Join us for a day of kayaking and rafting down the Jukskei/Crocodile rivers north of Joburg.
Suitable for first-time rafters and beginners, and vaguely competent kayakers, i.e. you don't have to know how to roll, but it would be a good idea. Lots of nice rapids, a few weirs which we portage, a low level bridge or two, some flat sections and a 100 metre waterfall (ok, so I'm lying about the waterfall).
Put-in (launch spot) will be at the low level bridge at Friday's Farm. Takeout (destination) will be either at Paddle Power just under the bridge at the Pelindaba T-junction or at the Pelindaba picnic spot a little further towards Pelindaba itself.
Depending on which take-out spot we use, the total distance is either around 15kms or 19kms. I'm leaning towards the earlier take-out point, as we then avoid approximately 4kms of fairly flat water (the trip's long enough as it is!). The trip should take about 5 or 6 hours depending on water levels, fitness levels and alpha-male competitiveness.
Costs. The cost will be R40 per person if you use an ESSA raft or R80 per person if you use an ESSA kayak. You must be a paid-up ESSA member to use ESSA gear (to become a member, click the "join" link on the menu on the top of this page). There is a parking fee of R20 to park your car at Paddle Power, to be paid to Dave of Paddle Power/ERA. If he's not there, just drop the money through the window next to his front door (either before or after the trip).
What to wear. Bring clothes you can get wet in: long-sleeved T-shirt (preferably not cotton), shorts, costume, running shoes or sandals (not flip-flops). A towel and dry clothes for afterwards.
What to bring. Suntan lotion! If you're on a raft, your legs will burn without it, guaranteed! Bring water/energy drinks, and some snacks for a lunch break on the river and it's a good idea to leave a flask of coffee/tea (or beers) and snacks in your car at the take-out. There are hot showers, toilets and a cash bar available at the Paddle Power take-out and basic ablutions at the picnic spot takeout.
Directions to the put in at Fridays farm low level bridge. Head north on the R512. Turn right onto a gravel road 5 kms past the 3-way stop at Lanseria airport (there is a small shopping centre/garage a bit further on the left). Follow the road through a number of curves for 2.4 km. Turn right at the road with a number of different sign boards saying Lethaba / Vlakfontein / Rhenosterspruit. Follow that road for another 1.8 kms (a sharp left bend close to the end) and turn right at the first road after the left bend. Sign boards will say Vlakfontein / Rhenosterspruit / Ibis guest house. After another 1.1 kms, you will cross a low level bridge. Congratulations - you've made it to the put-in!
Directions to the take-out at the Pelindaba picnic spot. Head north on the R512 to the T-junction with the Pelindaba/Hartesbeespoort road (about 17 kms from the Lanseria airport 3-way stop sign). At the T-junction turn right and cross the bridge over the Crocodile River. Take the first right turn into NECSA/Pelindaba about 1.5kms after the bridge. Go up the hill towards the main gate. Just before the main gate, there's a road going off to the right. Take this road (do not try to get into NECSA itself). About 100m along, there is a red gate. It may be closed but is never locked. If it is closed, open it but close it behind you. Drive down the long hill, past the tennis courts, until the tar ends. There is a small circle for turning around and you should park here. There are stairs down to the river from which you can see the takeout point, just below the weir with the big tower.
Directions to the take-out at Paddle Power. Head north on the R512 to the T-junction with the Pelindaba/Hartesbeespoort road (about 17 kms from the Lanseria airport 3-way stop sign). At the T-junction cross over to the shopping centre. On the extreme right, there is a sign saying Paddle Power. Follow the dirt road down and to the left for 100m. The first entrance to the right is to Paddle Power. Park under the trees.
Extra info on the Pelindaba picnic spot takeout. See http://www.whitewatertraining.co.za/default.aspx?layout=show&id=219
What to expect on the river. See http://witsexplorers.bluwiki.com/go/Fridys%27_farm_to_Paddle_power