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Greetings from the Mpumalanga Highveld, ye kayakers bound to your electronic screens checking out your next adventure. I hope this appeals to your senses and inspires you to greatness!

Assegaai River in Flood

Assegaai River in Flood

My trip finally went down on Sunday 21 April, and with a few days of heavy rain just before I knew I was in for something interesting.

My trip finally went down on Sunday 21 April, and with a few days of heavy rain just before I knew I was in for something interesting.

The journey started below the weir, just below the Heyshope Dam between Piet Retief and Ermelo, South Africa.

The journey started below the weir, just below the Heyshope Dam between Piet Retief and Ermelo, South Africa.

What followed was fast but flat with plenty boils, strainers, turbulence and small whirlpools

What followed was fast but flat with plenty boils, strainers, turbulence and small whirlpools

After and hour plus of flat water I was so excited to see something resembling a rapid!

After and hour plus of flat water I was so excited to see something resembling a rapid!

And some nasty strainers :(

And some nasty strainers 😦

But things got better

But things got better

and started to improve

and started to improve

The rapids increase in quantity and quality the further I went.

The rapids increase in quantity and quality the further I went.

Finally dusk started to approach, and there was no more time to take pretty pictures. I had to make it to the take out to get a lift back. I passed by some real interesting features that should have enough kayakers drooling.

Finally dusk started to approach, and there was no more time to take pretty pictures. I had to make it to the take out to get a lift back. I passed by some real interesting features that should have enough kayakers drooling.

Eventually it got really dark. I had no choice but to SMS my coordinates to my driver to come pick me up. I missed my destination by about seven kilometers (as the crow flies), but in the rough terrain it took my driver about three-ish hours to locate me.

I’m back home now safe and sound, but it feels as if I left a little bit of my soul back in the Assegaai. I will no doubt have to return sooner or later to search for it. My gut feel is that the next trip should be a two day journey, doing some wilderness camping halfway. Anyone keen for a paddle?

There’s no river flow statistics on the web for the Assegaai in Mpumalanga, but you can check the dam level at http://www.dwaf.gov.za/Hydrology/Weekly/ProvinceWeek.aspx?region=M

FINALLY, check out the footage!

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6 thoughts on “Scouting the Assegaai

  1. Pingback: SA Bloggers – Scouting the Assegaai

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