The Keurbooms River Trail is a canoe trail with an overnight cabin. But it is a trail like no other as it runs through the unspoilt, unpolluted Keurbooms River Nature Reserve near the Tsitsikamma National Park and Plettenberg Bay.
The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve is bisected by the Keurbooms River coming from the Langkloof north of the main Tsitsikamma mountain range. The water streams through the inland mountain valleys into a spectacular gorge. The gorge is spectacular because of its unspoilt, unpolluted beauty. It carries patches of Knysna forest along the flood banks and in protected kloofs; coastal fynbos and estuarine dune fields.
The best way to experience the reserve is to undertake the multi-day Keurbooms River Trail – a canoe trail which offers secluded overnight accommodation 7km upstream in a log cabin.
Where: Keurbooms River Nature Reserve lies 8km from Plettenberg Bay toward Nature’s Valley on the N2 .
What: The Keurbooms River Trail is a canoe trail with an overnight cabin. Experience close encounters with birds. You might be lucky and see the Knysna loerie or fish eagle which are usually only heard.
Difficulty: If you paddle on high tide you can have a gentle ride up to the mooring point, but should you embark on your trip during low tide, be prepared to exit your canoe and pull it across rapids. After mooring your canoe, a flat, but sandy, 400m trail leads to the cabin.
Cabin: The Whisky Creek cabin, tucked in a forest, is only accessible by canoe to one group at a time. With a 180-degree view of the Tsitsikamma Mountains to the north and the Keurbooms River gorge to the south, it’s a great place to spend a night (or two).
The cabin has all the necessary amenities. The open-air kitchen is under a veranda roof and next to the kitchen is a separate bathroom with flush toilet and hot water shower. Visitors can relax in bundu chairs around the braai on the deck. A timber walkway leads down to the river, which winds out in a kloof.
The 10 people sleep in four double bunks and two single beds. Each bed is supplied with a mattress with cover, pillow and pillow slip.
The kitchen has a gas stove, fridge, crockery, cutlery and fresh rain water.
Electricity: Electricity is supplied via solar power.
When: The Keurbooms River Trail is open year-round, but it’s best in the summer months between October and May when the river is not too cold for swimming.
Reservations: Bookings fot the Keurbooms River Trail must be made through Cape Nature’s central reservations office at 0861 227 362 8873.
Further information: Visit www.capenature.co.za.