The Gqunube is probably the best section to paddle in the Eastern Cape. It is strictly for experienced class 4 paddlers, as things happen fast on this roller-coaster ride. There are lots of technical rapids, and many should be scouted from the bank. Expect to play on the way down; there are nice waves to be found at most levels.
- Ideal for: Kayak
- Grade: 3 to 4 (5 at higher levels)
- Length: 10km
- Duration: 4 to 5 hours
- Type: Continuous
- Put-in: Bridge
- Take-out: Bridge
- Dam controlled: No
- Permits: None
There are no weirs on this section. The only real obstacle is a 12m waterfall near the end. Take out on river left and portage. There are also a couple of strainers to be on the lookout for, but they are easily avoided. After the waterfall, the river abounds with strainers up to the take-out.
The river is totally rain dependent. During most summers it is paddleable for a few days every month.
The lower reach of the Gqunube is flat, and used extensively by K1- and surf ski-paddlers for training.
This river description is taken from my book “Run the Rivers of Southern Africa”.
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