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“Park and surrounds fantastic, info and website not so good”

Garden Route (Tsitsikamma, Knysna, Wilderness) National Park
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Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour
Ranked #2 of 76 things to do in Knysna
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Park and surrounds fantastic, info and website not so good”
Reviewed September 10, 2012

Having been there a few times before, we visited the park in May 2012. The park is fantastic - accommodation right on the sea, with the indigenous forest all around... The shortish walk to the waterfall (part of the first part of the Otter trail) is well worth doing - just a warning, we did see a company with an elderly lady having had to turn back: not that onerous, but a little bit technical in places.

My only gripe with this park, is the quality of information on its website. We went there with mountain bikes, fully expecting to be able to ride the 'new routes that were launched at the park'. Turns out you need to drive to either Knysna, Storm's River Village, Homtini, or Rheenendal to be able to ride these touted trials. Very disappointing, to say the least. And the staff / management at the park did not really seem interested in taking any action to set this right - their website is still misleading.

At checking in and out, it was also evident that not all the staff were equally competent...

Having said all this, it is a fantastic place to visit: see also my reviews on the Forest Huts (where we stayed) and the scuba diving centre...

I'll definitely be back - now that I'm better informed, I'll know what to book and what not to bring!

Visited May 2012
2 Thank justdanni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We had a day trip to this stunning National Park and we had a fanatastic time. A picnic overlooking the sea, we took a braai last year, with the waves crashing in over the rocks in front of us was fantastic. Then we walked on the trail to the suspension bridges, with only the fit one of the family going up to the lookout on the cliff top. There are stunning views whether you stay in the valley or go up onto the cliff top, but if you're fit and adventurous, i recommend you go to the lookout point on the cliff top, hard work, but worth every drop of sweat. There's a shop, restaurant/bar which is open until late for those who are holidaying in the park. There's a small beach with changing rooms and showers and if you want, you can go on a speedboat ride. There's loads to do here, and plenty of walks, so whether you're going for the day or longer, you're in for a treat

Visited August 2012
1 Thank Stevenbevnholly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level Contributor
106 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“The Otter Trail is AMAZING”
Reviewed July 3, 2012

A group of 6 of us did the Otter Trail between 24 and 28 June 2012 and what an absolute blessing it was !!!

The Trail is both tough and magnificent at the same time. Our mood varied from sweating to relaxing, from being scared to being elated and the changes mostly happened within a short space of time. There are plenty of uphills and downhills to satisfy the fitness enthusiasts and there are enough river crossings (of varying degrees of difficulty) to appeal to some adrenalin “junkies” – especially the Bloukrans River crossing on Day 4. There are enough bird sightings to cater for various levels of ornithologist and there were wildlife sightings (land and sea) to keep “hunters” (who shoot with camera’s) happy.

The huts for overnight stays (Ngubu, Scott, Oakhurst and Andre) are perfectly positioned to give a beautiful view – as are the one-way windows of the toilets !!! Each hut has adequate space and comfortable beds for the 6 occupants that it caters for. The thick mattresses are surprisingly comfortable, although you have to be pretty short to be able to sit up on the middle and bottom bunk bed. The cold showers are a challenge all by themselves, especially on a cool winters evening.

We were blessed with clear days, with a cool to cold gentle breeze and the only rain that we had was on the third night – and it rained really hard, so much so that water actually came “through” the Hut wall somehow. The trail is well marked and with regular distance markers, especially on the long trek from Oakhurst Hut to the Bloukrans River. This is a river that is not to be taken lightly – so the crossing MUST be timed to coincide with Low Tide. Even then it is not easy as the water was very cold and the waves are constantly rolling in to make sure that you are paying attention.

Although most of the hike is through the beautiful coastal forests, you will get to see some incredible views and stunning scenery when you do “surface” out of the forest – like Blue Bay and Skulderkrans on Day 2. This truly is the BEST way to experience the coast between Storms River Mouth and Natures Valley. However, some level of fitness is essential as the coastline is rugged and you will be carrying 5 days worth of supplies on your back. This is not a hike to be taken lightly; but DEFINITELY one to consider !!

Visited July 2012
3 Thank stranger_and_pilgrim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffreys Bay
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent experience!!!”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Tsitsikamma National Park is the most amazing place, one of the highlights along the Garden Route. Our stay was perfect with stunning views of the ocean right from our patio, chalets is only a few meters away from the beach and the waves breaking against the rocky beach is so relaxing! Do not miss out on the activities, the hiking trails to the suspension bridges and waterfalls, boat trips, canoeing. There is a restaurant in the park with stunning views . Perfect place for a family to enjoy an excellent experience!!!

Visited January 2012
2 Thank supertubes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffreys Bay
Level Contributor
31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fantastic stay with lots of activities and relaxation”
Reviewed June 10, 2012

We stayed in a beautiful chalet right on the edge of the sea, with barbeque on the patio - have a braai while watching the sea beat against the rocks right in front of you - great! The walk to the suspension bridges is wonderful and the kids enjoyed swimming out to the float in the protected little beach right in front of the restaurant. We also enjoyed the boat trip, cycling and walking in the park and the swimming pool is wonderful; also right on the edge of the beach and ocean. It's great that there's a shop where you can buy all the neccessities if you pitch up unprepared - like us!

Visited November 2011
1 Thank Rhelda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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