The rivers of Natal are too small, too rapid and too shallow to be navigable. They may be divided into three classes:
- Those which flow across from the Berg to the sea;
- Those rising in the spurs of the Berg or in the higher terraces; and
- Those of which the courses are within the coastal region.
In the first class are the Thukela, the Umkomaas, and the Umzimkulu. These rivers, with their numerous tributaries, carry off the rain that falls and the water that rises on the Natal slope of the Drakensberg.
In the second class there are eight, namely: Pongola, Umkuzi, Umfulosi, Umvoti, Umgeni, Umlaas, lllovo and the Umtamvuna.
The principal rivers included in the third class are: Umhlatuzi, Umlalazi, Amatikulu, Sinkwazi, Nonoti, Umhlali, Tongaat, Umhloti, Umhlatuzan, Umbilo, Umbogintwini, Amanzimtoti, Amahlongwa, Umpambinyoni, Umzinto, lfafa, Umtwalumi, Umzumbi and the lmbezana.
Thirty-five distinct rivers enter the sea, not one of them navigable. The larger ones have sandbanks across their mouths arid lagoons a short distance inland.