The Garden Route in South Africa is one of the most beautiful drives you will ever experience. With the ocean to one side and mountains and forests on the other, this area of South Africa is hard to beat.
In June 2018 we made a spur of the moment decision to go away for the weekend and Storms River Mouth Rest Camp had been recommended to me by a friend who had stayed there a few weeks previously. I had been there before as a kid but had very little memory of what it was like, which was great because it meant I could rediscover the place all over again.
It took us just under three hours to drive from Grahamstown to Stormsriver. It is about 290kms straight along the N2 to get there and once you reach the Garden Route section of the drive the scenery is just magnificent. It is so green and lush and majestic.
We stopped in the little hamlet of Storms River for a bite to eat and to get our bearings. The little village offers an array of places to eat and there is accommodation there as well. We were anxious to get to our accommodation so we did not stay and explore in the village for very long. Just a quick milkshake at this 50s themed roadhouse restaurant and off we set again.
The Storms River Rest Camp is situated in the Garden Route National Park. Once you have checked in and received your key you drive down a long, steep, windy road down the mountain towards the camp which is nestled against the mountain right on the rocks with the ocean in front of you. The view driving down that road took my breath away! The camp itself is made up of log cabins, chalets and permanent tented rooms. Visit the SAN Parks website;
There are a number of different accommodation options to choose from. Luckily we had an insiders scoop and we booked one of three cabins which are secluded from the rest of the camp.
The log cabin sat right on the rocks and consisted of a double bedroom and on-suite bathroom, a kitchen and a lounge, which looked out over the sea. It was completely private and very peaceful. The only sound we could hear was the roar of the waves. I don’t know about you but as soon as I am by the sea all my stress and worry instantly melt away and I am overcome by a sense of calm.
Helpful tip: There are baboons in this area so make sure to keep all windows and doors closed. They won’t harm you but if they find a window open they will climb in in search of food. Also do not feed them!
We spent the first afternoon taking in the view and wandering around the rocks outside our cabin. Later we wandered down the road and found a little shop, restaurant and a place where you can hire boats. The shop has all the basic essentials but important to check the opening times as we nearly missed it and it’s a bit of a drive to find another shop.
On our second day we woke up early (impossible to sleep in when there is a toddler around!) and we went for a walk along the shore line. June is winter time in South Africa and it is always a good idea to have warm clothes on hand. My daughter had a ball running and jumping in puddles and she loved exploring the rock pools.
We spent the rest of the morning playing on the beach. The beach is small and secluded and if you walk on past it there are a number of hikes you can do. Storms River is also the starting point for the famous Otter Trail. We opted to just relax on the sandy beach as we hadn’t brought a baby carrier with and the hikes are a bit difficult for a toddler to manage on their own feet. If you are into Adrenalin Junkie activities this area is really the best for it. There is water rafting, canoeing, scuba diving, bungee jumping, zip lining and lots more on offer.
That evening we had an early dinner at the Cattle Baron Restaurant situated next to the little shop. A few years back there was an awful fire here and it burnt down the original restaurant. So now there is a tent on the rocks with 360 degree views of the sea, quite spectacular and unique. The food was great – seafood and grill. Also the outside seating area has tables set up on the sand so for kids it’s just like one massive sandpit to play in while you have your meal.
This was the perfect weekend getaway destination. Although I think next time I visit, I’ll stay for longer. I really enjoyed being wrapped in nature and my daughter loved having so much to explore.