Tugela River

November to March. Class 2-4.
The name Tugela means “the one that frightens”! Well, if you’re not scared you’re not having fun, are you?

In reality, the routes we run consist of big bouncy waves with no major obstacles. You don’t need experience: just paddle and hang on in the guided 4-8 seater rafts. Or you can choose to paddle your own 2-seater Croc.

Magnificent Tugela valley view at Zingela

Magnificent Tugela valley

The Tugela in central KwaZulu-Natal runs through breathtakingly beautiful subtropical gorges. Our base camp at Zingela can only be reached on a hectic 4×4 track. We pick you up in Weenen where your cars are safely parked, and on the way we may spot giraffe, impala, nyala, warthog! Bushbuck and other forest-loving game. During the descent into the valley an amazing visa opens out. You see the Tugela snaking away towards the Indian ocean while lofty mountains crowd the skyline.

It’s best to book at least a weekend away. Stay over in luxury tents or comfy pole-and-daub villas all overlooking the river below.

  • On day one, run the fun rapids from Liquidizer via Marula Bend back to camp. Your host and hostess will make your visit
    Finger Rock rapid on the Tugela

    Finger Rock rapid on the Tugela

    memorable. Around the fire at sundowner time, enjoy the company of one of the great storytellers of Africa, Mark Calverley, then savour the venison dishes of Linda Calverley, whose bush kitchen is famous and the source of a great cookbook.

  • On day two after a tasty, filling breakfast, prepare to raft out to the Causeway bridge. The rapids come in quick succession and get bigger as the 11km, four-hour trip unfolds. Camp rapid, Little Niagara, Finger Rock, Ledges and Keisha are the truly memorable ones: mountains of water through which your raft plunges only to resurface for the next one! The vehicles meet you at the end and take you back to Weenen where your luggage is waiting.

Don’t miss the Tugela wildwater weekends in the heart of traditional Zululand. This is South Africa’s premier whitewater river and once there you will forget where you came from and just want to come back for more.

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