Are you planning a day trip to Storms River Mouth soon? This guide sets out everything you need to know about visiting Storms River for the first time. I’ll also highlight the best things to do at Storms River Mouth and share useful tips and tricks to help you make the most of your day visit to this scenic gem.
Storms River Mouth Rest Camp is just one of the many great highlights along South Africa’s revered Garden Route – a scenic 300km stretch sandwiched between mountains and ocean. With unparalleled vistas over the untamed coastline and many short beautiful trails perfect for hiking enthusiasts, Storms River Mouth is a huge must on any Garden Route itinerary.
The area is a real slice of paradise and forms part of the Tsitsikamma National Park – a coastal reserve well known for its indigenous lush forests, reefs, rivers, and flourishing fynbos. Moreover, Storms River Mouth is a mecca for adrenaline seekers! With activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and river tracing, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Furthermore, Storms River Mouth is a popular day trip from Plettenberg Bay and other neighboring villages, like Knysna and Natures Valley. So, if you are looking to extend your list of things to do in Plettenberg Bay, Storms River Mouth is an excellent add-on.
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Storms River Mouth Pre-Travel Tips
Before you visit Storms River Mouth, however, you’ll need to have a few basics in place. Here are my top tips and tricks to help you explore the area with more ease, ultimately enabling you to make the most of your visit.
- Rent a car: While there are options for tours, I highly recommend hiring a car for your journey. Self-driving will allow you to access the area hassle-free, be more flexible, and see a few other interesting stops along the Garden Route.
- Grab a guide book: Whenever I travel to a new destination, I like to research as much as I can. Investing in a good guidebook, like this one will not only help you plan your trip but also provide great insights into history, culture, and so much more.
- Travel Insurance: While traveling in South Africa is mostly safe, you simply cannot predict the future. Therefore, it’s best to have proper travel cover in place for medical emergencies, theft, or damage to your gear. I highly recommend booking through World Nomads online. The process is simple, and there are a bunch of travel cover options from which to choose. By doing so, you can ensure you and your belongings are covered on your trip.
- Understand traveling in South Africa: If it’s your first visit to South Africa, you’ll also want to read all my top insider’s tips for visiting South Africa.
- Entrance Fee: Since Storms River Mouth Rest Camp is a protected area, you should know that there is an entrance fee. Prices differ according to seasons, and discounts apply to WildCard holders. For actual costs, you can check out the SAN’s Park website here.
Storms River Mouth Essentials
Wondering what to pack for a Storms River Mouth day trip? Here are a few essentials you might want to consider bringing along.
- Extra sun protection: South Africa generally enjoys a dry climate, but the sun can be brutal, especially during summer. Stay protected with this reef-friendly 50+ SPF.
- Proper footwear: Although the main hike runs along a wooden walkway, it can get quite slippery. Therefore, wearing sturdy non-slip shoes is highly encouraged. For travelers planning to do some of the more off-beat hikes, I highly recommend proper hiking footwear.
- Extra set of clothes: Despite visiting Storms River just for a day, it’s a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes. This will especially come in handy when doing water activities.
- Beachwear: Even if you aren’t joining one of the many excellent adventure activities, there is a small beach where you can catch the waves or sunbathe.
- Bring some cash: There are no ATM’s at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, so remember to plan accordingly. All popular credit cards like Visa or Mastercard are, however, accepted.
Top Things to do at Storms River Mouth
One day in Storms River Mouth will allow ample time to get up close with nature, hike one or two trails, try out some adventure activities and relax.
For those who’d like to extend their Storms River Mouth stay, you may consider spending a few nights in one of the cute cottages or even camp here. Booking well in advance is, however, essential, especially if you are visiting during peak seasons.
So, now that we’ve covered the boring planning bits, let’s have a look at the top things to do in Storms River Mouth.
Hiking is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of Storms River Mouth. With several trails ranging in length and skill level, you can easily choose the best hike for you.
The Storms River Mouth Trail
One of the most popular treks to do at Storms River Mouth (and one I highly recommend you don’t miss) is the Mouth Trail. It’s a beautiful trek less than two kilometers long which leads to an impressive 77m suspension bridge over the mouth of the Storms River. From here, you’ll also be able to see the Storms River Mouth Cave, which is a Khoisan Heritage Site. There are also two smaller suspension bridges for your to scurry along. Both offer equally stunning vantage points over the cliffs, ocean, and gorge.
The trail runs along a wooden walkway with many steps up and down. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views over the cliffs and ocean, as well as the lush forest. Once you finally make it to the edge of the cliff, you’ll need to brave a very steep stairway down to reach the suspension bridges. It’s quite a scary climb down, but the views will be well worth the effort!
After you’ve crossed the main suspension bridge, you can head over to the pebble beach and trek further along to the lookout point. Alternatively, take the circular route back to the main area. The Mouth Trail takes about 1-2 hours, depending on how many stops you make along the way and your fitness level.
The Loerie Trail
The Loerie Trail is a firm favorite among bird-watchers. The trail starts just near the Visitors Centre and offers stunning vistas along the way. It’s a relatively short hike of only 1km, and shouldn’t take you longer than 1 hour to complete. Although it’s a steep climb up to the plateau, you’ll enjoy the changing scenery before reaching the Agulhas lookout point. From here, you can either continue trekking through the coastal forest or head back down.
