The lower Sabie is a popular commercially rafted stretch. It is easily accessible and offers exciting rapids to clients without scaring them. It’s also a challenging run for K1-paddlers (for whom the section might be a bit short to make it worthwhile) and a nice playsection for kayakers. The river runs quite close to the road and is skirted by farmland and holiday accommodation, but the thick vegetation gives the impression of isolation.
- Ideal for: Kayak, croc, K1
- Grade: 1 to 3
- Length: 8km
- Duration: 3 to 5 hours
- Type: Flat sections with small rapids between
- Put-in: Short dirt road next to the Sabaan River down to the confluence with the Sabie
- Take-out: On private farm
- Dam controlled: No
- Permits: Permission from Induna Adventures at put-in. Their office is just on the other side of the tar road. Permission from farmer at take-out. Arrange via commercial operators.
- Commercial operators: Induna Adventures
The flat pools are long and relaxing and most rapids are easily shot without scouting. One or two of the steeper rapids should be scouted when paddling with a K1, especially Devil’s Knuckle, where it might be easier to walk on the bank than to try and get through the stoppers without capsizing.
Kayakers will find a good couple of rocks to splat and spin on, and even a few nice playholes at decent water levels. The rapid at the take-out hosts the wave where the annual Lowveld Rodeo is held. The rodeo wave is at the top of the rapid, although for some lunatics the sticky hole right at the bottom seems to be more inviting.
Beware of the odd hippo in some of the pools. They roam in a large area, so chances are good that they are not there, but keep your eyes open in any case.
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.