Tugela River – Drakensberg section

This section is high up before any major tributaries, and is only worthwhile to paddle after good rains.

  • Ideal for: Kayak
  • Grade: 2 to 3
  • Length: 16km
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Type: Continuous=
  • Put-in: In Royal Natal National Park, below Tendele lodge, where road comes close to river.
  • Take-out: Bridge
  • Dam controlled: No
  • Permits: Entrance fee at National ParkMAP 37

TThe section is continuous with a few small drops that are all easily runnable. Although it is not big by any means, it gets the adrenaline going as one flies along with the current at a high speed. There are few proper eddies to take a break in, resulting in long stretches of constant manoeuvring. When the water is high enough, a couple of nice surfspots are found, as well as some holes to avoid. Different put-in and take-out points can also be used to make the trip shorter, all easily reachable from the road to the National Park.

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.