There is some really exceptional birdlife here, so don’t forget to pack a pair of good binoculars!
Blue Duiker Trail
The Blue Duiker Trail is a must for anyone hoping to spot South Africa’s rare blue duiker. Besides getting a taste of the unique animal and plant life, another highlight is undoubtedly seeing the Outeniqua Yellowwood.
The trail is just under 4km long, and you’ll need at least 2-3 hours to complete it. The end of the trail is also the start of one of South Africa’s most revered hikes – the Otter Trail.
If you are considering the Waterfall Trail, you’ll need to get a pretty early start. The trail is 6km long and takes about 3 hours to complete. You’ll hike past the coastline before finally reaching the stunning 50m long Tweeriviere River Falls. Here you can have a quick dip or perhaps even enjoy a picnic before heading back to the main area. The end of the trail also marks the start of the Otter Trail. Trekking on beyond this point is strictly prohibited without a valid permit.
Just a tip – this trail is one of the harder hikes to do at Storms River Mouth. So, I’ll only recommend you do it if you are fit enough. It’s best also not to attempt this hike during high tide.
Storms River Mouth Adventure Activities
While Storms River Mouth is a popular spot among nature lovers, it’s also a mecca for thrill-seekers. With an array of fun water activities, there’s something for everyone.
Kayaking is a popular activity at Storms River Mouth and a must for adventure junkies. Guided tours start near the little bay from where you’ll kayak across the ocean to the Storms River Mouth. Once you reach here, hop on a tube, explore the caves, or simply enjoy the stunning nature. Also know, that you’ll need to hike back to the main area via the Mouth Trail (about 30 mins).
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
Seeing that Storms River Mouth is a protected marine area, it’s the perfect spot to discover the diverse marine life that inhabit these waters. Both snorkeling and scuba diving trips are available and a great way to get up close with the underwater world.
For less adventurous travelers who prefer to sit back and enjoy the wonders of the Storms River, a relaxing boat ride on the ‘Spirit of Tsitsikamma’ is just the answer. Rides start near the suspension bridge, and you’ll need to hike along the Mouth Trail to get to the starting point (roughly 30 minutes).
Keep in mind, though, that all boat rides and water activities are hugely dependant on the weather conditions.
Grab a bite at the Cattle Baron
The Cattle Baron is the only restaurant in Storms River Mouth Rest Camp and has a great selection of food choices. Expect to find fresh seafood to be the star on the menu. However, there are also many other options like pizza, burgers, and pasta too. I’ve eaten at the Cattle Baron several times and can highly recommend the prawns and fish and chips!
With indoor and outdoor seating, it’s a great place to recharge, enjoy a drink, and try out some of their mouthwatering dishes. You’ll also have magnificent views of the crashing waves as the restaurant is based right next to oceanside!
Although the restaurant is quite big, it’s a good idea to reserve a table well in advance (especially during peak season).
Adventure Activities near Storms River Mouth
The Garden Route is home to many amazing places to see and awesome things to do. Although there’s plenty to do at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, there are a bunch of fun activities nearby too.
Whether you fancy kloofing, tubing, treetop canopying, mountain biking, or perhaps even leaping off Bloukrans River Bridge (the highest bungee jumping platform in the world) – there’s plenty opportunity to get your adrenaline fix. (Keen jumpers can book Bloukrans bungee jumping tickets here).
Outdoor enthusiasts eager to bike the Garden Route, will also find this guide on cycling South Africa handy.
Best Time to Visit Storms River Mouth
Storms River Mouth Rest Camp is a beautiful destination to visit all year round. As the ultimate destination for hiking, water sports, and nature lovers, this little gem along the Garden Route offers something for everyone. So, when is the best time to visit Storms River Mouth? Here’s a quick look at the various seasons of this must-visit destination in South Africa.
Summer (Dec – Feb)
During summer, the park is brimming with locals and tourists who come to enjoy the sunny skies and warm waters. Temperatures generally range between 20-30°C, with a fair chance of rain. Although summer is a great time to visit here, you should know that it can get quite busy, especially during the December holidays. To skip most of the crowds, visit in January or February instead.
Autumn (March – May)
Autumn is yet another great time to visit Storms River Mouth, but it can be quite humid. Even though the humidity doesn’t come close to the humidity in Asia, remember to drink plenty of water on your visit.
In general, the weather is pleasant with temperatures ranging in the mid-twenties. Also, know that rain is not uncommon during autumn.
Winter (June – Aug)
Although you can expect much chillier temperatures in winter, it is also the start of whale season – making it one of the busiest times to visit. You’re likely to see more tourists and nearby accommodation might also cost more. But if you’re hoping to see some of the gentle giants that come to these shores, winter is undoubtedly the best time to visit Storms River Mouth.
Spring (Sept – Nov)
During spring, the weather starts to warm up, with highs rarely exceeding the upper twenties (°C). You should, however, know that it rains quite a lot during spring, so it’s best to check the weather forecast before heading out on your Storms River Mouth day trip. Since there might be fewer tourists during these moths, chances are hotel prices will be a lot lower too.
Need more help planning your South Africa travels?
Whether you’re extending your South Africa travels, or looking for more options to explore on the Garden Route, I’ve got you covered. Get more insider’s tips here:
That wraps up this guide on what to do at Storms River Mouth. Have you visited Storms River yet? And, what tips do you have for fellow travelers spending a day here? Let us know in the comments below.
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