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The Keiskamma River (Afrikaans: Keiskammarivier) is a river in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. The river flows into the Indian Ocean in the Keiskamma Estuary, located by Hamburg Nature Reserve, near Hamburg,[1] midway between East London and Port Alfred. The Keiskamma flows first in a southwestern and then in a southeastern direction after meeting its main tributary, the Tyhume River.[2]

Keiskamma River
View of KKH from hill.jpg
general view of Keiskammahoek where the sources of the Keiskamma River lie
Name origin: Meaning "sweet water" in the Khoekhoe language
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape Province
 - right Tyhume
Source Near Keiskammahoek
 - location Amatola Mountains
 - elevation 1,500 m (4,921 ft)
Mouth Indian Ocean
 - location Near Hamburg
 - elevation 0 m (0 ft)
 - coordinates 33°17′0″S 27°29′20″E / 33.28333°S 27.48889°E / -33.28333; 27.48889Coordinates: 33°17′0″S 27°29′20″E / 33.28333°S 27.48889°E / -33.28333; 27.48889
Length 160 km (99 mi)
Location of the Keiskamma River mouth

The Keiskamma River marked the border between the Cape Province and former British Kaffraria, known also then as Queen Adelaide's Province, until 1847.[3]

Presently this river is part of the Mzimvubu to Keiskamma Water Management Area.[4]



There is a small population of the endangered Eastern Province rocky (Sandelia bainsii) in the Tyhume River, part of the Keiskamma river basin.[5]


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