After two dry seasons we are glad to announce that
the 2017 Ithala challenge canoe race is on.

Entries open for 2017 - 192 spaces left Enter Now!

Race Information

After listening to your input over the years and sponsors tightening their belts starting in 2010 we restructured the race format and this worked extremely well so we will be sticking with it. In return for a slimmed down race fee we now provide less of the frills and this allows us to focus on the race itself.
  • Race entry fee will is now R 680 per entry (R 340 juniors) which includes

    • Our usual high quality race with no sacrifices on safety
    • Entry & camping for Bivane Dam is included
    • Entry & camping for Ithala is included - any chalet or other accomodation must be booked directly with them
  • you will need to arrange the following yourself

    • Accomodation - camping for Bivane Dam and Ithala has been included in the entry fees for Both Friday and Saturday Nights, any other accomodation needs to be pre-booked by yourself read more about accomodation options
    • Food for yourselves and anyone accompanying you - there are braai facilities and food can be booked with Ithala if you wish to use the restuarant. read more about food arrangements
  • important to note for arriving at Ithala on Friday evening

    • Ithala gates usually close strictly at 18h00 - we have managed to keep them open until 19h00 on Friday night
    • If you arrive after this there will be 2 escorted entries allowed at 20h00 and 21h00
    • After 21h00 there will be no access

Entries open for 2017 - with a couple of spaces left Enter Now

Be part of an experience of a life time!!

The Ithala Challenge is now a decade old and is becoming one of the "must-do" races in KZN. Every year we aim to improve on the facilities and organisation but luckily the main part of the experience is always perfect and that is the river and gorge itself. Water levels were a problem in some of the previous years, but since moving the race slightly later in the year we have been lucky to be able to supply decent water releases making the river a pleasure to paddle. For 2010 with the help of numerous sponsors and dedicated comittee members we have built you a decent ablution block at Ithala for the camping, I think the hot shower at the end of the gruelling day is something all will look forward to!

For those new to the race - the Ithala challenge was voted by the KNCU as the best one day event race in KwaZulu - Natal 4 times including 2009. It was also adjudged the runner-up in the Tourism KZN Emerging Tourism Event of the Year Competition. They were impressed - we will do the same for you.

Please note you must be an AR rated paddler to enter this race and the race is restricted to 250 paddlers due to environmental impact, so don't delay.

When :

Saturday 18th November 2017

Where :

The start at Bivane dam and finish at Ithala

Entry fee :

Is R680.00 per paddlers (Juniors R340.00) which includes Race entry, gate entry and Camping Fees at Bivane Dam or Ntshondwe camp site on Friday, gate entry and camping fee at Ithala Reserve on Saturday. No meals have been included this year, these can either be brought along or booked directly with Ithala.


Registration will take place on Friday 17th November at Bivane Dam and Ntshondwe Camp (Ithala Game Reserve), from 5pm till 9:30pm.
PLEASE NOTE : The Ithala Game Reserve main gate will be open till 09:00pm only !!


The whole Ithala reserve and hotel has been booked out for the paddlers and there is more camping at Bivane Dam, which will be used on friday 17th November. On Saturday 18th November camping will be at the Ntshondwe camp in Ithala reserve. Prize giving will be held at Ntshondwe Camp, Ithala on Saturday Evening. There are a number of other accomodation options, please visit the about the race page for more information.

We need sponsors!

Due to the few years dry spell we have had to start with a clean slate, please get in touch if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities

Nils : or 0827358461