The Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park is true reflection of a holiday destination. The Garden Route National Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with uninterrupted sea views 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 Section 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 percent 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.
The part of the Wilderness Section which contains the Ebb & Flow Camp, the Serpentine and much of Langvlei originally formed part of the farm Kleinkranz, which was granted to JJ Viviers in 1818. Little is known of that period but in 1845 the land was transferred to Paul Gerber who moved there with his wife, four sons and two daughters.
The most prominent landscape feature in this section is the Knysna Estuary. The high conservation importance of this estuary has been emphasised in several studies, with it ranking 3rd of South Africas estuaries in terms of botanical importance, 8th in terms of importance for conserving fish, 19th in terms of waterbird conservation, and 1st in terms of overall conservation importance which includes criteria such as size, diversity of habitat, zonal rarity and biodiversity.
Need to know information for overnight visitors to the Garden Route National Park:
- Gate opening is 07:00 and closing times 18:00
- Security service, starting 18:00 leaving 07:00 in the morning
- Late arrivals (after 18:00) may collect keys at the entrance gate with Security
- Day visitors allowed until 21:30
What to bring along:
- Remember to bring along a bathing suit, angling equipment, hat, sun block, walking shoes, binoculars, bird and mammal reference books. Hikers must always carry sufficient water.
- For summer (September March), cool comfortable clothing is recommended along with sunhats and sun protection cream.
- For winter and autumn (April August), warm clothing is recommended for the night times.
- As outdoor lighting in camps is limited, a torch/headlamp is required when walking outside at night.
- Bring along binoculars, camera, walking shoes and wildlife reference books.
Tips and Hints:
- Pets are not allowed in a national park.
- 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.
- 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 in the Tsitsikamma Section (a post box is available at the rest camp).
- Roller blades and skateboards are prohibited.
- No bait, shells, driftwood or any other organism, living or dead, may be removed from the Garden Route National Park.
- Powerboats are not permitted on the river at Natures Valley.
- No immunisations are needed for travel to this park. The park is situated in a malaria-free area.
- Nature has blessed the Garden Route National Park (Tsitsikamma, Knysna and Wilderness Sections) with a pleasant, temperate climate; it is unique in Africa as the only area in which rainfall occurs throughout the year.
- And, to cap it all, most of our rain falls at night! It`s the ideal climate for a visit - at any time of the year!
Accommodation at Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park
You can choose to stay in a number of different accommodation units in the different camps, Storms River (Tsitsikamma Section), Nature`s Valley (Tsitsikamma Section), Knysna (Knysna Lakes Section) and Wilderness (Wilderness Section).
- All accommodation, ablution and kitchen facilities are serviced by cleaning staff on a daily basis.
- Currently bedding is supplied in all accommodation (except camping).
- Cooking utensils and refrigeration are provided in most accommodation units. Exceptions will be indicated when booking.
Knysna Lakes Section Accommodation
Diepwalle Forest Camp
Set amidst the treetops of the Diepwalle Forest, this elevated camp affords the visitor an opportunity to feel at one with the forest whilst providing that perfect balance of outdoor living and basic amenities which the ardent camper will love.
Basic Accommodation Types:
These forest huts are available at Nature`s Valley and Storms River rest camps.
Family/Log Cottages & Forest Cabins
These accommodations are available at both Wilderness and Storms River rest camps.
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. These are all available in the Knysna Area as well as the Storms River Mouth, Wilderness and Nature`s Valley rest camps.
Activities and Facilities at Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park
There is a variety of fun and adventurous actvities as well as excellent facilities available at the Garden Route National Park ranging from hiking trails, nature walks and much more.
Activities available include:
- Hiking and Nature Walks
- Forest Excursions
- Mountain Biking
- Water Activities
- Otter Trail
What to do at Storms River Mouth Restcamp
How to get there:
- The Tsitsikamma Section 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.
- The Knysna Lakes Section lies on the scenic Garden Route, some 500km from Cape Town and approximately 300km from Port Elizabeth. Rental facilities and a national airport can also be found at George, some 70km from Knysna.
- Distance on the N2 from Knysna into Uniondale Road (R339) to Diepwalle (camping sites and guest house) is 23km. Travel on the gravel provincial road.
- All the major car hire companies have offices at the George Airport and there are specialised companies in Knysna that provide airport transfers. The upgraded road between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is very good, making road travel along the scenic Garden Route a pleasure.
