Just follow the yellow footsteps over rock and trail, past flowers and birds, lichens and logs, and a cave, to discover the Tsitsikamma waterfall, and eventually we got there.
It’s on the other side of that far point, somewhere.
This is my fourth visit to Tsitsikamma National Park along the Garden Route of South Africa and I’ll never tire of the place. I’ve hiked the Suspension Bridge trail twice and gazed at the crashing waves for endless hours but I’d never hiked the Waterfall trail, partly because I was traveling there alone and it’s considered a “difficult” trail. But this time Joan and I tackled it together and although it is rather challenging in places the scramble over rocks was worth it when we got to the end for the magnificent waterfall.
The trail starts out easy enough through some open land with dramatic coastal views of the Indian Ocean.
Plus there’s a few stairs and trail through the indigenous forest.
Then suddenly the rocks appear. At the first upward climb we had our doubts and talked to a woman who had decided to wait for her husband as she didn’t like heights and knew her limits. But onward we went, climbing like monkeys. We just kept following the yellow arrows and footsteps over the recommended best route and sometimes found our own chosen path.
The 4 mile (6.4 km) round trip trail comprises the first 1.86 miles (3 km) of the world-renowned Otter Trail which requires 5 days and 4 nights over 42.5 km. The sign said to expect to take 3.5 hours round trip. But us lollygags stopping to smell the flowers and explore the tide pools and such took 3 hours to get there and 2 hours back.
Plus there’s a shallow cave to explore along the way.
Now 2 miles (3.2km) isn’t all that far but the trail seemed to go forever and we were beginning to wonder if there really was a waterfall or had we missed it.
But the Dassies encouraged us to go on, go on.
And finally we rounded another rocky point and saw it.
This spectacular waterfall plunging into a deep pool then flowing into the sea.
Maybe we should have brought our swim costumes. But a cool breeze came up and the sky clouded over.
So in order to protect the cameras from possible rain we headed back to camp at a little faster pace. Next time, an earlier start plus pack a lunch and hang out for a while.
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