This a great day trip for competent K1-paddlers. The section is similar to 1-8 below Hella-Hella and should not be underestimated. It starts with long flat pools with small rapids scattered in-between. Be cautious when the river breaks up into channels, as one of the channels contains a bad rapid.
- Ideal for: K1 and K2
- Grade: 2 to 3
- Length: 34km
- Duration: 3 to 5 hours
- Type: Pool-drop
- Put-in: Mpompomani
- Take-out: Goodenough’s Weir
- Dam controlled: No
- Permits: None
A bit further on a 12m waterfall awaits the unexpected. A dirt road comes down to the river on the left bank about 1km before the waterfall. Stick to the left from here on and portage the waterfall on the left.
2km below the waterfall lies a mean rapid called Whirlpool. It is runnable by competent K1-paddlers, but should rather be portaged on the left bank. Another 5km on, a tight rapid must be negotiated, called Gulley Rapid. No-Name rapid, a tricky boulder-garden, is next on the list, 1km further down. Stay on the left at this one.
The river flattens out after this as Goodenough’s weir is approached. In earlier years, when the Umkomaas marathon used to end here, It was shot regularly, but it is a renowned boat-breaker. The weir can be shot down the right chute before tackling the rocky rapid just below the weir. It is much safer and definitely recommended to do a quick portage on the left bank.
The river is flat from here on to the sea and not worthwhile to do unless you’re a masochist.
This river description is taken from my book “Run the Rivers of Southern Africa”.
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