Storms River
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 33 58.403 E 023 53.151 | pop. 3,000 | elevation 240 m/787 ft

Slow down as you enter Storms River Village, because you might miss it entirely if you don’t pay close attention. This sleepy collection of guesthouses and the half dozen storefronts on Darnell Street draw adventure seekers from around the world hoping to get a rush from the array of outdoor activities available in and around Tsitsikamma National Forest.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours will take you zip-lining among the treetops of the Tsitsikamma indigenous rainforest, 30 meters above the forest floor. The trip can take up to three hours, and knowledgeable guides can answer any questions you may have about the forest ecology as you speed through the trees. Trips depart every day on the half hour, with slightly shorter hours in winter. Tsitsikamma Adventures actively promotes ecological conservation and fair trade in tourism.


Tsitsikamma Falls Adventure Park

Tsitsikamma Falls Adventure Park offers zipline tours over waterfalls, abseiling 30 meters down into a fern cove and quad bike tours with refreshments included.


Blackwater Tubing by the Tube 'n Axe

Blackwater Tubing by the Tube 'n Axe is a daylong trip of swimming, floating, hiking and jumping off rocks as high as 10 meters along Storms River Gorge.


Dijembe Backpackers Lodge

Dijembe Backpackers Lodge offers horseback riding for guided 2.5-hour trips through the Tsitsikamma indigenous forests. They also offer daily mountain bike rentals. Be sure to pick up a Storms River Cycle Route brochure from the tourism office, which will give you an overview of bike routes and how to purchase a permit if you plan to bike in Tsitsikamma Forest Estate.


Big Tree

Big Tree is a small reserve off the N2 that houses a very big tree. Walk the easy kilometer-long loop around the Big Tree reserve, where an 800-year-old tree stands 36.6 meters high and eight adults wide. Just nearby is Fallen Tree, another centuries-old behemoth that crashed to the ground in 1994. The reserve also has well-marked longer hiking trails, ranging from 2 km to 12 km. Maps are available from the kiosk inside the reserve or at the Storms River tourism office.


Tsitsikamma National Park

The Tsitsikamma National Park is one of the greatest attractions for travelers passing by Storms River and a trip to the area is not complete without exploring a bit of the Storms River Mouth portion of the park. This is the breathtaking natural junction where the forests of the garden route meet the sea. The park is host to spectacular sprays of surf as the ocean crashes upon rock formations on the coast. Visitors can hike, swim at a small beach, or walk across the landmark Storms River suspension bridge that spans the river mouth. The Otter Trail, which starts from the Storms River Mouth rest camp, is one of the country's most popular multi-day trails. The 45-kilometer coastline path takes five days to traverse and ends in Natures Valley.

The park's campsites and chalets, just next to the sea, are some of the most beautifully situated accommodations in the region. Camping and caravan parking is available (R220-250/ person), some spots with electric hookups. Two-person forest huts (R340) have communal kitchen and bathroom facilities. Two-person forest cabins (R620) and chalets (R660-700) are semi-detached and oceanettes for two to four people (R650-1,095) have breathtaking ocean views. For something rustic but a bit more private, ask for the Honeymoon cottage (R900) or the guest cottage (R2,155). Note that prices can fluctuate depending on the season.


Darnell Street is host to the village's few shops, including a grocery store.


Bloukrans Bridge

Bloukrans Bridge has the world's highest commercially run bungee jump at 216 meters (R650). For other ways to get a quick rush, try the Flying Fox, which takes you zip-lining 200 meters across the gorge to the archway of the bridge (R180) or the Bridge Walking Tour (R100) where you can cross one of the highest bridges in the world to have a front row seat at the bungee show.


Church Square

Church Square is an open-air street market where curios and knickknacks are hawked daily from 8am-4pm in front of St Paul's Church, one of the city center's Edwardian Gothic buildings.


Budget

Tsitsikamma Backpackers

Tsitsikamma Backpackers is an eco-friendly, well-maintained backpackers in a big log cabin with luxury tents outside. While more up-market than the other backpackers, the bar still has a healthy crowd on weekends.


Dijembe Backpackers

Dijembe Backpackers is a funky rustic hostel with a distinct African vibe. Dijembe offers tubing trips and horseback riding, and the horses often roam free through the hostel's front yard and campsite.


