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There is something about a great body of water that just feels like a holiday. This year for my birthday, we took a trip to the gorgeous Keurboomsrivier just outside of Plett. After a few days on the beach, and one afternoon spent celebrating the Springbok’s victory at a local hangout, we decided to spend one day on the river.

How on earth do you hire a boat?

This was exactly my question and I almost immediately blew off the suggestion, but the fiancée was adamant. Driving around the area, we saw a huge ‘Boat Hire’ sign at the Plettenberg Bay Angling Club and we turned off.

Apart from quite a few boats of different shapes and sizes docked at the club, there is also a gorgeous lawn and a restaurant, The Burnt Orange, where you can have a drink overlooking the Keurboomsrivier and lagoon. We headed down to the small boat hire reception area to find out more about the hiring options.

The good news is that you do not need a skipper’s license to hire the small six-person boats that they have on offer. The engine is quite small and because you are not heading out to sea, all you’d need is R700 for four hours or R900 for the entire day. We opted for the four-hour option and headed out to have some lunch on the river.

The staff was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, and as soon as we were on the boat they gave us a quick tutorial on how to work the boat and steer, as well as for instructions on how to add extra fuel and where to find the deeper parts of the river.


How far up the river can you actually go?

The Keurboomsrivier is around 85km long, originating close to the Kammanassie Nature Reserve close to Uniondale and mouthing in the Indian Ocean. We definitely did not go up all the way, but we timed it at about an hour and a half up, giving us an hour for lunch and then heading back. There is still quite a bit of river left that we did not even get to.

The river itself is beautiful – there are dramatic cliffs all around and Cape Nature ensures that the spots for braaing along the shores are well-maintained. We went on a Monday so we could anchor and swim, but as we understand it gets quite busy over the weekends. It is also a great spot for bird-spotting and although it wasn’t the hottest summer day out, the water was warm enough to swim in.

If you are heading out to the Keurboomsrivier / Plettenberg Bay area this holiday, definitely look up the Plettenberg Bay Angling Club for an adventure off the beaten track! We had so much fun heading out, swimming and having a picnic on the boat – it was the ultimate birthday treat!


Keen for a Plett adventure? We did a whole write-up here.


Free State-girl, living in Stellenbosch. Love to explore small towns, read in Afrikaans and everything pop-culture. My favourite yoga move is 'The Pigeon' and one day I'd like to own my own vintage cinema.

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