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LOCAL TIME: 08:06 am | Monday, 27 January
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Storms River

With uninterrupted sea views and loads of exciting activities close at hand, Storms River is one of SA’s favourite destinations.
Storms river caravan site

There can be no better place in South Africa to park a caravan than at the Storms River Mouth campsite, in the Tsitsikamma section of the new Garden Route National Park. Come to think of it, having recently spent a week watching the waves crash onto the rocks at my feet, there can be few better sites anywhere in the world. Just mention Storms River in conversation and you’re soon regaled with people’s fondest holiday memories.

South Africans simply love it and it’s little wonder. Storms River has a special place in our cultural fabric. This stretch on the south-eastern coast is the real heart of the Garden Route; when we speak about the Garden Route, we think Tsitsikamma. When we think Tsitsikamma, as often as not we’re thinking about Storms River.

Easy walks lead off the camp through indigenous forest and are suitable for kids.

Easy walks lead off the camp through indigenous forest and are suitable for kids.The stony beach at the mouth of the river is great for throwing stones. Each caravan site has a concrete braai.

Unlike many other places, the camping and caravanning spots at Storms River Mouth campsite have the prime positions. It’s possible to park right on the shoreline; on stormy days you’re so close you can feel the earth shudder as the waves crash onto the rocks. Admittedly the salt spray is hard on vehicles, but it’s great for the soul.

There are two more spans to the bridge over the mouth of the river

There are two more spans to the bridge over the mouth of the river

For me the main attraction of Storms River (apart from the mind-blowing scenery), is the walking trails. No matter if you’re up for a short amble through indigenous forest, or a more serious coastal day-hike, you’re well catered for. One of the must-do walks is the two-kilometre trail along well-maintained boardwalks to the mouth of the Storms River. This famous landmark has recently been upgraded with two additional spans. It’s suitable for the whole family (my two- and four-year-old boys managed the whole walk with minimal assistance).
Being this close to the sea is normally a concern to families with young kids and, while you need to be vigilant, the sharp rocks are a good deterrent for errant youngsters. Don’t let this put you off, however; playing in the rock pools is fantastic, with amazing things to discover. If you’re with children, the small beach near the restaurant and shop is great for sand castles and a quick dip. If you are more adventurous, you can opt for a snorkelling trail or boat ride to the mouth.
Storms River is the kind of place you can go back to time and again. Some will spend their days charging about, adventuring on all the activities close at hand. Others will be content to sit and watch the mesmerising waves as they obliterate themselves on the rocks. Either way, hitch up and park off in one of caravanning’s great South African sites.

Magnificent views from a lookout on the Lourie Trail. The ablutions are spotless. Comprehensive washing facilities. The small shop is well stocked.

Magnificent views from a lookout on the Lourie Trail. The ablutions are spotless. Comprehensive washing facilities. The small shop is well stocked.

Text by Cameron Ewart-Smith. Article taken from the September 2010 edition of Getaway magazine.

More info on the town of Tsitsikamma More info on the Eastern Cape area



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