Storms River Village
Step back a-while
Storms River Village – a mere kilometre or so off the N2 is often passed over in favour of Storms River Mouth and the Tsitsikama National park. Which is a shame or a best kept secret, whichever you prefer. We have also been guilty of passing the turn off many times and not bothering to see what was on offer.
Situated at the base of the Tsitsikamma mountain range and surrounded by lush forest, this small village came about due to the timber industry and was home to many a woodcutter until the decimation of the forests was halted around 1939.
Centuries before, elephants would migrate through what is today the village on their way to drier lands and return at the turn of the season, living in harmony with the San tribes that also passed through.
Nowadays, it is a small, beautifully kept village with several good restaurants and places to stay. Base yourself here and discover the surrounding delights of the Garden Route.
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Swallows Nest – situated at the entrance to the village it comprises a self-catering complex of cottages around a pretty garden. Indoor fireplace for chilly winter evenings and outside table with individual braai spot for those warm, summer nights.
March Hare Cottage – lovely self-catering cottage for two in private garden, surrounded by lush vegetation and backing onto the forest. Central to village activities with great views of the Tsitsikamma mountains.
Tsitsikamma Village Inn – the old lady of the village and at one time a hunting lodge. Now beautifully restored with the accommodation offered in Cape vernacular buildings built around a “village green”. Good restaurant and cosy bar on site.
Marilyn’s 60’s Diner – decorated in fine style and serving great burgers and milkshakes to a background of 60’s soundtrack. Fun atmosphere – open for lunch daily; eves Friday and Saturday only.
Tsitrus Cafe – one of the best pizzas we’ve tasted in a long time – choose your toppings on a basic base and have it cooked to perfection in a wood fire. Fully licensed.
The Bistro at Bitou – as you come into the village you can’t miss this brightly painted building! Apart from serving good coffee and food, there is an information office on the side which is run by super knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Tsitsikamma Micro Brewery – situated in the main road and next to the diner this small microbrewery is a delight. Try a taster of their various brews and then order your one of choice while dining on a burger next door! Tours of the brewery can be booked.
Tsitsikamma National Park – about 4kms west of the village off the N2 this beautiful park is an absolute must to visit with lush forest on one side and sea on the other. Lots of great hikes (the start of the well-loved 5-day Otter Trail is here) and especially recommended is the fairly easy boardwalk trail to Storms River Mouth culminating in crossing the suspension bridge.
Big Tree – a few hundred metres the other side of the N2, a five minute walk will have you dwarfed by the Big Tree. It has been standing for 800 plus years which makes one certainly pale into insignificance. Walk around it in awe!
Storms River Village walks – hikes of varying distances and difficulty starting from the Parks Board office at the bottom of the main road.
Canopy Tours – run from the village, they equip and instruct you before taking you off into the forest. A sort of zip-line hike through the trees!
Segway Tours – join one of the guided tours on segways through the village – one or two hour duration.
Relax… or not
There are also bicycles to hire, horses to ride and kayaking to be tried or of course there’s relaxing in this quiet little hollow with a glass of something fine to hand.
It’s a good place to base yourself to explore the Garden Route -Plettenberg Bay is only 30 minutes away and Knysna a short drive further on. Nature’s Valley is also easily accessible and has one of the most beautiful, empty beaches around.
Please note that in December holidays this area is really, really busy, so if you want a “quiet, get-away-from-it- all” kind of experience, then plan a trip at another time of the year!
Look at the Tsitsikamma info website for further information.
Where to find it