Where the booming breakers of the Indian Ocean relentlessly pound rocky shores, where temperate high forest and fynbos roll down to the sea in an unspoilt verdant carpet, where ancient rivers carve their paths to the ocean down rocky ravines.
This, "the place of much water", is the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. The heartland of the park stretches some 5km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish.
Dolphins frolic in the breakers, surfing and playing for the sheer joy of life, and the gentle giant of the ocean, the southern right whale visits here, coming inshore to breed.
5 Things to seek
- Dolphins and porpoises – keeping vigil on the ocean will produce sightings of schools of dolphins and porpoises frolicking in the waves.
- African Black Oystercatcher – this red data species is one of South Africa’s most threatened bird species. Several pairs nest along the park’s rocky coastline.
- Knysna Lourie – these beautiful birds with a gruff call are common in the forest.
- Cape Clawless Otter – the source of the name of the Otter Trail, this shy and elusive species hunts crabs along the park’s coastline and rivers alike.
- Blue Duiker – this miniature antelope is found in the forests.
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