"Tsitsikamma" is derived from the Hottentot words ‘tse-tsesa’ meaning clear and ‘gami’ meaning water. The name probably refers to the clear waters of the Tsitsikamma River. Tsitsikamma, South Africa’s first marine park, extends along a rocky coastline of 80km, stretching for 5 km out into the sea. Bang in the middle of South Africa’s picturesque Garden Route, Tsitsikamma must surely rank as one of the prettiest game parks in the country. Cliffs and beaches bound a narrow coastal plain, and vast stretches of fynbos (characteristic Cape vegetation, including woody shrubs, heath, protea, geranium, stinkwood and the giant Outeniqua yellow wood tree- all in all, over 7,700 species of plants) cover much of the area.
But what makes Tsitsikamma really worthwhile is the amazing range of experiences it offers. Whether you just want a quiet, relaxing day on one of Tsitsikamma’s two beaches, or prefer to go surfing, canoeing, swimming, hiking or birdwatching- Tsitsikamma has it all.
If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of a rare Cape clawless otter, after which the Otter Trail is named.
The Park gates are open from 7.00 am to 9.30 pm, and an entrance fee has to be paid at the gate. The fee for adults is R18; for children it’s about R10.