Here's a bit of history, and a good read:

Author: Ian Player.
First published: 1964

Ian Player's own story of the first journey [in the 1950's] down the Umsindusi, the forming of the Natal Canoe Club and the beginning of the famous Maritzburg to Durban canoe marathon is told in detail. My 1964 edition has a fold-out map.

Written in the days when the word 'canoe' was a generic term for any light, narrow, craft propelled by paddles. These guys paddled a variety of very basic fibreglass and skin-on-frame kayaks, mainly home-built. Some of the kayaks in the photographs look like Percy Blandford PBK's. Not only did they have to shoot rapids, they also had hippos and crocs to watch out for!

Ian Player [1927 - 2014], brother of the golf great Gary Player, went on to become a distinguished conservationist. He was also said to be the founding father of canoeing in South Africa. Plenty about him on the internet.

I've had this in my book collection for at least 50 years and haven't read it recently, but I do remember enjoying it.

Out of print but second-hand copies can be found via the likes of Abebooks. However, they can be pricey if they have to be shipped from S. Africa.


Neris Valkure - 1. Folding kayak.
Gumotex Twist N 1. Inflatable kayak.