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ORANGE RIVER
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ORANGE RIVER TRIPS
 

In the past we used two man fiberglass Mohawk-style canoes but have now switched over to two man inflatable "crocs".
You will need:  Plate / mug / knife / fork / spoon

 
  • Safer because they do not capsize as easily as canoes
  • One does not have to bail out water after each rapid as the crocs have a self-bailer built in through which the water flows
  • More comfortable than the canoes to relax on
  • Plastic and more child-friendly – no more wounds from sharp fiberglass pieces
  • One can load more onto the crocs and also tie camping equipment on the sides onto the safety ropes.
  • Do not break when you hit a rock in the rapids
  • Easier to steer, therefore safer in faster flowing water to avoid rocks.
  • One can get in and out of crocs more easily than canoes - an important factor for swimming during the hot summer months!
 
The river is grade 1 and 2. This means nothing too big and scary. Suitable for the entire family.
 
The guides allocated to your trip will have a lot of equipment to carry so we cannot guarantee they can fit an extra person in their boat. Should you feel you definitely need someone to paddle you down please inform us when you book so we can make the necessary arrangements.
 
You sleep in the open, under the stars whilst on river and at camp unless you bring along your own tent. Due to the wilderness nature of the trip there are no permanent structures at any of the campsites. However when in camp there is an option to stay in en-suites at an additional fee, please feel free to enquire.
 
Each trip takes a portaloo on river with them. This will be set up each night, and we use a paddle to indicate whether it is engaged or not. This will be explained to you upon arrival.
 
You can have a shower on the first night at our base camp, and when you return to the camp on the last day. Whilst on river, you are able to bathe (using bio-degradable soap) every evening.
 
We will pick you up at the take out point in a bus, and transport you back to our base.
 
There are people at the camp 24 hours. We do not have shade for everybody’s car.
 
From November to the end of March it can be very hot. (Over 40° C) A good hat and sunblock is imperative, as well as plenty drinking water. April, May, Sept, and Oct should be a little cooler. But still be prepared for the sun. June, July and August, temperatures are usually in the 20’s during the day, with cooler evenings and nights. You need to take precautions from the sun, but need warm clothes for the evenings. It can be colder during the day, so take a light windbreaker.
 
It is not common, but it does sometimes rain. Especially in the winter months.
 
During the summer most people do not take a tent. There is however room for a small 2 man tent in your boats. During the winter it is recommended you take a tent, as the early mornings can be quite chilly.
 
You carry all your own gear in your boat with you, on the evening of your arrival you will receive a packing speech from your guides to inform you on how, what and where to pack.
 
We will provide you with a 60 litre barrel between 2 people. These barrels are waterproof as long as they are closed properly. The guides will give you your barrels on arrival and explain to you how to close them & secure them to your boat.
 
No you don’t need any paddling experience. Your guides will give you a full briefing on how to paddle.
 
We generally allocate 1 guide to every 10 guests.
 
No
 
All our lead guides are qualified in first aid, and carry a first aid kit with them.
In the case of an emergency, as with any wilderness adventure, the guide will have to make his way to a phone and call for assistance from there.
 
Although the river water is clean and you cannot catch any diseases from it, we do not recommend you drink it. We do recommend that you bring at least 3 liters of liquid per person per day.
 
Each boat has a cool box, with which you can carry enough cold drink and your beers for the duration of your trip.
 
This really depends on the group. Some people paddle a lot faster than others.
However in general you will paddle for about 6 hours a day. 3 hours in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. NB: Please note that these paddling times may vary dependent on water levels and cannot be guaranteed.
 
Again, this depends very much on the group and water levels.  Your guide will decide when to stop. Generally lunch will be between 12 midday and 2pm.There are so many variants, such as the time everyone gets up in the morning, if the group wants to float or paddle hard, etc.
 
We do not advise taking children younger than 6 years of age.
There is no maximum age limit, though obviously you have to be relatively fit to do this trip.
 
Will we travel into the Richtersveld National Park?
We start at Noordoewer and then we will raft into the Richtersveld National Park. The scenery is fantastic from the start until the end of the entire trip.
 
You will see plenty of wonderful birdlife and perhaps a Vervet monkey, or baboon. There are mountain Zebra, small buck and leopard in the mountains, but you are highly unlikely to see them.
 
The river is dam controlled so flows throughout the year. However, as it relies on the summer rainfall areas of the country for its water, it should be at its highest in March/April.
 
This is no longer possible, you require a passport.
 

You will need the following:

  • A passport
  • All children UNDER 18 MUST have a UNABRIDGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE – this is very important!
  • A country sticker (e.g. ZA sticker) for your vehicle.
  • Vehicle registration documents – this should all be on the license disk – so just make sure it is up to date.
 
There is a small private air strip, where a chartered plane can land. Immigration has  
to be done at Alexander bay.
 
There are flights to Springbok, but this is still 1.5 hours’ drive from our camp.
 
Yes but you are still a good 5 hours’ drive from our camp.
 

Bring along a waterproof bag (e.g. a Ziploc bag) for your passport as you have to take it with you on the river. You can pack this in your barrel for extra waterproofing. You can hand in your car keys at the bar area for safekeeping during your trip.

 

Our camp has all the details of clients arriving. So you can just arrive, book in and enjoy the surroundings.

 

You will still have Vodacom reception at the border and in our base-camp. For the other networks there is no signal at base camp and very little at the border.