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.
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.
How to get to Ebb & Flow Rest Camp
It’s 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.
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 guarantee the best spots.
All the campsites share ablution facilities and a 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 outside the Rest Camp
If everything within the rest camp is fully booked, there are many options just outside of the park in Wilderness, from cottages and oceanside villas to boutique hotels.
Activities in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp
Apart from swimming in the river that flows through the rest camp, there are several activities in Ebb & Flow Rest Camp.
- Birds and Bird Hides
- Boat Trip on the River
- Hiking Trails in Wilderness
1. Birds and Bird Hides
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Where to Next?
If you’re heading east, make sure to go hiking at Robberg Peninsula, then stop off at Storms River Rest Camp. If you’re heading west, explore Mossel Bay, De Hoop Nature Reserve or Cape Agulhas National Park. Alternatively, find other things to do in South Africa.
Guidebooks to explore more of South Africa
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.