|The Orange River kayaking tour is one of our most exciting trips, with the right mix of rapids to get the adrenalin racing and flat stretches with magnificent scenery to aid relaxation. |
Tour Type : Guided self-catering, own camping equipment (all to come on the kayaks)
Characteristics : Flat moving water, interspersed with many fun and exciting rapids
Paddling Distance : 60kms
Paddler Profile : Singles, Couples, Families, Groups
Experience : Flat water paddling experience required prior to trip. We can assist with this at a local JHB venue for R200 per paddler if required
Age Group : 15 years upwards
Fitness Levels : Moderate fitness and agility levels required, must be able to swim and be comfortable in water
Min / Max Paddlers : 12 min / 24 max
Closest Town : Hopetown, Northern Cape
Tour Availibility : October - April - dependent on water levels and minimum numbers
Price : R 1950 per paddler (includes the hiring of all paddling equipment)
Price : R1300 per paddler with own kayak purchased from Canoe & Kayak World
Day 1. 5kms
08:30am. We meet at the Caltex Garage outside of Hopetown just after or before the Bridge that crosses The Orange River on the N12 depending which side you approach from. We then travel to the Put-in where we off-load the kayaks and your kit. Your Guide will explain the best way to pack your kayaks, this is great fun and a challenge in itself. The vehicle drivers then depart to the Farm “Take-out” which is 85kms away on a dirt road to drop off their vehicles. Those remaining can relax or continue trying to squeeze odds and ends into the kayak. When the shuttle with the drivers return we have a quick snack, finish packing and get ready for the Pre-trip info and safety briefing . Once on the water, we get used to paddling the kayak, and soon experience our first rapid, a small one! We paddle under the Old Wagon Bridge, the first bridge built over the Orange in 1871 for a mere 100 pounds. After just over an hour on the water we pull into our first overnight ‘beach’ campsite. We then unpack the kayaks, set up camp and then swim, jump of rocks, fish, wallow in the water, read or just relax. A central campfire is usually prepared, for those who want to cook around the fire and socialise or to cook on the coals.
Day 2 - 24.5kms
After breakfast we get on the water at about 08:15. We paddle for a couple of hours, do a few easy rapids before pulling over to 'scout' Hubbly Bubbly, a rapid with attitude! The Guide will explain the correct route to take down this fast moving rapid, where the entire Orange River tries to force its way through a gap several meters wide surrounded by rocks. Anyone not feeling up to this challenge can opt out and their boats will be taken through and will meet them at the bottom of the rapid. After this we paddle around the corner and do a short 250m portage to avoid Hell's Gate , a waterfall we don't want to shoot! Four folk carrying a boat makes this a relatively easy exercise, and we soon launch back onto the water, this time in Thunder Alley. Thunder Alley is an incredibly beautiful 30km stretch of water, flanked by the most stunning, naturally carved black rock with occasional sand beaches. The first beach we come to we stop for a well earnd lunch. After a couple more easy rapids and one very exciting one called 'Sidewinder' (a long wave train a little like a roller coaster) we come to our 2nd overnight camp.
Day 3 - 21kms
This day is spent entirely in Thunder Alley, we paddle along some long flat stretches, do some easy fun rapids and take in the beauty of the spectacular billion year old rock formations which line this narrow alley of moving water. The name Thunder Alley comes from the noise made when the river is running at full level, the water line apparent at the top of the rocks. We sometimes stop at the bottom of a long and gentle rapid and the paddlers walk back up to the top and 'swim' down the rapid in Life-Jackets, great fun, just keep those feet up! We come to our last overnight campsite. The campfire is lit and stories get exchanged as we gaze in wonder at the starlit night.
Day 4 - 12kms
We have a leisurely paddle with a couple of small rapids as we follow the river through the tail end of Thunder Alley and meander through the farm lands back to our cars.