The History of the island is an interesting tale of horse-drawn pont's, and enterprising farmers .
The Keurbooms river is 70km long, rising near Uniondale at the eastern end of the Little Karoo, but is navigable by powered boats for only the first 5km. The river winds its way through history, exposing the sharply inclined quartzite beds, some 400 million years old.
Until the 1880s, the Keurbooms River was a difficult boundary between the Western and Eastern Cape, and two enterprising brothers - the owners family - started a horse-drawn ferry crossing to cater for travellers along the coast. Although successful, a road bridge was desirable, and a road was built - at some substantial cost and with many engineering difficulties along the impossibly steep riverbank. Sadly, the riverbed was unsuitable for the foundations for a bridge, and all that road-building effort and cost was wasted: the road now simply forms a nice walk along and above the river until it comes to an abrupt end. It is the only privately owned island in South Africa. The family used the island to graze cattle on during the summer months, walking them across during low tide.
A bridge was finally opened in the late 1920s, but was destroyed by floods just a few years later in 1931. Of course, the Keurbooms was just the first of a whole succession of deep gorges carrying short, steep-sided river valleys to the sea from the Tsitsikamma range. The great South African road-builder Thomas Bain, accompanied by an equally capable forester Captain Harison, surveyed a route through in 1869, but the road was not completed until 1885, such was the scale of the engineering. Today, the N102 road follows that zigzag route through all the gorges, while the new toll road skims across the tops, leaping the gorges on a succession of huge concrete bridges.
In 1985 the Island was sold. The new owners was actually looking for a holiday home for their family and came across the island. They built on the island having to transport all the material across the river by raft from the mainland. Being farmers they built with scraps and did all the architecture themselfs. The N2 bridge was under construction and they bought the discarded poles for R1 each! Reject klinker bricks were used as well as local material such as slate from the old causeway and river sand was used for the concrete. It took three years to complete the project. During the project they decided to link it to their hunting farm as a getaway for foreign guests after hunting in the bush. It was opened to the public as a B&B and restaurant shortly thereafter .With the airstrip guests could fly in and local boat owners could arrive from the river.
Springbok, grysbuck, cranes and warthogs were all part of the scene. Klippies, a tame klipspringer lived in the house and entertained the guests by walking on the dining room table eating all the flowers.
In 2007 the buildings were renovated to present 4 star standard. The resort has been successfully run as a four star resort since 2007 just outside Plettenberg Bay on the beautiful Garden Route of South Africa.