Experience the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, sit back and relax with an ice cold beverage and let your eyes and mind be, titillated with majestic scenery as you slip along shimmering waters cascading with dense pristine forest lining your meandering journey.
Let your ears be alighted to the mighty sounds of our natural orchestra of bird calls amplified by our amp theater of gorges.
This is a reality for Keurbooms River Ferries and our guests who take this journey with us.
This awe inspiring journey is only a bird call away from Knysna and Plettenberg Bay along the Garden Route in the Western Cape. The boats depart every day,each journey is two and a half hours of pure pleasure for people of all ages, including those of us who are physically challenged.
We can accommodate large groups or should you wish to have a private experience you may charter one of our vessels.
This forest and gorge experience is only accessible via the pristine Keurbooms River Estuary so join us on a memorable journey and come and feel a part of what is left of a once mighty Knysna Forests.
This is what the Garden Route is all about!
The Keurbooms Estuary is one of the most beautiful examples of an estuary along the coast.
Our qualified skippers and guides will point out and identify the rich diversity of bird life occurring along the river, the ‘nursery’ areas for many fish species, the specific habitats of the land mammals, and the intricate workings of the indigenous forest.
We have been operating on this river for over Fourteen years and have accumulated a vast knowledge of the area, not only the plant life but also on our bird life of which we have three of the most sought after birds in South Africa. When the opportunity arises we will position the boat for you to gaze upon these sightings with such awe that we will make a birder of you, if you are not one yet. This is the information we impart with you, on your magical five kilometre journey up the Keurbooms river.
Once our 5km destination has been reached, we stop on a natural formed river beach. This break in the journey affords you the time to explore this intriguing forest up close, with a leisurely stroll through it and then feel what it is like to be dwarfed by four hundred year old yellowwood trees and over eighty other varieties of indigenous trees, draped in a carpet of lichen or better known as old man’s beard.
Should you prefer, you may relax on the white sandy beach and enjoy a morsel or two, accompanied with an ice cold beverage and then let your skin feel the rest of the pleasures that your other senses have been enjoying with a refreshing swim in silky soft amber waters.This awe inspiring journey is only a bird call away from Plettenberg Bay.
The boats depart every day, each journey is only two and a half hours of pure pleasure for people of all ages, including those of us who are physically challenged. We can accommodate large groups.
This forest and gorge experience is only accessible via the pristine Keurbooms river estuary so join us on a memorable journey and come and feel a part of what is left of a once mighty forest. This is what the garden route is all about.
WHO ARE WE AND WHAT DO WE DO:
We are a dynamic company dedicated to providing our clients with interesting and factual information in a friendly and entertaining manner, whilst maintaining a commitment to the very best in service and value for money.
The Half-Collared Kingfisher:
Is a species of Kingfisher;that feeds almost exclusively on fish and can be found near water at all times. It can be found on shores and around larger bodies of water in southern and eastern Africa.
These are only 3 of the 52 different types of species of birds found along the Keurbooms River.
Jackets are advisable in the winter period. Hats and a bathing suit in the summer period.
Bathroom facilities are available on the riverbanks.
What if the weather is bad?
Not to worry. We can go out in most weather conditions, even if it rains, the only time we will cancel is if there is an strong east wind or east swell. We will inform booked clients in advance and if we are unable to reschedule, we offer a full refund.
When do you operate?
11h00, 14h00 and sundowners / Seven days a week (including public holidays)
Groups larger than 15 adults and charter tours can stipulate time of departures.
There is a cash bar available on board that consists of beer, wine and soft drinks.
Birds of all feathers
Forest and river birds are in abundance. Most notably are the Knysna lourie, malachite and giant kingfisher, narina trogan, fish eagle, reed cormorant, yellow-billed duck, little grebe, hamerkop, black-headed oriole, Cape batis, Knysna woodpecker and various sunbirds to name only a few.
Facilities and activities
Day visitors also enjoy the perfect setting for braais and picnickers under shaded trees.
The White-backed Night-Heron is a largish bird about the same size as a Pied Crow. The height of the White-backed Night-Heron is about 55 cms and its weight is about 440 gms
The male and female White-backed Night-Heron have the same plumage and colours
Head is chestnut.
This bird has normally proportioned leg length
The Knysna Loerie is a large Turaco, It is a resident breeder in the mature evergreen forests of southern and eastern South Africa. It was formerly sometimes considered to be a subspecies of the Green Turaco of West Africa.
This species lays two eggs in a shallow platform nest made from sticks and placed in a tree or clump of creepers.
Within its range, this is an unmistakable bird, although often inconspicuous in the treetops. It is 40–42cm long, including a long tail. The small but thick orange-red bill and a white line just under the eye contrast with the mainly green plumage. It has a tall green crest, which is tipped with white. The eye is brown and the eye-ring deep red. In flight, Knysna Turaco shows conspicuous crimson primary flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but juvenile birds have a shorter crest without the white tips.
The Keurbooms River bisects the small nature reserve of 740ha. The headwaters of the Keurbooms River come from the Langkloof, north of the main Tsitsikamma mountain range. This river was already flowing when sea level was 300m above its present level. The placid waters of its estuary hide the tortuous journey of the mother stream through the inland mountain valleys. Its gorge is spectacular and well worth a voyage upstream to enjoy the unspoilt, unpolluted beauty.
A variety of habitats are conserved. Such are the relatively unspoilt riverine gorge and patches of Knysna forest along the flood banks and in protected kloofs, coastal fynbos, and estuarine littoral dune fields.
The Keurbooms tree
The reserve is named after the Western Keurboom (Virgilia oroboides) or choice tree. It has brown-grey, smooth bark and leaves with small leaflets. Sprays of pink-mauve flowers change are seen from August to September, and also between December and January. It grows in the coastal forest edges.
Other noteworthy trees to be seen in the forest are the Cape beech, giant stinkwoods and Outeniqua yellowwoods. Other plants include agapanthus, arum lilies, bracken and various fynbos species like pelargoniums.
One can be lucky enough to spot caracal, the shy blue duiker, bushbuck, grysbok, or leopard. Other common sightings are mongoose and vervet monkey,
Particulars of Ferry
Keurbooms River Ferries abide by the rules of Western Cape Nature Conservation as a river cruise operator. The ferries are registered with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and abide by all the laws and regulations regarding safety equipment on board.
All the skippers are SAMSA qualified. All guides are SATOUR registered and have undergone a training session with Cape Nature Conservation. All the ferries are fully insured with public liability. The crewmembers have undergone a valid First Aid Training course.
Each ferry has a carrying capacity of 30 persons. (Two ferries)
The Keurbooms River Ferries depart 8km from Plettenberg Bay, travelling towards
Port Elizabeth on the N2. Second bridge you cross is the Keurbooms River Bridge,slow down on the bridge as you will turn to the left at the sign, “FERRIES”.
Go straight for about 5 metres and you will turn to your left at Nature Conservation boom gate.
Follow the road under the bridge into the parking area.
Our boats are moored at the second Jetty to your left.
Parking area is accessible to all vehicles and coaches.
WEDDING ON RIVER AND IN THE FOREST
Why settle for less, when you can have the best. Your wedding day is one you will remember all your life.
Make it special join us on the Keurbooms River Ferries into the unspoiled Knysna Forests.
+27 (0)83 254 3551
+27 (0)82 303 1620