Keurbooms River hosts international TV series

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by CapeNature

More used to hosting canoeing enthusiasts, Keurbooms River Nature Reserve instead became a haven for pirates last month, when the major US TV series, Black Sails, filmed scenes from its fourth season there. 

Situated in the heart of the garden route, the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve is just a few minutes drive from Plettenberg Bay. The river itself is located in a dramatic valley, winding it’s way past indigenous forest and presenting dramatic views on either side, which is why the Whiskey Creek overnight canoe trail is so popular.

And so it would make sense that a filmmaker would choose this part of the world to film water-borne scenes reminiscent of jungle or island settings. And that’s just what the team behind Black Sails, a US TV show about pirates in the Bahamas in the 1700s, were looking for. Currently filming it’s fourth season, the show is permanently based in Cape Town Film Studios near Stellenbosch, where the production has built a number of sets and replica pirate ships.

However, for the fourth season, some new locations were needed for part of the series and, as the series’ location manager Mick Snell said to CXpress, the “beautiful areas” of the garden route were ideal. After doing research, Snell and his team chose areas managed by SANParks, MTO, the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, as well as private land.


Filming Black Sails at Keurbooms Nature Reserve

A ‘reduced’ cast and crew of 200 then made the short trek up the N2 to Plettenberg Bay, where they based themselves for two weeks to shoot the special scenes. But of all the locations used, Snell described Keurbooms as his favourite. “The highlight of filming was travelling up Keurbooms River to work every day – just spectacular.”

Take a look at some behind-the-scenes shots below.




About filming at CapeNature reserves

Many of CapeNature reserves provide fantastic landscapes for getting those wild shots, from deserts to forests and everything in between. To browse available locations, and secure filming permits, head to Permitz by clicking here.

About Keurbooms Nature Reserve


Keurbooms River Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site, is an exquisite, small reserve of just 740 hectares located in the lush Garden Route region just outside Plettenberg Bay. The Keurbooms River passes through the reserve bringing an abundance of water from further up in the Tsitsikamma Mountains to enter the ocean through the stunning estuary. Promising an undiluted nature experience of indigenous forests, unspoilt river gorge, and protected kloofs, this reserve is a favourite destination for both local and international travellers.


Published in Eco-Tourism, In the media

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