|Distance from start of the stage : 9.1km
Lat -29.619979 Lon 30.677522
Portage option: Left hand bank
Ways to approach Confluence vary hugely according to the water level. If when you reach the confluence the brown uMsindusi dominates the grey uMngeni water coming in from your left, you know that it is going to be a long demanding day on a lowish river. If however the brown Dusi water is swallowed up by a writhing grey mamba of Umgeni water, you had better strap yourself in because it is going to be a rollercoaster ride to the dam!
Follow the water down the last stretch of the uMsindusi cautiously through the windy channels. When you hit the uMngeni, everything changes and you need to paddle strongly and positively as you are suddenly dealing with big water hydraulics instead of small river technicalities!
Once in the uMngeni follow the main flow to the left, where the big bluegum tree is your target. If you are unsure or nursing a broken boat this is your portage takeout point.
Paddle on past the bluegum and start to look for all option to your right. You want to head into the channel that leads into Washing Machine, which is on the right hand bank, and to get there you will need all major channels to the right, taking you through some fun rolling waves and holes.
In a full river it is possible to settle into sneak channels down the extreme right all the way down to Washing Machine, and there is also a sneak channel on the left that takes you through thick vegetation and re-enters the main flow below The Cascades.
|The river becomes a very different animal at Confluence because here the uMsunduzi meets the uMngeni which is twice as big and it can be quite unnerving.
The Confluence rapids start at the big gum tree about 1km downstream from the where the two rivers join. Make sure you do your homework through this section.
150 meters after the gum tree is a big chute, stick left and there is a smooth rock & is quite fast flowing. Then there are two channels going right – take either and head towards Washing Machine.
|Depending on water level, head for right hand side of main water flow|