Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Garden Route National Park , South Africa

So where are we off to today??
Well since we are in this neck of the woods......let's go to the Tsitsikamma National Park section of the Garden Route National Park

It is situated at the heart of the picturesque tourist region known as the Garden Route,

found in the Southern Cape of South Africa.

Did you know that Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, "place of much water."?

The Park incorporates 80 km of rocky coastline with spectacular sea and landscapes, a remo
te mountainous region with secluded valleys covered in mountain Fynbos and temperate high forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea.


The Tsitsikamma's spectacular scenery includes the Indian Ocean breakers, pounding rocky shores beneath 180 m high cliffs, ever-green forests and fynbos rolling down to the sea in a lush carpet where ancient rivers have carved their path to the ocean through rocky ravines.

Tsitsikamma National Park protects a wonderland of inter-tidal and marine life.

What a privilege to visit one of the largest Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in the world!!
It conserves 11 percent of South Africa's Temperate South Coast rocky shoreline!!

Approximately 30% of the park is covered in fynbos (Cape Floral Kingdom), scattered amongst the forest vegetation, boasting a wide variety of beautiful flowers, including proteas and heath.

There are several trails where many species of forest, fynbos and sea birds are present....

We took the Otter Trail which leads through coastal and forest scenes, as well as various waterfalls, streams and rivers. Breathtaking!

Walking on The Suspension Bridge was simply awesome......(not for Nopi of course :-( ).....

The views are simply amazing!

The Waterfall Trail was also pretty cool.

We also took the Blue Duiker Trail ... we didn't spot any whales or dolphins :-(....but the streams and waterfalls made up for the lack of a sighting. The rich bird life simply blew Sita away!

The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates various cultural heritage sites ranging from Khoisan cultural heritage sites such as caves, shell middens and rock art to more recent cultural historic sites such as the ruins of small fisher settlements, remnants of the past forestry industries and grave sites.

This was another spectacular natural wonder that has left us speechless.......

I guess ...it was something of a spiritual experience... to walk through this landscape in complete awe of all that surrounded us.........

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