When it comes to River Rafting, South Africa’s impressive rivers keep up with the best international rafting destinations! An ever-increasing number of families, couples, solo travellers and adventure-seekers are opting for the thrills and spills of river-based leisure activities.
River rafting involves a journey along a river in an inflatable raft using a paddle to propel the raft along flat water and to manouvre through white water. River rapids are categorized into one of 6 classes. The first two, easy and novice, are suitable for inexperienced rafters, and expert guidance is recommended for class 3 to 6 – intermediate, advanced, expert and extreme. In short, class 1 is a fast flowing river with a few riffles and the explosive class 6 rapids are for extreme thrill-seeking daredevils only! Many rivers offer a combination of classes over their course which vary depending on the water level and other factors.
Rafters may opt to be a passenger in a 4-8 seater raft, brilliant for families and the not-so-confident. Just hang on, enjoy the ride and leave the paddling to expert river guides! Or, paddle your own 2 seater Croc knowing a guide is nearby to assist if necessary. Rafting operators supply all equipment including raft, paddles, flotation devices, helmets and dry bags for personal items. Most operators cater for beginners to advanced making river rafting a perfect outdoor activity for everyone!
Rafting operators are conveniently dotted throughout South Africa and in some of the country’s most spectacular locations! The beauty of rafting is that you get to experience the exhilaration and fun of negotiating white water runs with plenty of tranquil, flat water sections in between - an opportunity to admire breathtaking scenery and spot wildlife and birds. Rafting excursions range from half-day trips to multi-day expeditions.
Considered one of the top 10 rafting rivers in Africa is the Orange River – South Africa’s longest. The Orange is a rafting Mecca suitable for the entire family with a range of beginner and expert runs in the Northern Cape and Free State. The scenery is a feast for the eyes, the weather delightful and riverside campsites are out of this world! Also in the Free State, the Ash River and the Vaal River are both great year-round rafting destinations.
River rafting is just as good in KwaZulu-Natal. Make a splash in the Tugela, the Injusuti, the Umkomaas and the Umzimkhulu rivers, and the Great Usutu River in nearby Swaziland is also well worth exploring.
Rafting on the Olifants River in Mpumalanga is based near the magnificent Blyde River Canyon, and Sabie River rafting offers paddlers some great wildlife viewing opportunities.
The Doring, the Breede and the Palmiet rivers in the Western Cape attract rafters from all over, and the Eastern Cape also has its share of white water adventures on the Great Brak River in the Karoo and the Kraai River on the Wild Coast, fed by the pristine streams of the Drakensberg and Lesotho mountains.
The Orange River rafting trips are the ultimate getaway for the whole family as well as a much needed escape from the fast paced pressures of the city life and to get in touch with the heart of nature. The climate is hot and the water is warm. The stark, arid sceneries are breathtaking. You have the chance to sleep under the star studded skies and wake up to the most magnificent sunrises. There are a variety of birds and animals. The food is top class and you are bound to be entertained by the experienced river guides that lead you through the magic of this incredible river over a period of 4 -6 days. The days are fun filled as you paddle and play through flat water sections to pushing through fun filled rapids. This is a teambuilding experience and the memories will stay with you for life. There are various sections of the Orange River that you can explore from the gorge near Augrabies falls to the lower section of the Orange River which borders with Namibia which takes you close to the Fish River canyon.
Go on, make a splash! Browse Dirty Boots’ selection of operators for your nearest river rafting adventure.