The Blue Duiker Trail is a beautiful 3.7km hiking route within the Storms River Mouth (Tsitsikamma) section of the Garden Route National Park. Storms River is a popular destination along South Africa‘s famous Garden Route, well-known for the iconic Suspension bridge. Around the region, there are smaller trails that people often miss, and the Blue Duiker is one of them. Even though it’s a short hike, don’t underestimate it. The trail takes you deep into the forest, passing lots of beautiful Outeniqua Yellowwood trees. It’s a really pretty hike and definitely worth checking out when you visit Storms River Mouth.
Important things to know before visiting the Blue Duiker Trail
Where to begin: The trail begins at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp.
Distance and time: The 3.7-kilometre Tsitsikamma Blue Duiker Trail should take you about 2 hours to complete.
Fees: Because the Blue Duiker trail is part of Storms River Mouth (located inside the National Park), you will need to pay a daily conservation fee to enter the region. The fee is payable when entering the Tsitsikamma section of The Garden Route National Park. For current tariffs, visit SANPARK’S OFFICIAL PAGE. Once you have paid the entrance fee, there is no additional cost for any of the hiking trails.
Opening and Closing Times: The park gates open at 8 am and close at 5 pm for day visitors. As such, make sure to allow enough time to complete and enjoy the trail.
Exploring the Blue Duiker Trail
The entrance to the trail (-34.024, 23.893) is just a short 5 minute walk from the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp. As you approach the main road, a short staircase and a signboard will catch your eye. This marks the entrance into the forest and hence the beginning of the Blue Duiker trail.
Follow the trail as it goes up to a spot with a great view of the ocean. Most of the path is natural ground, but in some places, there are wooden logs for extra support. Just watch for tree signs that say ‘Blue Duiker’ to stay on the right trail.
After walking for about 30 minutes, you’ll reach a clearing that offers stunning views of the ocean.
Next, the path winds through the forest for an additional 30 minutes. Along the way, you will pass a very small but pretty waterfall.
We took a break to dip our toes in the cool pool under the waterfall. After that, we kept going through the forest until we got back to the main road. We exited the forest from a different spot than where we started. So, we just followed the signs to get back to the rest camp.
Tips for Visiting the Blue Duiker Trail
- There are plenty of other hiking trails in the area. If you’re a day visitor and have already paid the entrance fee, why not make the most of your day by exploring the additional trails, such as the Mouth (Suspension Bridge) and Waterfall Trail. Warning: You do need to be relatively fit to do this all in one day, though! (We managed, but it was a bit rushed).
- Staying in the park at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp is a great choice, whether you want to take your time on the hiking trails or if you want to try other activities such as kayaking, and snorkelling.
- If you’re on a budget, begin your day early and explore as many trails as you can during the main gate’s opening and closing hours. We managed to complete three out of four trails in one day and even had time for the Big Tree just outside the park. However, it felt a bit hurried. So, my advice is to take it slow and enjoy the region’s beauty by exploring only two trails in the park.
DISCLOSURE: I have no commercial relationship with Sanparks or any of their affiliates. All photographs, experiences and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.