Umkomaas River – Josephine’s Bridge to Riverside

The second day of the Umkomaas marathon normally consists of this section. It is one of the easier sections of the Umkomaas, and provides nice open rapids. The section should not be underestimated, though. Some of the rapids may hide a surprise or two.

  • Ideal for: K1, croc
  • Grade: 2 to 3
  • Length: 36km
  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours in a K1
  • Type: Pool-drop
  • Put-in: Josephine’s bridge
  • Take-out: Riverside Store
  • Dam controlled: No
  • Permits: None
  • Commercial operators: Duma Manzi, Umko Whitewater Rafting

Map Umkomaas lower

The Duma Manzi campsite on St Elmo’s farm, just before halfway, can also serve as an access point. It is on the right bank, and during the race spectators are normally present.

From Duma Manzi’s campsite the rapids become a bit trickier, but not really difficult. About 2km before Riverside, two rapids close one another, called Captain Honks, have become rather notorious, but they are not that bad.

Riverside Store is easily missed if you don’t know where it is. A first-timer on this section should preferably go down to Riverside before the trip to make sure it will be recognised.

Although there are no major rapids on this section, the scenery still makes it more than worthwhile to do a trip. Like the section above it, it is also a popular commercial rafting section.

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