across rock faces. Look out for the painted footprints along the path showing you the best way to go. It is suggested that you hike during low tide as this section can get tricky once the tide starts coming in.

You’re pretty exposed to the elements once you leave the forest and begin the rock hopping. Thankfully though there is a cave along the way that offers a great place to find some shade, have a rest, and snap a few photographs.

When you’re ready to go again you will find a staircase with a sign informing you that you have only 500 meters left until you reach the waterfall. These 500 meters will seem like a breeze after the previous two and a bit kilometers, but you may find yourself wondering at this point if you will ever get to the end. Don’t worry -you will, and it will be absolutely worth it.

The Cave along the trail

The unique view of a waterfall on one side and the ocean on the other is the perfect end spot to a beautifully challenging hike. You can opt to swim (warning – it’s cold!) or simply dip your feet into the pool while snacking on some lunch. You’re likely to come across a few hikers passing through on their Otter Trail adventures. Encourage them – they’ve got a long way to go!

Tsitsikamma Waterfall Panoramic

About The Author

Natasha Potter

Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, I was always playing outside and road tripping with my family. And just like that, a love for the great outdoors was sparked in me. I've always felt happier when I'm outside - be it camping, hiking, or swimming. After graduating with a Bachelor of Psychology I knew that I did not want to spend my days indoors working a 9-5. I found that my true passion lies in travelling, in being outdoors and making my life an adventure, and in inspiring others to do the same.

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