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Full Tsitsikamma 6 Day 5Night Trail

Garden Route

Activity Description

The Tsitsikamma Trail is a southern Cape hiking paradise, journeying through extensive indigenous afromontane forest and mountain fynbos. Ancient river gorges and abundant rivers and streams remind us of the creative power of water and the origins of the word Tsitsikamma. This is an enchanted world where echoes of past giants such as elephant and buffalo can still be felt. Some of the finest specimens of South Africa’s national tree, the Outeniqua yellowwood, keep sentinel over the forest canopy while hikers clamber over their enormous roots beneath. Beginning in Nature’s Valley and ending 62.3km further at either the Storms River Bridge or Village, this six-day, unidirectional trail takes hikers through the heart of the
Tsitsikamma Mountains. Shorter variations (2,3,4 or 5 days) are possible as each of the five overnight huts has its own unique access route with safe parking at the start.

Optional equipment porterage (slackpacking) now provides hikers with the chance of having their equipment transported between overnight huts (30kg per hiker per day), allowing the luxury of carrying only daypacks on each day’s journey. This makes the trail accessible to a wider range of people and provides all with more time for swimming, photography, birding and other activities usually limited by time or weight constraints. Field guides and binoculars are definitely recommended along this exciting and unpredictable journey. Many of the forest giants are labelled with their tree names and hikers can have much fun with guessing and identification games along the route
Route Description
A brief 3.5 km hike form Nature Valley Rest Camp brings you to the first overnight stopover, The Kalander hut, situated only a stone’s throw from the nature’s valley beach. The first day hike is a brief 3.4km from the Nature’s Valley rest camp with an option of entering the trails from the beach from Natures valley of via the coastal forest route.

The second day sets the tone for the rest of the trail and begins with a climb up the escarpment. Most of the day’s hike, however, will take you through indigenous afromontane forest as you venture inland towards the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. The serene staircase waterfalls demand a break and a refreshing swim before heading off the last stretch towards the hut. The Bloukrans hut is situated on the verge of a cliff and offers incredible views of the river gorges below and Peak Formosa and the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the north. A couple of hundred metres beneath the balcony a coca-cola coloured waterfall tumbles away.

The following day takes one deep into the Tsitsikamma Mountains and forest. The trails weaves through a selection of fynbos over the ridges and enchanted patches of indigenous forest as the trail begins its eastward course through the mountains. The crossing of the Bloukrans River at Waterwitelsgat is always exciting and provides a wonderful swimming and resting place. Shortly before reaching Keurbos hut there are rockpools resembling natural Jacuzzis at the Twintubs. The hut is situated in the wetter Keurbos forest.

The third day passes through very diverse habitat types and has many exciting river crossings. After an approximate 1,5km gradual descent from Keurbos hut through very tall fynbos the Lottering River is reached. Once over the saddle, large pockets of untouched indigenous forest become visible in remote mountain regions. Heuningbos indigenous forest has many hidden secrets awaiting hikers further ahead. After the final descent towards the hut, you will cross the Kleinbos River twice before reaching the Heuningbos Hut. A very pleasant swimming pool lies within rolling distance away.

Day four is the longest trail section and will see hikers negotiate two saddles on route to Sleepkloof hut. Most of the day passes through pristine mountain fynbos where many interesting species occur. The crossing of the Witteklip River marks the day’s half-way point and the second saddle’s ascent begins shortly thereafter. The view from the top of Nademaalsnek is a just reward. Sleepkloof hut nestles on the slopes of a densely forested gorge where wood was dragged out during the woodcutter era. The hut has magnificent views of the Tsitsikamma mountains lurking in the distance.

The hiking trail exits to the Storms River Bridge on the N2 Storms river Bridge and is a short hike of 3.4km. An alternative route can be used through to Storms river Village via the Tsitsikamma national park. The route heads down Bosvaringpad and crosses the N2 highway into Plaatbos on the Skuinsbospad trail. This adds 3 extra kilometres to the trail but is worth every step.


Duration118 hours
Whenall year round
Wherestart: Natures Valley end: Storms river
WeatherDifficult River Crossings in the rain
What to WearComfortable clothing Hiking boots Sun Hat
Things to BringFood Drinks Sleeping bag Lighting Lekker Attitude
Guests or SpectatorsOnly paying guests allowed


Minimum Age12 years
Minimum Height0.0 m
Maximum Height0.0 m
Fitness LevelAverage
QualificationsNot Applicable
Maximum Weight0.0 kg
CertificationNone Required
Experience LevelIntermediate

Inclusions and Exclusions


Basic cooking pots and braai grids.
Wood (Excluding Kalander Hut on night 1)


all additional cost


Optional equipment porterage (slackpacking) now provides hikers with the chance of having their equipment transported between overnight huts. To be arranged prior to the Hike. (no porterage available at the First Hut)

Customer Reviews

We absolutely loved the hike. The trail was beautiful. Thank you for all your trouble. The only problem we had was that the wrong codes were given to retrieve the keys at the huts. - Jana Blomerus

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