Tube & Axe

Tube & Axe is a lively, jungle-themed backpackers with a wide variety of accommodations. Rooms in the main building are arranged around a raucous bar, with the 14-bed dorm just steps away from the action. Luxury tents and doubles are more private and quiet, and campers are allowed access to all the hostel's amenities.


Mid-Range

At The Woods

At The Woods is a neat, well-appointed guesthouse with charming rustic accents. The guesthouse is also very child-friendly.


Storms River Guest Lodge

Storms River Guest Lodge is a brick and thatched roof guesthouse with very clean and well-equipped rooms.


Armagh Country Lodge

Armagh Country Lodge is a thatched roof building tucked within luxuriant and overgrown gardens. By the time you cross the small bridge and pond to reach the lodge reception, you'll already be conjuring up fairytales to match the setting. Each room is immaculate and unique, and the lodge is home to the Tsitsikamma Mountain Spa and Rafters, one of the few decent restaurants in town.


Top-End

Protea Hotel Tsitsikamma Village

Protea Hotel Tsitsikamma Village could be mistaken for Storms River city center - its collection of hotel rooms housed in faux 19th century commercial buildings is bigger than the town itself. The hotel offers a range of accommodation as well as one of the town's few public restaurants and bars, making this a popular spot for many travelers.


Tsitsikamma National Park Restaurant

Tsitsikamma National Park Restaurant is a large and open wood framed family restaurant that draws a large crowd of visitors because it's the only restaurant in the park. Luckily it has breathtaking coastline views. Beyond the covered patio, waves break spectacularly against the cliffs, which makes for a mesmerizing natural water show as you dine.


All accommodation in the village can arrange meals for you if given prior notice, and home-cooked meals from the guesthouses can be memorable and delicious. But if you're looking to catch a quick bite to eat, your options are limited to the few places listed below. Hunter's Inn pub, attached to Café Bacchus at the Protea Hotel, is the village's only real bar, but all the backpackers in town have full bars attached that can get raucous on any night of the week.


Rafters Restaurant at Armagh Country Lodge & Spa

Rafters Restaurant at Armagh Country Lodge & Spa is the more romantic of the town's two public restaurants - lush gardens and candlelight make this a magical spot at night, especially on the veranda. Hearty and flavorful South African favorites make up the majority of the menu and their slow roasted meat dishes are succulent.


Café Bacchus and De Oude Martha

Café Bacchus and De Oude Martha are both located on the grounds of the Protea Hotel. Café Bacchus is a pleasant garden café with Hunter's Inn pub attached. De Oude Martha is a more formal restaurant that serves breakfast (7am-10am) and opens up for dinner when the café gets jammed. Both offer a long menu that spans grilled cheese to springbok.


Trees Fine Foods

Trees Fine Foods is a small restaurant and craft shop where you can grab a quick meal before taking off on a canopy tour next door. The menu is full of the usual suspects but at extremely cheap prices. The restaurant itself is a job creation program of Stormsriver Adventures, and proceeds from meals and the shop go back to a township empowerment program.


All accommodation in the village can arrange meals for you if given prior notice, and home-cooked meals from the guesthouses can be memorable and delicious. But if you're looking to catch a quick bite to eat, your options are limited to the few places listed below. Hunter's Inn pub, attached to Café Bacchus at the Protea Hotel, is the village's only real bar, but all the backpackers in town have full bars attached that can get raucous on any night of the week.


Rafters Restaurant at Armagh Country Lodge & Spa

Rafters Restaurant at Armagh Country Lodge & Spa is the more romantic of the town's two public restaurants - lush gardens and candlelight make this a magical spot at night, especially on the veranda. Hearty and flavorful South African favorites make up the majority of the menu and their slow roasted meat dishes are succulent.


Café Bacchus and De Oude Martha

Café Bacchus and De Oude Martha are both located on the grounds of the Protea Hotel. Café Bacchus is a pleasant garden café with Hunter's Inn pub attached. De Oude Martha is a more formal restaurant that serves breakfast (7am-10am) and opens up for dinner when the café gets jammed. Both offer a long menu that spans grilled cheese to springbok.


Trees Fine Foods

Trees Fine Foods is a small restaurant and craft shop where you can grab a quick meal before taking off on a canopy tour next door. The menu is full of the usual suspects but at extremely cheap prices. The restaurant itself is a job creation program of Stormsriver Adventures, and proceeds from meals and the shop go back to a township empowerment program.