White Water Rafting (half day)
From its launch in 1991, white-water rafting has been rated as the must-do adventure activity in Swaziland. The Great Usutu River is widely regarded as the best white-water to be found south of the legendary Zambesi. Swazi Trails provide a choice of half or full day guided river trips.
This booking tab that you are currently browsing is for Half Day White Water Rafting - available all year round. If you would prefer a full day river adventure, generally November to April then switch to - White Water Rafting Full Day. Another option, for those that are travelling in the winter months, May to October, but who still want a full day of adrenaline and adventure - why not try the rafting, tubing, abseiling combination. You find find out all about this here - White Water Rafting Tubing Abeiling Combo.
The Great Usutu River offers a good range of Grade II to Grade IV white water rapids. Trips are undertaken in two-man, inflatable rafts and guided by local Swazi river guides. Departures are guaranteed for minimum of two persons. Although available all year round, the half day white water option is most popular in the winter months when water levels in the Great Usutu River are lower. During these months Swazi Trails choose to restrict their usual rafting section to only the most enjoyable sections of rapids. Low water does not mean low adrenaline and in fact the section becomes a lot more challenging with more exposed rocks and need for careful navigation.
The Great Usutu is Swaziland's largest river. It originates on the South African highveld and flows through central Swaziland and exiting the Kingdom near Big Bend. Then it meanders past Nduma in KwaZulu-Natal and up to the Bay of Maputo in Mozambique. The white-water rafting stretch that Swazi Trails make use of is roughly between the rural villages of Sidvokodvo and Siphofaneni, an area known as the Bulungapoort. The river is wide and at lower water levels it winds its way between numerous islands and sandbanks, which are otherwise covered during the full water season. The location is scenic with tall mountains and forested riverbanks, interspersed occasionally by rural Swazi homesteads. Although the river does change dramatically from full to low water season, there is always enough rapids to maker this day one to remember.
Check out some of the action - visit the Swaziland Adventures section of our videos page.
Crocodiles are known to exist in the Great Usutu River in various areas, however in the stretch of river used for white-water rafting they do not present sufficient risk to cause alarm. This has been monitored for more than 20 years without incident.
The Swazi Trails children's policy varies according to the nature of the activity offered.
For Swazi Trails operated services, cancellations made 21 days or more in advance of arrival, will incur an administration fee of no more than 10% of the value of the amount paid. If cancelled within 14-20 days, 25% of the total price is forfeited, if within 7-13 days, 50% of the total price is forfeited, if within 0-6 days, 100% of the total price is forfeited.
Book for more than 20 people, contact us directly
All white water rafting trips depart from the main Swazi Trails offices. The meeting time is 08h30 for a departure shorty thereafter. Swazi Trails are situated within the Ezulwini Valley at Mantenga Craft Centre. The centre has safe parking for vehicles. For those without personal transport, a hotel, guesthouse or lodge pick-up is possible in the Ezulwini, Mbabane and Manzini areas. This may attract an additional charge.
Free pick-ups are often provided when logistically possible, especially for larger groups or for participants accommodated in the direction of the tour departure. If unsure just ask as a special request when booking.
Participants on half day who are leaving Swaziland to the south (Lavumisa/Golela) or west (Mahamba) may follow in their own vehicle to the river, and then depart directly from the rafting exit point. This saves almost two hours of time from the onward journey and makes a half day of rafting feasible even for those with limited time in the country.