Ebb & Flow Rest Camp

Land Rover Defender in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp campsite

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp is a family-friendly SAN Parks rest camp by a gorgeous river in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park.

Touw River in Wilderness, Garden Route, South Africa.


Ebb & Flow Rest Camp is roughly halfway between Cape Town and Addo Elephant Park, with both about 5 hours drive away. There are a couple of nice hikes directly from the rest camp, the opportunity for a boat trip on the river, canoes for hire and endless swimming in the river. A couple of bird hides overlooking glassy lakes are located a short drive away.

The accommodation is right by the river and this makes it popular with families, especially on the weekends when the campsite might get a bit busy.

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp was a stop on our two-month road trip around South Africa which you can read more about and see photos here.

River and reeds in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, South Africa

How to get to Ebb & Flow Rest Camp

It’s is very easy to get to since it’s just by the N2 highway. The rest camp is divided into a northern and southern section on either side of a small road. The reception is in the southern section so this should be your first stop. This rest camp is part of the Wilderness Section of Garden Route National Park. If you don’t have a car, check out the options for car hire* from Cape Town.

There is no shop so stock up on supplies either before you leave or in nearby George coming from the west, or Kynsya coming from the east.

Camping at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp

Camping is the most popular option in this rest camp, though see the accommodation box below for other options.

Camping in Ebb and Flow Rest Camp on the Garden Route
From our rooftop tent we could just see the river
Camping in Ebb and Flow Rest Camp on the Garden Route
Camping at the northernmost site in the North Section

The campsites in both the North and South section of the park are on the banks of the river. The southern section is slightly better for swimming while the northern part can be quieter. Some of the northern sites don’t have views of the river as there is too much vegetation, so arrive early to guarentee the best spots.

All the campsites share ablution facilities and kitchen area with sinks and stovetops. Some of the sites in the Southern Section have power.

Accommodation at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp

Apart from camping (see above) the two-bed rondavels also provide budget accommodation. They all have some basic cooking equipment, Some have private ablutions while others make use of the shared facilities.

For larger groups of up to 4, there are family cottages or log cottages. Nearer the river are smaller cute Forest Cabins for either 2 or 4 guests.

Accommodation can be booked on the SAN Parks website.

Accommodation at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, South Africa.
Log cabins (brown) and family cottages (green roofs)

Birds and Bird Hides

Bird hide in Wilderness National Park, South Africa.
Rondevlei Bird Hide

Malachite and Rondevlei Bird Hide lie respectively about ten and twenty minutes drive east along a flat gravel road from Ebb & Flow Rest Camp. They are both well-maintained with lovely views out over the lakes.

Bird Hide in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp
Bird Hide in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp

Boat Trip on the River

Boat trips are available leaving from just south of the Southern Section of the Rest Camp. Ask at reception for times as these vary.

The boat trip heads up the river and then into the glassy lagoon, searching all the while for interesting birds.

Hiking Trails in Wilderness

There are five trails in the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route, of which three start from Ebb & Flow Rest Camp and the other two within a twenty minutes drive.

We hiked both the 3.8 km Half Collared Kingfisher Trail and the 8.3 km Giant Kingfisher Trail. The former has a steep climb to a wonderful viewpoint while the latter reaches a lovely waterfall. The two can easily be combined.

Hiking trails at Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, South Africa

Chasing Ostriches

Ebb & Flow Rest Camp was a stop on our two-month road trip around South Africa which we wrote up as a book, Chasing Ostriches*. Discover many other amazing places in South Africa and see more photos here.

Birdwatching in Wilderness National Park, Garden Route, South Africa.

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