Kaaimans River

The Kaaimans River (Afrikaans: Kaaimansrivier), also known as Keerom River, is a river in the Western Cape, South Africa. The mouth of the river lies near Wilderness.[2] Further upriver, the Kaaimans River Gorge is popular for hiking and whitewater kayaking.[3]

Kaaimans River
Tide's coming in.jpg
Tide coming up the estuary of the Kaaimans River
Kaaimans River is located in South Africa
Kaaimans River
Location of the Kaaimans River mouth
EtymologyNamed kaaiman after leguaan, a species of Monitor Lizard which was formerly found in the river.[1]
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
RegionGarden Route
Physical characteristics
SourceN of George
 • locationOuteniqua Mountains
MouthIndian Ocean
 • location
W of Wilderness, Western Cape
 • coordinates
33°59′52″S 22°33′25″E / 33.99778°S 22.55694°E / -33.99778; 22.55694Coordinates: 33°59′52″S 22°33′25″E / 33.99778°S 22.55694°E / -33.99778; 22.55694
 • elevation
0 m (0 ft)

The nearest large towns are Mossel Bay and George.


Ox-wagon crossing the Kaaimans River in the late 19th century

The Kaimaans River was formerly an obstacle for travellers, whose wagons had to wait sometimes for weeks before being able to cross it safely when it ran full of water. It was also nicknamed "Keeromrivier" (Turnabout River) because, faced with the raging waters, some travellers had to turn and try to find another way to reach their destination. Finally this obstacle was overcome when the Seven Passes Road was built by Thomas Charles John Bain.[4]

The tidal estuary at its mouth is crossed by a rail bridge. The Outeniqua Choo Tjoe, the last passenger steam train in Africa, crossed this bridge until the line was closed due to landslides in 2006.

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