WW kayaking guide to rivers in South Africa

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Pot Gorge / Pot River / Transkei / South Africa

Pot River – Pot to Tsitsa

Pot to Tsitsa Section : Pot River

Grading  IV-  (IV+)
Levels / gauges None.  Check rainfall in area.  Best bet is to go Mid January to February.  Check with Tsitsa falls backpackers for river level updates.

Note: The water level might be low at the put-in, but there is a confluence

Put-in 31° 1’29.31″S ; 28°25’33.80″E
Take-out Option 1 (Short): 31° 2’22.60″S ; 28°29’18.71″E

Option 2 (Long): 31° 6’21.37″S ; 28°30’53.39″E

Estimated time 3hr to 5hrs (Short)

5hrs to 7hrs (Long)

Length 10km (Confluence take-out)

15km (Long)

Gradient 18m/km (Pot)

10m/km (from Tsitsa down)

Portages None
Hazards / Notes Logs / siphons
Fun factor 4 / 5

The Pot is a little bit milder than the Tsitsa upper gorge, but deserve some respect since it is still pretty continuous in places and hazards like logs, siphons and undercuts are strewn throughout the section.  The good news is that all rapids are good to go and fairly to scout either from the side or from your boat.  Remember that when in doubt scout.  If you can’t see the bottom of the rapid then get out on scout.  The section is again in a gorge with steep side walls.

Put-in:  The put-in is easy to get to.  You can either put-in at the bridge crossing the river or a little downstream after the first rapid (the first rapid is normally full of logs).  To get there:  When leaving Tsitsa Falls backpackers, take the first left and carry-on until you cross the Pot River.  Leaving from Maclear, take the first Tsitsa Falls turn-off from the R56.

There are several rapids on this section and some of them may need some scouting.  Be aware that there are a lot of trees/logs in the river for the first half of the section (say until the confluence with the Mooi River).  After the confluence with the Mooi there is a weir across the river which you can scout from either river left or right.  The weir is runable; make check your line and the rapid after.


Rapid below weir.


Slide on Pot.

It is really difficult to describe any of the rapids on this section.  It has similar characteristics than the Tsitsa Upper Gorge.  If you liked the Tsitsa, you will like the Pot.  Again the scenery is awesome and the rapids are pretty sweet.  The Pot gets better with higher levels.

Take-out: Take-out is either at the confluence of the Tsitsa River or you can paddle past the confluence and use the take-out for the long section of the Tsitsa Upper Gorge (See Tsitsa Upper Gorge entry).  When taking out at the confluence, aim for the gully on river left for the take-out.  The hike-out is pretty intense and you need to cross two fences before you are at the top.  To drive to the take-out chat to AD at http://www.tsitsafalls.com.  As you leave the backpackers you will cross a wetland with a dam on your left.  Take the farm road just after crossing the wetland on your left and carry-on towards the sheds.  At the sheds keep right.  From here the track starts to deteriorate and you will have to check where it runs.  Drive towards the fields and keep right until you come to the edge of the gorge and you can see the Pot River below. This is private land so check with the Tsitsa Falls backpackers and close all the gates.