Last Saturday, we set out early to spend the day at Storms River Mouth in the Tsisikamma, which forms part of the Garden Route National Park. It is one of South Africa’s most diverse protected areas consisting of about 150km in a narrow band along the picturesque South Cape Coast. It extends from the Outeniqua Mountains to the sea, comprising of deep gorges, many rock pools, waterfalls and rich marine protected areas. To be honest it wasn’t the beauty that drew me, rather the opportunity of walking the suspension bridges. From Plettenberg Bay, it is 36km to the Toll Gate and then just a few more before you exit the N2 and find the entrance to the National Park on your right.
The walk to the suspension bridges starts at the Storms River Mouth and takes you through some spectacular indigenous forest with superb views of the mouth and the ocean. The boardwalks are well laid out. We went Eastwards up some steps to a beautiful waterfall. Then it is a series of stairs, but the walk is relatively easy. All too soon you arrive at the Suspension Bridge.
For one like me that is petrified of heights, walking this bridge requires a lot of determination. I checked it out: the bridge spans the mouth of the river at a height of 9m and 65m long. It also moves!! People were walking across quite effortlessly. It was challenging for me and exhilarating, there was a lot of swaying. I felt a bit uneasy in places but my determination carried me to other side. We didn’t venture up the path to the Lookout view point. Walking back across the bridge was a little easier and the views up and down the gorge were breathtaking. By then the wind had started to pick up and walking back across the shorter bridge there was a lot more movement and sway!
On the way back, we stopped to read some of the information boards with lots of interesting facts about the area. Once back at the river mouth and camping area, we enjoyed a picnic with views of the ocean and waves. There is another walk along the coastline to a series of waterfalls and is the start of the epic Otter Trail. We are planning to return soon to visit these falls. I have found the perfect way to spend any Saturday is right here with the crashing waves, good company and awesome scenery!