The Orange River Adventure in the Northern Cape is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Get ready for an experience that's just you, the water, the sun, mind-bending landscapes and the heavens above.

So come and ride the river and experience the Orange River Gorge and the Richtersveld National Park with experienced, qualified guides who are trained to lead expeditions for all ages and capabilities.

There are a couple of rapids along the way that those with adventurous spirits will enjoy, with amusing names such as 'Dolly Parton' on the Orange River Gorge route, where two prominent rocks jut from the river. Those who prefer not to ride the rapids can simply climb out and meet the raft on the other side.

How to get here

Depending on where the base camps are situated along the Orange River, you are looking at a day- to a day-and-a-half's drive from Cape Town or Johannesburg. Alternatively, you can fly into Upington and hire a vehicle or arrange with the tour company to drive you to their base camp.

Around the area

The river rafting companies can advise visitors on other adventures in the area which include: wildlife and the Augrabies waterfall in the Augrabies National Park (where there are chalets and camping facilities), abseiling, 4x4 adventures, hikes, trails, mountain biking, fly-fishing and extreme adventure sports (including more adventurous rapid riding).

Who to contact

Northern Cape Tourism

Telephone: +27 (0)53 832 2657

Email: marketing@experiencenortherncape.com

Web: experiencenortherncape.com

 

Wildthing Adventures

Tel: +27 (0) 21 702 9424

Email: info@wildthing.co.za

Web: www.wildthing.co.za

 

Felix Unite

Tel: +27 (0) 21 702 9400

Email: info@felixunite.com

Web: felixunite.com

 

Gravity Adventures

Tel: +27 (0) 21 683 3698

Email: adventure@gravity.co.za

Web: www.gravity.co.za

 

Bushwhacked Outdoor Adventures

Tel: +27 (0) 27 761 8953

Email: info@bushwhacked.co.za

Web: bushwhacked.co.za

 

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UK TOUR OPERATORS

 

Steppes Travel

Web: www.steppestravel.co.uk

 

Real Africa

Web: www.realafrica.co.uk

 

Native Escapes

Web: www.nativeescapes.com

 

Holiday Architects

Web: holidayarchitects.co.uk

 

Freedom Africa

Web: www.freedomafrica.co.uk

What will it cost

A 4-day river experience will cost approx. R3 500 per person all inclusive. The tour companies offer special group or family packages.

What to eat

The river rafting trips are fully catered.

Lenght of Stay

The Orange River rafting trips vary from 2 to 6 days. The 4-day trip is the most popular.

Several respected South African river adventure companies offer rafting down the Orange River, starting from their respective base camps along the river's course. For example, Wildthing Adventures' base camp is at Vioolsdrift, Gravity Adventures's at Onseepkans and Felix Unite's at Noordoewer. They are all remote places.

With two, four and six day packages on offer, the four day adventure is the most popular as visitors often comment how they really start feeling the 'pure nature' experience from the 2nd day.

The trips are well organised and the catering is superb. Each night you stop off at an inspiring natural location in this rugged semi-desert landscape where a meal is cooked for you by your guides. Roast lamb on an open fire in the Richtersveld National Park never tasted so good.

Nights are spent under the stars in a sleeping bag or tent. Out here you are on the edge of the world, with no artificial light in sight.

Early the next morning you’re awakened by the call of the African fish eagle hunting for its breakfast on the river, and by the smell of fresh coffee brewing on the fire. If you need any further temptation, simply imagine yourself rafting down one of the world’s greatest rivers under African skies.

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