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TOPIC: Umkomaas Source To Sea Expedition

Umkomaas Source To Sea Expedition 3 years 1 week ago #32877

Hi Everyone.

The Treverton G.A.P Year students are undertaking the challenge of travelling from the source of the Mkomazi river to its mouth at the town of Umkomaas on the South African south coast. The trip spans 298km, 196 km of which will be paddled in either Crocs or K2's with the remainder of the distance being cycled and hiked. We look to do this trip over ten days in mid - March.

The 5 of us are all first year out of school and fairly new to paddling with only one member having any real experience in paddling prior to this.

We will also be teaching at rural schools on water conservation and will be taking water samples and conducting numerous quality tests which we intend to submit to the international database.

We are looking for information on the upper parts of the river as it has apparently not been paddled too often. Any information will be greatly appreciated.Also we are in desperate need of cash sponsors. If anyone is interested in helping out feel free to contact our course director, Mr. Athol Davies on either 0845118422 or [mail address protected from spambots with javascript]

If you are interested in following our progress like our Facebook page " Umkomaas Source 2 Sea Expedition " ( )

Safe Paddling
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Re: Umkomaas Source To Sea Expedition 3 years 4 days ago #32879

If the water is high I would not paddle the Deepdale Gorge section in a croc. In a K2, it would be 100% destroyed and you could have some very nasty swims.... Especially as you say you are inexperienced. Even on the section downstream which is far easier there have been drownings at high water, so take care. Deepdale is definitely kayak only. Plastic kayaks, that is.

Upstream has some great sections, but not suited for K1/K2 type craft. Upstream of the R617 that is. The road running from Bulwer north towards Impendle has a nice 35 km section which I've done two or three times and crocs/rafts can do it too. I have not paddled upstream of that but the river is relatively chilled (ie. flat/boring) and what it comes down to is water level. Of course if it's low you simply will not be able to paddle it at all. Mid-March is getting late in the season but you should be ok. Take my warning about Deepdale though. Good luck.
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Re: Umkomaas Source To Sea Expedition 3 years 2 days ago #32881

Thank you very much for your help,it is greatly appreciated. On the note of the section of river running along the road from Bulwer North to Impendle, how long did it take you? We hope to paddle that entire section but may not be able to due to time constraints.
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Re: Umkomaas Source To Sea Expedition 3 years 2 days ago #32882

The put in is along that road running NNE from Bulwer. From there it is isolated for the 35km until it reaches the R617 again. Two days is relaxed. If there is decent water and you don't scout much (no real need to scout almost everything here) then doing it in a day is possible. There are photos on my website of this section. Go to the Natal section and go back a long way for others. Here is one on that 'upper' section. Old article, from 2006:
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