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Drak Challenge

February 1 - February 2

The 26th edition of the popular N3TC Drak Challenge canoe marathon takes place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 January 2019, based in the Southern Drakensberg town of Underberg.

Founded in 1994 the race takes in two stages of river racing on the uMzimkhulu River, starting high in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg at the confluence of the uMzimkhulu and the uMlambonja River close to Castleburn resort on the Drak Gardens road.

The 26km long first stage starts by tumbling through ten technically challenging kilometres now known as the Valley of a Thousand Rapids, ending in the fabled Black Murray Rapid, before the gradient eases through to the finish of the first stage at Sinister Pool, just above the R617 Swartberg Road bridge outside Underberg.

The longer 36 kilometre second stage passes through two gorges laced with technically demanding rapids, interspersed with long deep pools, finishing at Early Mist Farm close to the Coleford resort.

The clean water, exciting rapids and serene flats have made it a popular choice with paddlers and their families countrywide, and the race is well established as one of the three biggest canoeing races on the national calendar.

Pulling together the three major sporting events that take place in Underberg on the same weekend is the second edition of the FNB Drak Music Experience that entertains the paddlers, trail runners, mountain bikers and the local community with a concert at the Underberg Country Club on the Saturday afternoon.

Date: 19-20 January 2019

Where: Underberg, Southern Drakensberg

Time: Start time for Day One is 08:00 | Day Two start is 07:00

Entries: Normal entries close on 9 January 20-19, late entries close on 16 January 2019

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Social Media Links: Facebook – here | Twitter – here | Instagram – here  #N3TCDrak2019


The 2019 N3TC Drak Challenge starts at Castleburn on Saturday 19 January with a 26 kilometres stage to Sinister Pool, just above the Swartberg Road bridge. The second stage on Sunday 20 January is 36 kilometres long, finishing at Early Mist Farm close to Coleford resort. More information can be found at



February 1
February 2
Event Category:


Drak Challenge


Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal 3256 South Africa
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033 7011405