Storms River Mouth is a SAN Parks rest camp on the wild, windswept coastline in the middle of the Garden Route.
Storms River Mouth is a favourite stop on the Garden Route. There are a couple of nice hikes that start at the rest camp, one leading to the famous suspension bridge and the other to a waterfall cascading onto the beach with a pool at the base where you can swim. There are plenty of other activities, such as kayaking and snorkeling, or just hanging out at the beach to watch the waves. The accommodation and camping are right next to the ocean and can be fully booked in summer (Dec-Jan), so plan ahead.
- Park Reception: 08:00 – 17:00, Gate closing time 22:00. Late arrivals can check in at the main gate.
- Park fees are R65 for South Africans and R262 for international visitors (both half price for children).
- This rest camp can be very busy in holidays and on weekends – book accommodation in advance.
- As the name suggests, it’s often stormy here. Some water activities don’t take place in bad weather.
- There is a restaurant and basic shop in the park.
- Read more about the two most popular hikes here: The Bridge Trail, and The Waterfall Trail.
Where is Storms River Mouth Rest Camp?
Storms River Mouth lies in the middle of the Garden Route. It’s easy to get to since it’s 10 minutes from the N2 highway. The rest camp is strung out along the coastline but the reception is on the road on the way in. It’s 1hr20 from Knysna, 7 hrs from Cape Town and 2hrs45 from Addo Elephant Park. If you don’t have a car, check out the options for car hire* from Cape Town.
This rest camp is part of the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park. If you don’t have a Wild Card, you’ll need to pay a conservation fee when you enter – R65 for South Africans and R262 for international visitors (both half price for children).
In the rest camp is a shop selling basic items and souvenirs. Just opposite, the Cattle Baron Restaurant is focused on meat with some fish and a veggie burger option, with some great views over the ocean.
Accommodation options at Storms River
There are many different accommodation options at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp. All accommodation can be booked on the SAN Parks website. Make sure to book ahead in summer (Dec-Jan) and on weekends. Bear in mind that the rest camp is strung out along between the ocean and the cliffs, which makes it quite far (about 1.5 km) from one side of the rest camp to the other. If you are in a group and want to be close together, chose the same accommodation type.
Some sites are tent only, some caravan only, some have power and some don’t, some have a view and others do not. You can choose from all these options when booking. Bear in mind, it can be very windy and most of the camping sites are quite exposed. Once we tried to use our rooftop tent, but the wind was so strong that we had to quickly take it down and set up our small ground tent in the shelter of our car. This was in mid-summer!
There are several ablution facilities and kitchen areas with sinks and stovetops that the campsites share.
There are huts, cabins, chalets, oceanettes and cottages of various sizes, each fitting from two to eight people. I don’t know why they have so many different names for such similar accommodation units. The cheapest units are the two-bedded forest huts, which are very cute but have shared ablutions and kitchen. In contrast, all the other accommodation is self-catering, so have their own kitchen and bathroom. Additionally, most accommodation units have balconies with lovely sea views.
Things to do at Storms River Rest Camp
1. Go to the beach
There are both small sandy beaches and rocky beaches at Storms River. There are lots of interesting, colourful items on these beaches, perfect for making sculptures. You can spend hours watching the waves crash onto the rocks, or explore the many rock pools by the shore.
2. Go Swimming
There are three options for swimming. The first is at one of the sandy beaches, though be very careful as there can be strong currents that drag you into the ocean. The second is at the scenic swimming pool just back from the shore, but hidden from the road by a cliff and vegetation. The third option, which requires a little effort, is in the lovely pool at the base of the Storms River Mouth Waterfall Trail (~6 km return).
3. Explore the rest camp
The forested huts and cabins are surrounded by indigenous forest with lots of interesting things to find. And along the coastline, fairly tame dassies are a common sight.
Animals to look out for
- Dassies – these hang out near the restaurant and around the rest camp
In the Ocean
- Dolphins – easiest when the sea is calm
- Southern Right Whales (Aug & Sep)
At the Coastline
- Black Oystercatchers – these medium-size, black birds with long, straight red bill can be spotted on the shoreline
- Cape Clawless Otter – if you’re very lucky you’ll spot these on the quieter sections of coastline
In the Forest
- Kynsna Lourie – these dark-green, parrot-like birds can be spotted jumping about the trees
- Blue duiker – a very small, shy antelope that with lots of luck could be seen
4. Head onto/into the ocean
Kayak under the suspension bridge and into the mouth of Storms River, or go snorkelling to see what lies beneath. Both of these activities are dependent on the weather. Untouched Adventures (Website, Tripadvisor Reviews*) run these trips and have an office at the rest camp.
5. Relax and watch the waves crash in at sunset
It is almost always stormy at Storms River Mouth, which leads to fantastic waves that look gorgeous in the setting sun.
6. Hiking at Storms River Mouth
There are four trails starting at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, the first two of which we have written separate hike reports for:
- The most popular is the Storms River Mouth Bridge Trail (~2.5 km), which leads to the famous suspension bridge.
- Along the coast in the opposite direction is the Storms River Mouth Waterfall Trail (~5 km), leading to a lovely waterfall that cascades into a large pool on the beach, perfect for swimming.
- The Storms River Mouth Lourie Trail (~1 km) through the indigenous coastal forest around the camp.
- The Blue Duiker Trail (~4 km), similar to the Lourie Trail but longer.
- The Otter Trail (45 km) is a 5-day, 4-night hutted trail starting at Storms River Mouth Reception. It must be booked far in advance and often sells out. Ages allowed: 12-65 years.
Storms River Rest Camp is in the middle of the Garden Route, South Africa. It’s a 10-minute drive from the N2 highway, 1hr 20 mins east of Knysna.
Hiking, viewing the famous suspension bridge and trying an adventurous activity such as kayaking or snorkelling are all popular things to do at Storms River Rest Camp.
This famous bridge is just over a 1 km walk on easy trails from Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, on the Garden Route, South Africa.
Yes. There are three options for swimming: the ocean (beware of strong waves and currents), the swimming pool (for overnight guests only) and the pool on the Waterfall Trail (2.5 km from the rest camp).
Discover more of South Africa with Chasing Ostriches: A Two Month Road Trip through South Africa
Storms River 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.