Rivers of South Africa

South Africa is considered to be a semi-arid country. Nonetheless, some great whitewater can be found in several regions, and a number of world-class paddlers have been produced by the country.

The flow of the large majority of rivers is determined by rainfall, even those rivers that are dam controlled. Rainy season for most of the country is summer, or more specifically, September to April. The Western Cape is the notable exception, with rain falling during the winter months, May to September. The change in weather patterns due to global warming caused the rainy seasons to shift in recent years though, and rain tends to start a month or two later than what we are accustomed to.

Since there are so many different river sections that have been explored, many of which are paddled regularly, I divided the rivers by region, coinciding more or less with the provinces of the country. The location of some river sections make them accessible to paddlers from more than one region; these specific sections are listed under both regions.

Rivers of Western Cape

Rivers of Eastern Cape

Rivers of Transkei

Rivers of KwaZulu-Natal

Rivers of the Lowveld

Rivers of Gauteng

Rivers of the Free State

Rivers of the Northern Cape