The Assegaai River enters Swaziland – where it becomes the Mkhondvo – through the Mahamba Gorge, which is short and sweet, containing some solid class 3+ to 4 drops. The river then mellows for quite a few kilometres before starting its descent into the Grand Valley. The put-in for this trip is just in time to catch this awesome descent.
- Ideal for: Kayak
- Grade: 3 to 4, few 5
- Length: 54km
- Duration: 2 days
- Type: Continuous, technical
- Put-in: Bridge on road between Gege and Nhlangano
- Take-out: Where road between Nhlangano and Sidvokodvo comes close to river
- Dam Controlled: No
- Permits: None
The section is non-stop, containing seemingly endless class 3+ to 4 rapids, with even some 5’s thrown in. It can be described as nothing short of a goldmine. The good thing is, it’s all good to go – nothing unrunnable! With exceptionally good water it has been done in an epic single day (nine and a half hours), but it is strongly advisable to do it over two days.
The last 20km or so after it reaches the valley floor is a bit flatter with class 2 to 3 rapids. It doesn’t matter really, because the scenery remains magnificent.
From the take-outpoint to the confluence with the Usutu at Sidvokodvo it is pretty flat.
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.