The charge is per participating kayaker. Non-paddlers need not pay this entry fee.
The second Swazi Xfest will be taking place on the Komati River. This entry package covers services for kayakers interested in participating in Saturday the 12th December 2015 festivities.
The package includes:
Entries close Wednesday 9th at 12h00 midday. In addition to paying via this site please download the event entry form here and send it to Phil by email.
The Komati River has a reliable daily water release from Maguga Dam as follows: approx 24cumecs from 06h30 to 10h00 on Saturday for hydro power generation, and reduced flow for the rest of the day. This water is released at speed straight into a short but boisterous section of pool drop rapids immediately below the dam wall – less than a kilometre. The released water is then further impounded 2.5km downstream and released more slowly for agricultural irrigation purposes for the rest of the day at a rate of 12 to 19 cumecs. Being a relatively small river this makes for a runnable section at almost all times. It is currently being used for Swazi Trails commercial rafting trips.
This initial section will be relatively easy for experienced paddlers, but challenging for beginners. Scouting and portaging is possible for those really just starting out and wishing not to take a beating early in the day. There are some undercuts and siphons so care should be maintained of any swimmers. Being short – it will be worth doing twice or three times and a portage upstream should be possible. Should be a suitable a timed race section.
There is normally a hippo in the flat water dam above the next weir… and it would be best to paddle down as a group past this point. Could be a compulsory flat water sprint section.
After a portage past the weir there is a 5.5km commercial section of grade 2 and 3 rapids, all fine for beginners. One nice play hole half-way down and one further hippo to avoid. Our plan would be to take this section slowly and spend at least 2 hours at the play hole. The final rapid on the section has a submerged rock midstream in fast water – which is only really an issue for those who haven’t managed their first roll attempt.
Thereafter the entire river disappears down ‘The Gap” waterfall and goes underground for a bit. It has not been run yet, on purpose or by mistake. Have your GoPro running if you miss the take-out. This will be our lunch stop, scenic spot with cliff jump, swimming and general fun. Spectators can reach this point.
Immediately after the Gap is a short 150m section of Grade 4+ rapid, which is suggested for a timed kayak sprint event. This can be re-run multiple times. The take-out is just below this and there is a one hour trip back to BaseCamp Maguga.
Plan for the evening is a braai and drinks.
The event venue is a new tented camp and campsite called Base Camp Maguga. This is a new facility that will be opening initially just for this event. Base Camp Maguga has a limited number of camping spots, toilets, a self-catering kitchen, braai area, water, electricity and an area of communal shelter. There is only a very rudimentary shower system. Bring your own booze, camp chairs, camp lights, head lamps etc. Portable fridges can be plugged in.
The braai - inclusive in the entry fee will take place here.
Extra braai packages (for non-participants in the paddling) can be purchased for R 120.00plus VAT per person. This can be requested as an extra on your booking form.
Please note that the camping at Base Camp Maguga is for walk-on camping, they are not drive-on sites, so not well-suited for roof-top tents or trailer tents. A portable hiking style tent is best. The sites are being cleared as 3m x 3m sites in order to suit the safari dome tents that are available to book. They cannot accommodate larger tents or marquees so please leave the circus at home.
Camping and/or the supplied canvas dome tents must be booked in advance. At this point we are only clearing 15 sites, so space is limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. Book here - Base Camp Maguga bookings
Other options for accommodation include:
Maguga Lodge - next door 250m away. Rondavel huts on B&B basis, plus a limited number of drive-on camp sites. If you have a fancy caravan, camp set-up that is trailer or vehicle based this would be a better option.
Hawane Resort - about 30min away. Nice fancy B&B accommodation, or a backpackers style open barn set-up available.
And some more thoughts:
Rafting for non-kayakers - if you have friends or family that are not kayaking but would like to shadow the trip for the day to catch the action, Swazi Trails are offering a 50% special for the day, inclusive of guiding, croc rafts, lunch and transport. Normal price R 1,300.00pp/day - on this day only R 650.00pp for friends and family of competitors.
Sunday session - option exists to paddle the section again and to continue further downstream where there are more rapids, hippos and fun to be had. This will be discussed on Saturday night and depending on interest, plans made.
All cancelled entries will be subject to a 10% administration charge. Entries cancelled within 3 days (72 hours of the event) will be subject to a 50% cancellation fee. No-shows will be charged for in full.
There is no Children's Rate for this event - all participants pay the same amount.