Elands River – Sappi to N4 bridge

This relatively unknown section is popular with the local K1-paddlers, and ad hoc races have been held on it.

  • Ideal for: K1
  • Grade: 1 to 2
  • Length: 24km
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Type: Narrow, small rapids
  • Put-in: Bridge at Sappi factory, below weir
  • Take-out: Last of the three N4 bridges crossing the Elands
  • Dam controlled: No
  • Permits: None

MAP 47

The river is narrow with small rapids, with the odd bigger rapid every now and then bordering on class 3. There used to be lots of overhanging trees and even a couple of wires across the river, but the river has been cleared a bit by the recent floods.

There is a weir on the lower course that can be shot in the left hand chute at a low level, but at higher levels, one should definitely portage it.

It is necessary to look out for hippos, as they sometimes wander in this direction.

This river description is taken from my book “Run the Rivers of Southern Africa”.
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