Umzimkulu River

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Mzimkhulu River
Umzimkhulu, uMzimkhulu, Mzimkhulu
Umzimkulu river scene
Umzimkulu River is located in South Africa
Umzimkulu River
Location of the Umzimkhulu River mouth
EtymologyMeaning 'big place', 'large home', ie of the waters, in the Xhosa language and Zulu language[1]
CountrySouth Africa
Physical characteristics
 • locationDrakensberg
Source confluenceNgwangwane / Underberg
 • coordinates30°03′24″S 29°47′26″E / 30.05667°S 29.79056°E / -30.05667; 29.79056
 • elevation943 m (3,094 ft)
MouthIndian Ocean
 • location
Port Shepstone
 • coordinates
30°44′12″S 30°27′25″E / 30.73667°S 30.45694°E / -30.73667; 30.45694Coordinates: 30°44′12″S 30°27′25″E / 30.73667°S 30.45694°E / -30.73667; 30.45694
 • elevation
0 m (0 ft)

The Mzimkulu River is a river in South Africa.[2] In the past, the Mzimkulu formed part of the border between Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Presently this river is part of the Mvoti to Umzimkulu Water Management Area.[3] In late February of every year, the river is host to one of South Africa's most popular canoe races, the Drak Challenge.[4]


Mzimkulu River near Underberg

It rises in the Drakensberg mountains at the confluence of the Ngwangwane and the Underberg River. It flows southeast towards the Indian Ocean, which it enters through an estuary at Port Shepstone. Its main tributary is the Bisi River which joins its right bank about halfway down its course.[5] Towns on the Umzimkulu include Underberg and Umzimkhulu.


The scaly yellowfish (Labeobarbus natalensis) is a fish found in the Umzimkulu River System as well as in the Umgeni, Umkomazi, Tukhela and the Umfolozi. It is a common endemic species in KwaZulu-Natal Province and it lives in different habitats between the Drakensberg foothills and the coastal lowlands.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dictionary of Southern African Place Names
  2. ^ Meintjes, Malcolm (2005). Remarkable Flyfishing Destinations of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 1-86872-976-1.
  3. ^ Is there a role for traditional governance systems in South Africa's new water management regime?
  4. ^ Drak Challenge
  5. ^ Mvoti to Umzimkulu WMA 11
  6. ^ "Technical Report on the State of Yellowfishes in South Africa 2007" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2012-03-29.

External links[edit]