Wind your way through these Dorpies of the Eastern Cape: Storms River

2018-09-10 22:00
Post a comment 0
the storms river valley

(Photo: iStock)

From rolling hills and mountain peaks, elephant-filled national parks and picturesque coastlines and unspoilt beaches to Afromontane forests - the Eastern Cape offers travellers a virtually endless variety of experiences to enjoy.

The cities and towns of the Eastern Cape are also replete with amazing opportunity and experiences to be enjoyed.

It can be said with certainty that the Eastern Cape is one of South Africa’s most beautiful, adventure-filled and history-rich provinces. The average, relatively well-informed traveller is likely familiar with Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Port Alfred and other locations that see a fair amount of visitors, however, this is a guide to some of the places you’re likely not too familiar with.

So read on, start planning and get ready to wind your way through the dorpies of the Eastern Cape.

SEE: Top things to do on the Garden Route this Heritage Day weekend

Winding its way through the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range into the Indian Ocean, the powerful Storms River is a major attraction for thrill-seekers to the Eastern Cape. Those seeking an adventure in the Eastern Cape need look no further than Storms River for their adrenaline fix. The small town that shares a name with this mighty river is the perfect small dorpie to make your headquarters as you embark on a number of adventure activities.  

Wild, crashing seas and precipitous cliffs, biking and kloof trails, a suspension bridge (with attendant bungee jump) and rushing white waters are just some of the sights to see in and around this small dorpie. 

Upon entering the dorpie you may not see it for the adventure hub that it is but make no mistake - this is peak eastern cape 'adventure province' turf. 

With its big oaks and gum trees and freshly cut lawns, this small town certainly does not immediately evoke a mental imagery of a place associated with heart-thumping adventure - but that's exactly what it is. To the north is Storms River Peak, part of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. To the south and east lies the natural buffer zone of the indigenous afro-montane forests. The area is blessed with an abundance of regular rains that keep the area verdant, feed rivers and contour the area with ravines and gorges all of which make this dorpie the attraction that it is. 

Top things to do in Storms River:   

Kayaking

You can't check out the town of Storms River without getting onto the river for which it is named. Why not ease into it with a kayak or lilo along the shoreline and into the Storms River Mouth? Stretch, warm up and do whatever you need to do but be ready for some fun paddling action as you and whoever is with you navigate river pools and plunge down drops into the cool dark waters. Prepare to get wet and have a lot of fun. For more information and to book this experience, follow this link

Mountain-biking

 (Photo: iStock)

A great way to appreciate the beauty of the environment while moving through it at a pace is on the back of a mountain bike.

Ride along the Storms River Pass as you take this 22-kilometre trip through the area before the 5-kilometre descent to the river. This part of the route takes you through indigenous forest and offers adventurers amazing views of the gorge. The Old Storms River Bridge makes for an excellent location to cool down and swim a while but be wary of the currents and use your best judgement.

After crossing the river, the route will take you out of the valley to the coastal plateau. From here visitors are afforded amazing views of the Tsitsikamma National Park and the Storms River Mouth. The return route circles back to the Storms River Pass and back to the village.

For more information, follow this link

SEE: Adventure Time: Riding the Wild Corridor of the Garden Route

Canopy tours

Take to the trees with a canopy tour that will see you zoom through the forests 30 metres above the ground. There is not too much that needs to be said about this activity. 

You get briefed, strapped in and then the fun is ready to start. If the idea of flying among ancient trees, Knysna loeries and yellowwoods sounds like a winner then make sure you check out the action when visiting Storms River.

For more information, follow this link

Bungee jumping

You may have heard that South Africa is home to the world's highest commercial bridge bungee but you may not be aware that the Bloukrans Bridge is in the vicinity of Storms River. See, we aren't kidding when we say that the calm-looking place is the home of adventure in South Africa. 

At 216 metres, it can be quite a frightening experience, but taking the leap is most certainly worth it for the rush and sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you did the world's highest jump. 

For more information, follow this link.

Hiking and walking

 (Photo: iStock)

Take a hike - literally - and experience the magnificence of the area in an intimate setting. Feel the leaves and soil crunch underfoot, breathe in the smells of indigenous forest and cool down under waterfalls or natural pool.

One of the best routes to take is a light 3-kilometre coastal trail that leads to a waterfall that gently cascades into a dark pool of fresh water that eventually drains into the sea. For something different, try one or all of the three trails in the Plaatbos Nature Reserve which range from five to eight kilometres in length. Entrance to the reserve is free of charge but visitors are expected to take a self-issue permit from the box at the gate. 

The waterfall trail, however, requires a conservation fee to be paid. For more information, follow this link.

SEE: A hiker’s paradise: 5 must-do Eastern Cape hikes to suit all levels of fitness

Find Your Escape with our Traveller24 Weekly Newsletter – Subscribe here. Or download the News24 App here, to receive expertly curated travel wanderlust directly to your mobile