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Keurbooms River Boating and Canoe Trail

A boating trip on the Keurbooms River should be on the list of things to do for anyone visiting the Garden Route.
Keurboom River Gorge

Stop at any one of the small white beaches and settle down with your picnic basket, a bottle of wine and good book.

There are two totally different boating experiences on the Keurbooms River. The one is an inland river adventure in a gorge of natural forest and small secluded beaches. The other is the river estuary with large expansive beaches. Either way, this is a day well spent. Don’t forget your refreshments, a sunhat, sunscreen, costume, towels and something warm for the evening.

On the mountain side of the Keurbooms River Bridge, an awe inspiring river gorge is enfolded in the beauty of the natural forest. Mother Nature shows off her magnificence in abundance and you can enjoy the experience with a few like minded people who love the unspoiled atmosphere.

Knysna Turaco in the Forest

Knysna Turaco in the Forest

You may be lucky enough to see the brilliantly coloured red wings of the Knysna Turaco, quietly flitting in the forest or be beckoned by the call of the Fish Eagle, looking to catch a fish in the river.

Canoeing up the 7 kilometers of river, you will often hear the splash of a fish landing in the water – these are the mullet which lure the cob and leeries. This is the sound of music to any fisherman’s ear, so if you are one of this breed, don’t forget your rod.

Stop at any one of the small white beaches and settle down with your picnic basket, a bottle of wine and good book. If you have children they can amuse themselves in the water, swimming, or by exploring the safe natural environment. Most of the beaches have ablution facilities and picnic tables.

Keurbooms River Gorge

Keurbooms River Gorge

If you are canoeing, the trail ends at a hut that can sleep up to 10 people and is fully equipped with solar showers, a braai facility and a large deck. Most people reach this secluded spot after a few hours on the river.

Please note that only canoes can get to the hut. Boats cannot get  past the barrier. This ensures a true nature experience for canoeists.

The Keurbooms is a tidal river, so it is important that you allow extra time if you are returning to the bridge during the incoming tide.

On the sea side of the bridge, the gorge has flattened out, and the experience is totally different.

The Keurbooms estuary is one of the most beautiful in South Africa. The estuary opens out to the sea and is a paradise for small boats.

Keurbooms River Lagoon and Estuary

Keurbooms River Lagoon and Estuary

There is a beautiful 5 kilometer beach which is a breeding haven for gulls and the rare African Black Oystercatcher.

Just beach your boat and go for a beach walk or enjoy a picnic or braai – you will almost have the beach to yourself. And if you have children, they love to play in the warm calm waters of the lagoon.

Once again, if you are returning to the bridge when the tide is flowing out to the sea, allow some extra time.

To get there:

From Plett – Find the Keurbooms River Bridge, which is about 7 kilometers from the Shell Ultra on the N2 out of Plett towards Port Elizabeth.

From Port Elizabeth – After the Crags on the N2, a long downhill towards Plett will flatten out just before the Keurbooms Bridge.

The launch site for canoes or boats is under the bridge.

Canoes can be hired at the Angling Club, situated just after the bridge.

If you have you own canoe, it can also be launched from Poortjies Beach near the estruary, which is found by turning into Beacon Way from the N2 (at the Plett Primary School). Pass the Market Square Shopping Centre. Turn left into Zenon Street, and left again into Plato Street. At the end of Plato Street, you will find the parking on your right.

Cape Nature 0861 227 362 8873 for hut bookings.

More info on the town of Plettenberg Bay More info on the Garden Route area

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