- The Wilderness Section is situated close to the N2 highway, 15km from George, 2km from Wilderness village, 410km from Port Elizabeth and 450km from Cape Town. The closest airport is at George, where car hire facilities are available.
- Guests visiting Wilderness Ebb & Flow camp, please note the road sign on the N2 to the Park reads “Wilderness National Park” (but is currently known as the Wilderness Section) and not Ebb & Flow. Guests can also use the western access through the town of Wilderness across the rail road bridge and turn right for the reception.
1. Accommodation rates do not include Conservation Fees which are payable at the entrance gates.
2. Please ensure that you are familiar with the Rules & Regulations of National Parks before making a booking.
Camping Diepwalle Power (CK4P): Braai area, Communal ablutions, Extra vehicles are charged a fee per night, Only tents allowed, no motorhomes or rooftop tents, PowerPoint, Wheelchair accessible.
Deck Tent (DT2): 2 Lockable kists, 2 Single beds with mattresses, Bar fridge, Braai facility on deck, LED light, No bedding or towels provided, No crockery or cutlery provided, Permanent tent on camping deck.
Tree Top Chalet (GC4): 1 bedroom with double bed, own bathroom, 1 bedroom, 2 single beds, own bathroom, Alternative contact number (044) 532 7770, Check in at Garden of Eden no later than 17h00, Contact Garden of Eden on (044) 532 7793, No smoking, Open plan kitchen, fire place braai, DSTV, Telephone and security system.
Camp Site (CK6): Extra vehicles are charged a fee per night, No power.
Chalet 2bd + Dsc (CH2/4): Braai facility on deck, Fully equipped Kitchen, No smoking, Open parking next to unit, Open plan unit with 2 single beds, Semi detached, Sleeper couch suitable for 1 adult or 2 children, View of Lagoon, WC and shower.
Forest Hut (FH2): 2 single beds, Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, Electricity, No smoking, Utensils.
Chalet 2bd S-d (CH2SZ): Braai facility on deck, DSTV (limited channels), Fully equipped Kitchen, No smoking, Open parking next to unit, Open plan with a Double Bed, Semi detached, Unit accessible to the mobility challenged, WC and shower.
Chalet 2bd S-d (CH2S): Braai facility on deck, Fully equipped Kitchen, No smoking, Open parking next to unit, Open plan with a Double Bed, Semi detached, WC and shower.
Chalet (CH3S): 1 bedroom with double bed, 1 single bed in lounge, DSTV (limited channels), Fridge, Kitchen, Microwave, No smoking, Open plan, Open plan lounge / kitchen area, Semi detached, Water Kettle and Toaster, WC and shower.
Chalet (CH3): 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, 1 single bed in lounge, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, Semi detached, WC and shower.
Chalet - Pens (CH3P): 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, Semi detached, Sleeper couch in living room, suitable for Children, WC, shower and basin.
Chalet 4bd S-d (CH4S): 1 bedroom with double bed, 2 single beds in open plan area, Braai facility on deck, DSTV (limited channels), Fully equipped Kitchen, No smoking, Open parking next to unit, Semi detached, WC and shower.
Cottage (OC2): 1 bedroom with double bed, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Stand alone units, WC and shower.
Family Cottage (FA4): 2 bedrooms, 1xdouble bed, 1x2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, WC, shower and bath.
Forest Hut (FH2): 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, Communal ablutions, Communal Kitchen, No smoking, Utensils.
Forest Hut (FH2S): 1 bedroom with 2 single beds, Bedding Supplied, Communal Kitchen, Cutlery and crockery provided, No smoking, WC and shower.
Guest Cottage (GC8): 1 bathroom with shower and wash basin, 1 bathroom with wc and bath, 2 bedrooms, each with 1 double bed, 2 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, Dining room, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, Lounge, No smoking, Separate WC.
Cottage (HC2): 1 bedroom with double bed, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Stand alone units, WC and shower.
Oceanette-large (FNZ4): 2 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, Unit accessible to the mobility challenged, WC and shower.
Oceanette-large (FN4): 2 bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, WC and shower.
Oceanette-open Plan (FW2P): 2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, Shower.
Oceanette-open Plan (FW2): 2 single beds, DSTV (limited channels), Kitchen, No smoking, Open plan, Shower.