The difficulty rating for the Machakhela River ranges between 3 and 4.
Machakhela Valley, which the route passes through, is located in the coastal region of Ajara. The valley is divided into two, with Upper Machakhela near the Turkish border, and Lower Machakhela further inside Georgia. The valley is rich in history, monuments of cultural heritage, and natural splendour. In addition, the route encompasses Machakhela National Park.
The Machakhela River has its source in Turkey, on the southern slopes of the Shavsheti Range, in the Upper Machakhela Valley. It is fed by rain, snow, and underground waters. It joins the Chorokhi River near the village of Machakhlispiri.
The first section starts in the village of Zeda Chkhutuneti, 300 meters above sea level, and ends in Kveda Chkhutuneti, which is slightly lower at 217 meters above sea level.
The length of the first section is 3.5 kilometers, with a drop in elevation of 83 meters and a difficulty rating of 4 (long and difficult rapids, steep drops, and large rocks).
The second section starts in Kveda Chkhutuneti, at 217 meters above sea level, and ends in the village of Acharisaghmarti, 132 meters above sea level.
The length of the second section is five kilometers, with a drop in elevation of 85 meters and a difficulty rating ranging from 3 to 3+ (tall and irregular waves, cliffs and whirlpools, transparent but narrow exits).
The best months for kayaking on the first section of the Machakhela River are April, May, and October.
Meanwhile, the best months for the second section are March to June, and October.
Machakhela Valley is 28 kilometers from Georgia’s main coastal city, Batumi, and the starting point in Zeda Chkhutuneti Village is best reached using an SUV.
You must be an experienced kayaker in order to descend carefully down the river.
It is highly recommended that you descend the river with a local kayaker or at the very least obtain essential information from them. To book a tour, contact a local tour company in advance.
The minimum age for kayaking here is 18.