KwaZulu-Natal Canoe Club

River Videos

Albert Falls weir

Shortly after the put-in after the portage around the dam wall comes the Albert Falls weir. This is an easy weir to shoot, and if you do come unstuck it is an easy place to recover as the water is shallow below the weir, and emptying your canoe and getting going again is very easy.
The weir must be shot down the chute on the left hand side of the weir. Even in full conditions any other option is likely to damage your boat.

Move at a steady pace, lining up a spot half a metre away from the left hand pillar of the weir, going dead straight. Lean back as you go over and relax and get set to use your paddle to brace or paddle away when you hit the water below. It is well worth making sure you don’t go over too slowly as this can increase the chance of the nose of your boat hitting rocks at the bottom.

After the weir move towards the centre of the river, aiming for the right hand bridge pillar, and navigate around the rocks by moving steadily right all the time.

Bubble and Squeak rapid

After a short flat pool after passing under the Albert falls bridge the river turns left into two easy rapids.

Enter the first, Bubble, just right of centre, and head into the right hand channel, moving right all the time, and once out of the rocky centre section head back into the middle of the river. The left hand channel has a strategically placed large rock that often catches novices unawares and is best avoided.

The second rapid, Squeak, is far simpler. Take it just right of centre bearing gradually right and then straighten up back into the middle of the river.

You are about to start the 5km of flatwater paddling.

Chicken Run

16,5km into the race, marking the end of 4,5km of flats comes a right:left S bend in the river. The rapid is shallow and rocky – a classic chicken run. Start out left of centre and follow the water, staying on the left of the current to avoid getting snarled up in the tree that overhands on the right hand bank.

Broken Weir

The hectic 1987 floods destroyed this small weir, and created a channel down the left of the river, Paddle hard and attack this corner on the right hand side of the flow down the left, and turn hard right to avoid the rocks in the current.

The Cascades

The Cascades covers almost 1,5km of river where the uMngeni flows over numerous shelf drops and winds through a number of channels, ending up in a tight rocky alley where the choice of lines is very important to avoid being beached high and dry.

During the race plenty of boats will make mistakes and get stuck on rocks so always have a Plan B in mind and be ready to react fast if the boat ahead of you runs aground!

Halfway into the Cascades where the river suddenly opens up there is an apparently open channel to the left that ends in a tree block. This should be chevron taped off and marshalls will show you to stay either centre, or if you can make a strong turn across the current, get into the better channel on the right.

Left Wing Party

Right at the end of The Cascades is a fun rapid that is best shot down the extreme left.

In a full river this rapid whips up a great series of waves and the line is far more central,

S Bend

This is a rapid that has straightened out a lot in recent years, and the drop has filled in, making it much simpler to shoot. Simply stay in the main flow of water through the right:left turn,


This is a simple chicken run that signals the end of the long Gumtree Flats. The best line is just left of centre moving to the left at the bottom of the rapid. It can be raced at full pace, hence the name!

John Deere

Once paddling under the Wartburg Road bridge there are a number of small and easily read rapids. John Deere is named after the big flat rock that is in the river left of centre and marks the optimal starting line for this rapid, which is best shot well left of the big rocks and on the extreme left of the shelf, where you drop into a channel that always has water, even in low river conditions. Follow the water all the way out of the rapid.

In a fuller river there are alternate lines down John Deere, notably on the right of the shelf, but in anything less than a medium river flow this is a site of huge congestion!


Shortly after John Deere rapid follow the river to the right of an island and then turn left into a channel that has a great fun series of waves and drops. A rare chance to get water splashed on your face without having to worry about steering around rocks.

Leguaan rapids

The river runs through a fun 600 metres of river where the uMngeni falls over small shelves and winds through rocky channels, providing for fast paced and fun paddling in the closing stages of the race.

Oh yes, keep an eye out for the Leguaans who inhabit this stretch of river!

Last Laugh

You are almost at the Finish! Bear right around a grassy island and you will notice that the river channels nicely into a fun small drop. Shoot it on the left hand side of the flow and enjoy!