Rafting the Tugela Gorge

Friend (and Dusi Great) Andre Hawarden started a rafting outfit so we thought, ‘Hey Let’s Bumble Down the Tugela with him!’ Summer of 1990.

I took my kayak and got a discounted self-propelled ticket. Aitch perched on one of Andre’s proper oarsman rafts – the best kind – where you sit and admire the scenery as the galley slave propels you downstream. When you have to paddle alongside as crew you miss the scenery in the rapids, as your head is down. Aitch sat behind like Lady Muck and admired the oarsmen’s physiques as they toiled.

Lowish water at the Ngubevu put-in, after a hairy ride on Farmer Vinnige Fanie’s truck. We had perfect weather, great grub, good company. Fellow Kingfisher paddler Les Keay was also along, powering the second raft, so we had good Dusi power all round. Figtree Beach campsite ranks with the best anywhere. Whattapleasure to camp there again.

Here’s the old paper album – photographed and scrapped:


Tugela Raft Trip above 4man hole
Tugela Raft Trip in 4man hole

Amazing riverside campsite – Figtree Beach Camp:

Tugela Fig Tree Camp

Pirate raiding parties and water fights:

Jamieson’s Bridge – the end is always too soon! Especially as we now face the DANGEROUS part: The return trip in Vinnige Fanie’s truck!

Jameson's Bridge Tugela


Mad Dusi (and now Berg) paddler Andre blogs here.

Vinnige Fanie – Fast Furious Fanie, adventurous farm truck driver


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