Umgeni River – Mamba gorge

The Mamba gorge is well-known as it forms part of the Dusi Marathon, when the whole gorge is portaged at Ngumeni Hill.

  • Ideal for: Kayak
  • Grade: 3 to 4, 5 at high level
  • Length: 9km
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Type: Pool-drop
  • Put-in: Marianny Foley bridge
  • Take-out: Bridge at Umfula store
  • Dam controlled: Nagle Dam
  • Permits: None

Map 34

Some easy rapids are encountered after the put-in, before the gorge starts. One of the first obstacles in the gorge is a waterfall which might be runnable at a low level, but it is definitely to be portaged at higher levels. The rest of the gorge has technical class 3 to 4 rapids that can all be run. At higher levels this gorge becomes hectic and only suitable for really competent paddlers. After the gorge the river flattens out again, with only the three rapids Gumtree, Tombi and Hippo providing a bit of action before the take-out.

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