Duzi – Another Cool Day in Waterfall Land

Compiled by Bart Fokkens (I’ve voted, have you?)


Doug,  Sithembiso and I set off from Henley on another ideal cool day for hiking and exploring the Msunduze River. It starts off with a cup of coffee at the impressive old Henley dam wall and a glance at the map to see what lies ahead.


Is this how the water is treated for Pietermaritzburg?  A bucket of HTH.


Did we get lost? Is that Nkandla in the background?


Wattle and Eucalyptus are plentiful in this section below Henley Dam.


Pom Pom tree, Dais cotinifolia always found along the midlands rivers in flower  during the summer months.


Lots of river crossings today.  The three of us: Squelchy (Doug), who waded through everything with his boots on.  Wetfoot (Sithembiso) as he followed apprehensively , also with his boots on, and then myself Dryfoot (Bart), as I diligently took my boots off for the river crossings holding up the group every time. At the end of the day, with time pressing I eventually had to wade through the river and the three of us eventually squelched our way through Plessislaer  to the DUCT offices at Campsdrift at 5 pm.


Waterfalls were a plenty today.


A concrete weir backed this water up, and an old pipeline ran from here up the hill on the right bank. (right and left bank are always defined by canoeists when facing downstream).


Swartkops mountain in the background with the Duzi cutting its way through the valley.

henley9Lunch break overlooking a magnificent gorge.


Erythrina latissima used as hedge plants around the homesteads grow easily from truncheons and provide welcoming shade in the hot summer months.

henley11Waterfall with a drop of about 15m on the mighty Duzi. A white water kayakers delight.


Homesteads close to the river but above the flood line.


A hole in the trunk of an old burnt out Eucalyptus.


The reality of the condition of the river and its’ banks.


Due to lack of municipal services, the valley population dump their rubbish down the river banks, for the river to carry it away. Where is the respect for our environment and each other, let alone the laws in our country?

A sorry looking Prickly Pear infested with biocontrol. Cochineal, a very effective biocontrol agent on this plant keeps it from spreading out of control.


Lower Edendale abounds with livestock, eating what they can to survive in this semi urban area.




About Nikki Brighton

I live in Howick, between the river and the hills. I enjoy pre-dawn walks in the streets with my dog, sitting on the veranda with crochet and tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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3 Responses to Duzi – Another Cool Day in Waterfall Land

  1. David says:

    Since “Duzi day two” was posted, Edric Pascoe, who grew up on the slopes of Elandskop, and I have been discussing the source of the Msunduze river; & with the aid of a 1:50 000 map the discussion has ranged far and wide. The host of tributories does not make finding the source easy, so any suggestions would be most welcome. Since I am writing this, I have that advantage and would like to suggest a spot at 29 37 40s 30 06 09e; where the locals are seen with wheelbarrows and many drums, collecting water at a spring for their homes, at the side of the R617. A Water Tanker has recently been added to this water provision, That watershed, close to the 34 kilometer yellow road sign is one option; of course, what happens to it as it gathers other streams on the way to Pietermaritzburg, that is the real problem as the intrepid walkers have clearly shown by their impressive and adventurous efforts

  2. Wow, so many waterfalls in the Upper Catchment, didn’t realize. Thanks for unveiling some of Msunduzi’s beautiful secrets and and also more of her plight. I am encouraged to see DUCT continuing in the challenge of communicating the value of the river to those nearest, and all of us who ultimately depend on this river’s vitality for bright future in this our home environment.

  3. Pingback: Duzi at its Dirtiest | Midlands Conservancies Forum

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