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,
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 picnic area is close to the entrance gate or at one of the three picnic spots along the river, only reachable by boat.