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Whitewater Rafting Guide To River Trips

Umkomaas River

Location: 95 km from Durban, South Africa

The Umkomaas River originates in Giant’s Castle of the Drankensberg mountain range and follows a winding course down to the Indian Ocean. Whitewater rafting trips are available on the Mkomazi River (another spelling) in a valley that lies just 95 kilometers from Durban and 65 kilometers from Peitermaritzburg, in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Rafting operators often meet their guests in Richmond.

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Level of Difficulty: Class III / Beginner

The Umkomaas River is a big-volume river, and has even been dubbed the most high-volume whitewater available south of the mighty Zambezi. The Class III rapids are a rollercoaster ride over huge waves, with very few rocks to slow the momentum. This river is not very technically challenging, but it is also not a mellow float. For beginners, the Mkomazi is an exhilarating introduction.

Scenery: Plateaus, Exotic Game Animals, Wooded Hillsides, Bushveld

The scenery on this 24 kilometer stretch of the Umkomaas River varies between the plateaus and hillsides of the bush country, and tropical-esque wooded hillsides. For 13 kilometers, the river winds through the Duma Manzi Reserve, home to an incredible array of game species. Wildlife sightings here may include zebra, Blue Wildebeests, impalas, the White-Tailed Mongoose, and the clawless otter. White Rhino, buffalo, giraffe, and waterbuck were also introduced in 2006.

Season: November – April

Dependent upon water levels, you can either take a two-person inflatable raft with other guests, led down by a guide, or paddle a six-person raft with guide ruddering in the back.