Heading upriver! Exploring the Umzimkulu to where estuary becomes fresh

Heading upriver! Exploring the Umzimkulu to where estuary becomes fresh.

Exploring the Umzimkulu: Think Deliverance. On steroids! Ha ha! Jokes are free!

But ok, I have been on the downward direction of this particular Umzimkulu River only once. Tube race. It was so tough I can’t even remember it. But now we have a fleet of capable and tough little craft, that can get over and under the many obstacles along the way back inland this time. And we can explore, from the saltwater estuary, right up to the freshwater river.

Exploring the Umzimkulu

I’m not sure where this pilot got his license from, so hold on tight…!


There is a berm built way up, just before St. Helens Rock, that is meant to keep the fresh and saltwater separate. But it is damaged and ineffective. And one of the obstacles we will be negotiating. After that, there are many rapids between pristine pools of calm water. Where we will be fishing.

In wintertime, dry season, the river mouth closes. Forcing the saltwater right back up over the berm, which becomes completely submerged. The salt just keeps going up the pregnantly swollen river. All the while keeping all these sought-after game fish within our reach 24/7.


We are really trying to find a bull shark. But along the way, ox-eye tarpon live here too. Perch. Rock salmon. Bluetail mullet. Springer. These salties can all handle freshwater.

Exploring the Umzimkulu lower reaches will put us in contact with all these species…

And! What else is up there? That lives there? Yellowfish? Trout? Carp? Well, this river runs down through the Drakensberg, clean as nectar (most of the time). All the way down to the coast. Where Port Shepstonites drink it up merrily through their taps. It’s clean! And that really matters!

But ok, kayaks and tiny boats. And off we go… We have all the craft and equipment here. Good to go 24/7. We have self-catering accommodation, and we have this considerable river to explore.

Get in touch with me Sean at umzimkulu@gmail.com or on +27793269671, anytime, to talk an expedition through. Singles up to a group of 20.

We run a YouTube Channel jam-packed with content that you can subscribe to for FREE by clicking HERE.

And this is what you can look at before you come along on these expeditionary voyages.

We have a fledgeling tackle shop on the premises too, at the Umzimkulu Marina. Click on over to their website where you can check out the accommodation options. Right HERE.

By The Sardine News.

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