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F.A.Q

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is The River Rafters Base Camp?

    Approximately 10km from the Namibia border at Noordoewer – on the Namibian side. You will find our camp on Google maps by searching for: Bundi Orange River Base Camp – Bundi is our Sisters Company.

  • What is the weather like?

    November to the end of March can be very hot, with high temperatures of 40°C or more. April, May, Sept and Oct will be a little cooler with high temperatures in the middle 30°C. June, July and August temperatures are usually in the 20’s during the day, with cooler temperatures from dawn to dusk.

  • Does it ever rain?

    Yes, most likely period for rain would be in the summer months (January to March), although it is not very common.

  • What time of the year will the river be at its highest?

    Our section of the river is dam-controlled. We thus have ample water throughout the year with the water level at its highest in March/April due to the RSA summer rainfall feeding the river.

  • What grade is the river?

    The river is grade 1 and 2. This means nothing too big and scary. It is suitable for the entire family.

  • Can I fly to Noordoewer?

    There is a small private air strip, where a chartered plane can land. Immigration has to be done at Alexander bay.

  • Can I fly to Springbok?

    There is an airport; however it is mostly for chartered planes. From there it is still a 1.5 hours’ drive to our camp. Vehicle hire in not easily accessible in Springbok.

  • Can I fly to Upington?

    Yes, however it is still a good 5 hours’ drive to our camp.

  • What is the driving time from Cape Town?

    Approximately 7 hours self-drive.

  • What is the driving time from Johannesburg?

    Approximately 12 hours self-drive.

  • When does the Noordoewer border close?

    They are open 24hrs a day – cost for normal vehicles is R295.00 (subject to change).
    Contact number for the border: 00264-63-297122

  • What documents do I require to enter Namibia?
    • Valid Passport. It has to be valid for 6 months from the exit date with at least 1 blank page.
    • Visa if you are from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, China, Slovakia or Slovenia. This list can be updated at any time – please always check with the Namibia High Commission +27 (012) 481 9100 or visit https://www.visahq.co.uk/namibia/ and select your country of origin.
    • Vehicle documents and Country sticker for vehicle.
    • All minors to have Unabridged birth certificates as well as Passports when travelling with both parents. If traveling with only one parent or guardian, they will also require an Affidavit from the absent parent/legal guardian. The affidavit is to be signed and stamped by a commissioner of Oaths. For more info please go to: https://bit.ly/2RdIKL7
    • Please check with the border for any special health requirements or regulations regarding Covid. It is the customers own responsibility to be updated on these types of requirements.
    • Vioolsdrift Border:
      Namibian side:
      Tel: 00264-63-297122
      Fax: 00264-63-297021
      South African side:
      Tel: +27(0)27 761 8760
      Fax: +27(0)27 761 8931
    • Nakob Border:
      Namibian side:
      Tel: +264(0)63 280 057
      Fax: +264(0)63 280 058
      South African side:
      Tel: +27(0)54 571 0008
      Fax: +27(0)54 571 0009
  • What documents are required for my vehicle to cross the border?

    If your vehicle documents are not in order you will not be able to cross the border. You have to have the following documents available:

    • Valid Passport of driver
    • Valid driver’s licence
    • Certified copy of vehicle registration papers (The Chassis, engine number, trailer number, and license
      details will be checked by the police.)
    • Proof of ownership of the vehicle by owner or Rental Company
    • If vehicle is hired, you will need to have the Rental company contract documents with you
    • If the vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of
      travel) together with the vehicle papers.
    • ZA sticker
    • Motor Insurance Certificate – this you will obtain at the Border. It will be valid for 30 days.
  • What vaccinations are compulsory?

    Yellow fever (if coming from an affected area)

  • Will there be a guide to paddle with me or my child?

    The guides allocated to your trip will carry all of the equipment to make your trip an unforgettable experience. They will thus not have space to fit anyone in their boats. Should you however feel that you definitely need someone to paddle you down the river, please inform us when making your booking in order for us to make the necessary arrangements.

  • What type of boat do we use?

    We use 2-man Ark “croc” inflatable rafts.

  • Why do we use Ark inflatable crocs?
    • They do not easily break or capsize when hitting a rock.
    • No bailing required. They have a self-bailer built in through which the water flows out.
    • Very comfortable to relax on.
    • They are very child-friendly as they are made from plastic polymer.
    • You can load a lot onto crocs and also tie camping equipment on the sides with safety ropes.
    • They are easy to steer, therefore safe in faster flowing water to avoid rocks.
    • One can easily get in and out of crocs which is an important factor for swimming during the hot
      summer months!
  • Do I need to have paddling experience?

    No, you don’t need any paddling experience. Your guides will brief you on how to paddle.

  • How many guides will be on my trip?

    We generally allocate 1 guide to every 10 guests.

