Tsomo River – Upper

The Tsomo is the major tributary of the Great Kei. It used to be part of the old Transkei, but access is not as difficult as in most parts of Transkei. It is generally paddled by Eastern Cape-based paddlers, hence its inclusion in this division of the book.

  • Ideal for: Kayak
  • Grade: 3 to 4 (5 at high level)
  • Length: 32km
  • Duration: Long day
  • Type: First 10km flat, rest is continuous
  • Put-in: Bridge at Tsomo village, tar road
  • Take-out: Bridge on dirt road
  • Dam controlled: No
  • Permits: None

MAP 23

Paddlers who want to attempt this section have to bear with the 10km of flat-water before the action starts. It is a committing run when the action starts, however.

There are lots of small and high drops, many of which should be scouted. Some are not runnable at certain levels. Scouting is not very easy, as the gradient is continuous.

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