The Tsitsikamma National Park is a protected area along South Africa’s famous Garden Route, between Cape Town and Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). Together with the Wilderness National Park, it forms part of the Garden Route National Park. This stretch of coastline is one of the most beautiful in the country, ranging from the Bloukrans River in the west to the Tsitsikamma River in the east.

Visitors enter Tsitsikamma via a section of the N2 highway which is bordered on one side by the magnificent Tsitsikamma Mountains and on the other by the Indian Ocean. An array of scenic natural attractions includes dramatic coastal cliffs, serene ocean inlets, lush indigenous forest and spectacular beaches.

The name of this national park originates from the Khoekhoe word ‘tse-tsesa’ meaning ‘clear’ and ‘water’. This likely refers to the sparkling water of the Tsitsikamma River. Other meanings include ‘place of much water’ and ‘waters begin’.

Activities in the Tsitsikamma National Park

There are endless things to do in Tsitsikamma, a list that includes, but is not limited to, zip-lining, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, blackwater tubing and mountain biking. Famously, the reserve is home to the Otter Trail, a 5-day 44km hike starting at the Storms River Mouth and ending at Nature’s Valley. Named for the Cape clawless otter which frequents the region, the trail never strays far from the coastline, and there are comfortable huts along the way.

A trip to the Tsitsikamma National Park would be incomplete without visiting The Big Tree – an 800-year-old Yellowwood. An incredible 36m high with a circumference of 9m, it is a more-than impressive sight to behold! It is situated near the charming village of Storms River.


  • Awe-inspiring scenery
  • Numerous activities, including kayaking, hiking & mountain biking
  • Dolphins, African Black Oystercatcher, Cape Clawless Otter & Knysna Lourie
  • Otter Trail
  • Close proximity to Knysna

Book Your Trip to the Garden Route

Located under 1.5 hours from Knysna and The Turbine Hotel & Spa, Tsitsikamma is the perfect venue for a fun-filled day trip. For help in arranging transfers or excursions, simply get in touch with our friendly team here.

If you’re looking for accommodation along the Garden Route, consider The Turbine Hotel & Spa on Thesen Islands. We boast an onsite spa, 2 restaurants, stylish decor and 26 different rooms and suites to choose from, including 2 self catering units.

To enquire about a stay with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our reservations team directly at or use our online booking system here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Garden Route.

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