WW kayaking guide to rivers in South Africa


Herbertsdale Section / Gouritz River / Garden Route / South Africa

Gouritz River – Herbertsdale Section

Gouritz River : Herbertsdale Section

Grading  II to III+
Levels / gauges None.  Rainfall dependant so check the weather predictions.  It needs to rain for a substantial amount of time.  One way of checking if the N2 passing over the Gouritz outside of Mosselbay
Put-in 33° 54.532’S ; 21° 39.145’E
Take-out 33° 58.835’S ; 21° 39.275’E
Estimated time 1.5hr to 3hrs
Length 9km
Gradient 5m/km
Portages None
Hazards / Notes Short isolated gorge
Fun factor 3 / 5

Although this section is pretty flat in terms of white water, the section of river runs through an awesome gorge.  The section is pretty short, but the logistics can take most of the day since the put-in ad take-out is off the normal road and the drive around is a bit more than the length paddled.  So make it a day mission and have a picnic at the put-in and then paddle the gorge section.  The section is also perfect for rafts (2-man) and the rapids are pretty straight forward.


The put-in is located on the R327 between Herbertsdale and Ladismith (about 30km outside of Herbertsdale).  The take-out is on the road from Herbertsdale to Albertinia (driving south out of Herbertsdale it will be on your right – going west).  The take-out is at a bridge crossing the Gouritz River.

The rapids on the section are towards the start and there are basically four notable rapids on the section.  They are easy to negotiate and you can scout them from the side if need be. Once you go into the gorge, take is easy and enjoy the scenery.