The Big Tree in the Tsitsikamma Forest can be reached from the N2 where it passes through the Tsitsikamma forest, near the Paul Sauer Bridge. It is clearly signposted with parking space. A 10 minute walk through the forest brings you to this magnificent specimen.
In the early 1800’s, Lord Charles Somerset, the then Governor of the Cape Colony, realised the need for large quantities of timber in Cape Town. The surrounding forests were already depleted. So he mandated the timber to be collected from the Tsitsikamma forests. This lead to ruthless deforestation and endangered some of the most precious trees in the country. Among them were yellowwood trees, sought after for their beautiful pale fine grained wood. Some the trees that were felled were more than 1000 years old. In 1939 this madness was stopped in order to give the forest the opportunity to recover.
The big tree in the Tsitsikamma Forest is the oldest remaining yellowwood and is about 800 years old. It towers 36 m above the forest with a trunk circumference of 9 m.
This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘southbound’ tour version that starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Transkei , Hole-in-the-Wall , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Cape Town .
Storms River Mouth is the main camp within the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park. This section comprises a coastal stretch roughly 5 mm wide. It includes the Tsitsikamma rain forest that drops down to the rugged coastline with a marine conservation region of approximately 80 km.
The Tsitsikamma National Park is a section of the broader Garden Route National Park, a coastal Nature Reserve that stretches eastwards for 80 kilometers from Natures valley. It is known for its indigenous forests, mountains and rugged coastline. The Park offers a number of accommodation facilities, walking trails and a diversity of adventure activities.
The Paul Sauer Bridge, also known as the Storms River Bridge, is 160km from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and spans the impressive Storms River Gorge on South Africa's Garden Route.The reinforced concrete arch bridge is on the N2 (National Route 2), connecting Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.