Washing Machine

Washing Machine is your first big challenge after reaching the confluence of the Duzi and Umgeni. See Confluence article for details on where you will find it relative to the other rapids in that section.

washing ML_aerial

The image below is of Washing Machine in medium conditions.

washing ML_aerial2

There are no prominent landmarks to let you know you are about to enter Washing Machine. There are however a couple of clues. Look out for power lines across the river. These are just below the rapid. Otherwise the river gets close to the right bank and you can see a very large Euphorbia Tree (Candelabra/cactus tree) on the hillside (see images below for details).

Washing Machine is not your typical rapid. It consists of a sloping rock shelf into a large pool. In medium to high conditions a powerful suck-back forms where river plunges into the pool, hence the name "washing machine". There have been a couple of near drownings here when paddlers have been recycled in the suck-back, so treat this rapid with respect.  

The sequence below show the lines through Washing Machine. These were taken on a medium/low river. The higher the level the more to the right you want to go. It is easy and quick to portage Washing Machine on the right. Get out above the rapid and put in at the pool directly below it.

washing ML_01

washing ML_02

washing ML_03

washing ML_04