This is an interesting section of the Bushmans River, and is becoming a popular section for KZN paddlers.
- Ideal for: K1 and kayak
- Grade: 2 to 4
- Length: 23km
- Duration: 5 to 7 hours
- Type: Pool-drop
- Put-in: Next to Weenen road, where it comes close to the river. Private property. Put in at low level bridge.
- Take-out: Take Buys Street out of Weenen, on the northern bank of the river. At the end of the road is a farm, with the road very close to the river. Riverwise it is 200m upstream of the big
- Dam controlled: Wagendrift Dam
- Permits: Permission from landowners at put-in and take-out
On the first 15km nice and easy rapids are encountered, with only a few that should be scouted but everything is easily runnable with a kayak. K1-paddlers will have to portage some of, but not all, the rapids. There is lots of alien vegetation on this section, which is a bit of an eyesore for the conservation orientated paddler.
The next 5 km of the river goes through a nice gorge which is pretty unspoilt. The gorge is part of the Weenen Nature Reserve. There are a couple of class 4 rapids in the gorge that might become class 5 at a high level. Watch out of for some bad holes at high levels. One, specifically, at the bottom of a small fall, can be very sticky at most levels.
After the gorge the river flattens out a lot, and a good deal of farming activities will be seen on this stretch. A weir that is runnable at some levels, is thrown in, but first scout. Further on, another weir was built by some unthinking persons on top of a spectacular waterfall, spoiling the appearance of it. When going on to Weenen, portage on the right, but it is quite a slog from here on. Otherwise take out 200m upstream of it on the left.
This river description is taken from my book “Run the Rivers of Southern Africa”.
If you have any pictures or recent information on this section of river to share, please contact me:
I appreciate any contributions to keep this content up-to-date.