Cape Town - Keurboom River mouth

Lookout Beach
Plettenberg Bay
disappeared but has now returned without human intervention

See what happened in the series of photos below


Map of River mouth in 2003

Above we have a map of the estuary of the Keurbooms River near Plettenberg Bay. As you can see to the left of the mouth is Lookout Beach which was classified a Blue Flag beach. Over the years however the river mouth has moved steadily westwards towards the rocky outcrop at the western end of the Lookout Beach and by doing so has eaten away at Lookout Beach

Starting in 2003 I began photographing the mouth from the outcrop above the beach and have managed to capture some of the erosion as the sea ate away at the beach and the land behind it.

The next two photographs were taken on the 14 July 2003


The mouth of the Keurbooms River

As you can see from the photo above the Lookout Beach extends about three hundred metres from the rocky outcrop to the then mouth of the river. Behind the beach is a lot of alien bush which holds the drifting sand together and shelters the beach from the wind.

 River mouth

This photo taken from the landward side of the beach

Lookout beach and surrounds on the 29 September 2004

 Lookout Beach

Lookout Beach at low tide

 Lookout Beach

Lookout Beach at high tide with the incoming tide threatening the eastern end of the beach

 Lookout Beach

Milkwood Manor

Lookout Beach at low tide and high tide above have not changed much since the July photos were taken. Milkwood Manor still has the beach car park and trees in front of it. Notice the level of the car park in respect to the building.

 River Mouth

View of the Lagoon Mouth from the Formosa Garden Village road

Three years later on the 4 April 2007

   Lookout Beach

The sea has moved the mouth at least a 100 metres to the west of where it was

  Milkwood manor

Milkwood Manor still has its car park and trees

Then on the 23 of November 2007 all hell broke loose when the 100 year flood that was predicted happened. The mouth of the Keurbooms River moved westward to the base of the Lookout Rock and swept everything that was in its way into the sea. The photos below were taken in September 2008 and you can see some of the damage caused by the floods. The mouth of the river is now back where it was about 80 years ago.

Photos taken on the 28 September 2008

  Keurbooms River mouth

Lookout Beach has disappeared along with all the trees and bush that grew on it

 Milkwood Manor

Milkwood Manor now has deep water at its front door

 The car park

The car park has gone and is covered by about five metres of water

 Milkwood manor

Milkwood Manor has been shored up with some large boulders.

Should another flood and high seas occur at the same time it is possible that the Manor could be flooded and even swept be away.

 Manor house surrounded by water

Milkwood Manor photographed from the rear with waves breaking around it.

 Sea sweeping in

The tide sweeping into the lagoon

lagoon with tide coming in

The lagoon mouth with a sandbank centre right which is all that is left of the west bank of the previous mouth


Map of river mouth as it is today

Photos taken on the 18 August 2012


In August 2012 the river mouth still ran past the Milkwood manor


A small beach has developed on the seaside of the the Milkwood manor

Photos taken on the 29 October 2013


The river mouth has moved eastwards to where it was in 2004


A full beach has developed outside the Milkwood Manor

Its amazing how nature works. The next time there is a large flood in the river the mouth will most probably move back towards the Lookout rocks.

Photos taken on the 29 April 2014


Sand dunes appear to be developing near the front of Milkwood Manor.


People swimming and tanning on Lookout Beach.

Photos taken on the 6 August 2014

  Keurbooms Mouth

The beach has not changed much since April 2014 except that it is winter and there are no swimmers on the beach


This photo taken from the hill behind the lagoon. It shows the new mouth and where it is positioned now.

Photos taken on the 26 march 2015


The mouth has not moved much in the last six months


Lookout Beach is back and is being used for swimming


Milkwood Manor now has a lovely sandy beach around it.

Hi folks. Have been a bit lazy with my updating. Below please find updated photos from 2018 onwards

 Milkwood Manor

Milkwood Manor October 2018

 Keurboom river mouth

Lookout beach in October 2018

 Keurbooms river

Lookout beach in November 2019

 Keurbooms river

Lookout beach in October 2020 with some vegetation growing on it

  Keurbooms river

Lookout Restaurant with beach stretching out in front of it March 2021

  Keurbooms river

Lookout beach with lots more vegetation March 2021

I will continue to monitor the river mouth every time I visit Plettenberg Bay and will add new photos as things change.

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Keurbooms River mouth