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Runs: 645 kilometres | Province: Eastern Cape

The historically-inclined will recall a severe drought that was visited upon the east coast of South Africa in 1877. The unthinkable happened. The Gamtoos River as we knew it, dried up completely. Well, the people of Jeffreys Bay, Port Elizabeth, Steytlerville, Joubertina, Uniondale, Willowmore, Murraysburg and all those small towns along the river, will tell you that they have come a long way since then.

For the prime irrigation water source for those vast expanses of citrus and tobacco farmlands of the Eastern Cape province, look no further than the now mighty Gamtoos River. Flowing along a distance of 645 kilometres with a catchment area of 34 635 km2 , this river welcomes waters from such generous contributors as the Kouga, Groot, Baviaanskloof, Loerie, Klein and Hol rivers. For the best view of the river, stand on the 180-metre concrete bridge which came about during the construction of the N2 highway in the 1970s. A few kilometres down from the bridge is the mouth of the Gamtoos River wherein lies a stunning beach with a huge stretch of soft white sand, perfect for lengthy strolls. The scenic lagoon and river offer safe swimming, boating and canoeing.

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