When asked about nature there will be a few people who immediately think of bugs, dangerous wild animals and no Wi-Fi, although nature seems to be a dirty word for these people others sees it as an escape, a home away from home, somewhere where you can find peace. When you want nothing more than peace and quite while surrounded by some of the most beautiful fauna and flora where better to go than a nature reserve, green space or park.
A while back I needed some time away from my busy life and I ended up taking a hiking trip with my parents to Tsitsikamma. The Tsitsikamma National Park is located on the Garden Route Western Cape, South Africa (Tsitsikamma Tourist Accommodation, 2016). The word “Tsitsikamma” is a Khoi word meaning “place of abundant or sparkling water” derived from the Khoekhoe language tse-tsesa, meaning “clear”, and gami, meaning “water” (Tsitsikamma Tourist Accommodation, 2016).
The Tsitsikamma trail was breathtakingly beautiful walking through the various mountain passes and fynbos was an incredible experience. Not only is there an abundance of rivers and streams which connotes the origin of the name, but the Tsitsikamma National Park houses some of the most beautiful Outeniqua yellowwood trees (SAASA, 2016). While hiking across the Tsitsikamma mountains there is minimal connection to the outside world due to the lack of phone signal which only enriches the journey and makes you appreciate nature even more.
Some of the Flora which can be seen while hiking in the Tsitsikamma National Park includes numerous Proteas, trees such as Outeniqua Yellowwood, Real Yellowwood, Holly, White Pear and many more (SAASA, 2016). There is also an abundance of animals and wildlife such as elephants, bush babies, vervet monkeys, baboons, leopard, bushbuck, blue duiker, bush pig and other mammals (SAASA, 2016).
Having shared the experience with my parents in the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve made the journey even more memorable for me. Without the distractions of city life and the constant beeping of a phone you really experience nature in all of its glory and create beautiful memories that will last a life time. What really amazed me about the Tsitsikamma National Park is how people respects the park and keeps it clean and neat in order to keep it a sacred heritage site.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is a beautiful reminder that nature should not be seen as a dirty word and that nature can be an amazing experience which you should be a part of. If we keep our environment and parks clean it will be an experience we can share with future generations.
Figure 1: A Protea blooming in the Tsitsikamma Nation Park. Dirk Badenhorst (photographer), 2013.
Figure 2: A Protea seen along the Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail. Dirk Badenhorst (photographer), 2013.
Figure 3: The view from one of the Tsitsikamma Mountain passes. Dirk Badenhorst (photographer), 2013.
Figure 4: Mushrooms on a stump along the trail. Dirk Badenhorst (photographer), 2013.
Figure 5: Beautiful Tree with a hole found alongside the trail. Dirk Badenhorst (photographer), 2013.
Media, Y. 2016. SAASA. [Online]
Available at: http://www.saasa.org.za/live/the-regions-fauna-and-flora/
[Accessed 10 May 2016].
Siyabona Africa. 2016. Tsitsikamma National Park, Garden Route National Park, Eastern Cape, South Africa. [Online]
Available at: http://www.nature-reserve.co.za/tsitsikamma-coastal-national-park.html
[Accessed 10 May 2016].
Tsitsikamma Tourist Accommodation. 2016 [Online] Available at: http://www.tsitsikamma.info/
[Assessed on 10 May 2016].