Usutu River – Below Bhunya

This section is only for those who can handle the unexpected. It lies above all the major tributaries, hence the narrow and steep nature. The river splits up every now and then, forming really narrow, fast channels that suddenly disappear over drops.

  • Ideal for: Kayak
  • Grade: 3 to 4
  • Length: 8km
  • Duration: 2 to 4 hours
  • Type: Steep, continuous, small channels
  • Put-in: Bridge at Sappi factory at Bhunya
  • Take-out: Where road comes closest to river
  • Dam controlled: No
  • Permits: None

MAP 64

Some rapids have to be run without scouting, as it is difficult to get out on the steep overgrown banks. All the rapids are runnable, however. Be careful of pinning situations, some of the drops are a bit shallow at the bottom. A short creekboat will be ideal for the section.

Scout the last rapid properly, it has pinning potential. It is a nice rapid to finish off the trip, so don’t mess it up here. The take-out is just after the rapid on the left. Walk up through the veld to the road, which is visible from the river.

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