Rafting & Kayaking in KwaZulu Natal
Rafting in South Africa
Freedom, nature, adventure and fun…. Paddling puts you back in touch with these core human yearnings. A truly limitless sport that is accessible to absolutely everyone, paddling will take you to places that you would never otherwise have had the opportunity of seeing or experiencing.
Mainstream paddling in South Africa is linked to the competitive side of the sport and includes world-famous events such as the Dusi Canoe Marathon and the Fish and Berg River Marathons. However, magnificent weather patterns provide the ideal backdrop for the diverse commercial paddling industry, which comprises rafting, sea-kayaking and touring on the country’s spectacular rivers, oceans, dams and lakes.
South Africa’s low rainfall belies the fact that it is home to some of the best river-rafting sections in the world. The rivers running off the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains in the east of the country provide high-volume and exciting rafting after good summer rains, through wild and untouched areas such as the Tugela, Umkomaas and Umzimkulu valleys as they head to the warm sub-tropical coastline.
The rivers in the Western Cape are lower volume and rely on winter rains, offering more relaxed trips and allowing paddlers to soak in the beautiful wineland scenery. This area is better known for idyllic sea-kayaking expeditions that focus on the area’s rich history and abundant sea life, delivering unforgettable interactions with penguins, dolphins, seals, whales and birds.
The dry desert regions of central and northwestern South Africa are interrupted by the country’s longest river, the Orange River, which provides endless sections to explore through ancient landscapes and gorges that nourish the soul.
The rivers of the northern Highveld and Lowveld areas are generally narrow, rocky and technical.
They often win the award for rafting excitement as they flow through expansive canyons, special conservancies and lush, pristine valleys.
Whatever your appetite, no matter your skill level and wherever you find yourself in South Africa, there is a stretch of water nearby that will satisfy any desire and may well surprise you by being the highlight of a holiday or quick getaway.
Articles & Blogs
A Friendship Turned to Gold2:00pm 29 Aug
By Simon Capstick-Dale
Siseko and Piers are two athletes from vastly different worlds, who were brought together – against all odds – by their determination to win gold in the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon. The team’s inspiring story of courage, friendship and perseverance was made into a feature film, Beyond the River, which screened in South African cinemas last year.
Success in life should never be determined by where you live or how much money you have – we can all overcome our situation once we put our minds to it.”
What SUP with Dusi 2014?9:55pm 1 Jun
Words Brendon Bowie, Pics Anthony Grote / Gameplan Media
There are various multi-day endurance events in South Africa, ranging from two days to two weeks, but arguably one of the most strenuous over three days is the Dusi Canoe Marathon. This iconic canoe race (started in 1951) covers 120km over three days (if you don’t get lost), linking the capital city Pietermaritzburg to the province’s largest metropole, Durban. It starts on the uMsindusi River that runs through Pietermaritzburg, taking in a number of weirs and Grade 1 to Grade 2+ rapids, powered by summer rainfall and often...