  • What is the minimum and maximum age limits for rafting?

    We do not advise taking children younger than 5 years of age.
    There is no maximum age limit, though obviously you have to be physically able to do the trip.

  • How do I enter the campsite, do I need specific documents?

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

  • Where do I leave my passport & car keys?

    You can lock your passport and all other valuables in your vehicle. Your vehicle keys can be handed in with the camp managers for safe keeping during your trip. Note that you will have to carry a certified copy of your passport with you on the river.

  • Does a SA cell phone work on the border to phone home?

    Vodacom does have reception at the border and in our base-camp. For all other networks there is no signal at our base camp and very little at the border. Note that we do not have a pay phone facility available at the
    camp

  • Will my car be safe? And is there shade?

    Parking is at own risk; however there are people at the camp 24 hours a day. We do have shade by means of trees; however we will not necessarily have enough for everyone’s car.

  • Are there power points at The River Rafters base camp camp-sites?

    Yes, we have power points at most of the camp-sites. Please check with the camp managers.

  • Can I drink the river water?

    We do not recommend drinking the river water although it is clean. We advise that you bring at least 2 liters of water per person per day.

  • Do you cater for dietary needs?

    Any special dietary requirements you may have should be specified clearly on your booking form when booking your rafting trip. We only cater for basic and vegetarian diets. For any other dietary need you are encouraged to bring your own preferred replacement products with. We will supply you with our detailed menu in order for you to gage what replacement products you will need to bring. We offer a discount of R200.00 per person with a dietary need we do not cater for.

  • Is there ice available?
    We supply you with ice (non-consumable) to keep the contents of your cooler cold. At the resupply we will supply more non-consumable ice. We do have consumable ice available at the camp. If you wish to have consumable ice delivered at the resupply point, please arrange for it with the camp manager. All ice sales are cash based only. Resupply not available for half day, 1 day, 2 day, 3 day and Family and Student special trips.
  • When is the best time to fish on the Orange River?

    The best months for fishing would be September and October. Or when the water is on a lower stable level for a long time.

  • Trip Queries

  • How will it work from arrival until we start our trip?

    On the arrival evening after dinner, which is served at about 7pm, we will have a packing speech to explain
    how to pack your personal items and luggage in your 60 liter capacity barrel as well as what liquid refreshments you may/can take onto the river-no glass is allowed for example. Then there will be time for everyone’s questions. Thereafter we will retire for the evening. The next morning, after breakfast (available from 7am) and everyone has packed their raft, we will have the safety talk. We will explain how to paddle,
    what to do if you capsize and how to be safe in the rapids. Thereafter you will begin your adventure on the river.

  • Must I supply my own Crockery and Cutlery?

    Yes, you will need a plate, mug, knife, fork and spoon. Please, no glass, crockery or porcelain.

    Vist out  kit list page for more information.

  • Should I take a tent?

    We recommend that you take a tent due to Mother Nature’s unforeseen weather surprises like a sand storm and bugs. Ladies also prefer to get dressed in the comfort of a tent. During the summer most people don’t make use of the tent, however it is better to have it and not use it then to need it and not have it. There is room for a small 2 man tent in your boats. During the winter it is highly recommended you take a tent, as the early mornings can be quite chilly.

  • Where do I go to the toilet?

    Each trip takes a portaloo on the river with them. This will be set up each night, and we use a paddle to indicate whether it is engaged or not. The system will be explained to you at the packing speech.

  • Where do we sleep?

    At our camp you are welcome to pitch your tent on our lawns. Alternatively you can upgrade to one of our ensuite chalets at an additional fee, please feel free to enquire. When you are on the river, you will camp on the river beds. Due to the wilderness nature of the trip there are no permanent structures at any of the campsites
    along the river.

     

  • Can I have a shower?

    Whilst on the river there are no shower facilities available however, you are welcome to bathe in the river, using only bio-degradable soap. When you are at the base camp on the first night or when you return from your trip you can have a shower in our communal bathroom showers or in the en-suite chalets (if you upgraded)

     

  • Who carries all my gear?

    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.

  • How do I keep it waterproof?

    We will provide you with a 60 litre barrel to share 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.

  • Can I get cell phone reception on river?

    No

  • What happens in the case of an accident?

    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.

     

  • How do I carry that amount of cool drink? What about my beers?

    Each boat has a cool box with a capacity of approximately 52 cans (48 liters), with which you can carry enough refreshments for the duration of your trip. The exact dimensions are: 290mm(w)x 520mm(l)x 280mm(h). Note that you will need to keep space for ice in the cooler to keep your drinks cold. If arranged at camp, then at resupply additional drinks can be brought to you. Please enquire at camp.

  • How many hours a day will we paddle?

    This depends entirely 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 wind resistance and cannot be guaranteed.

  • What time will we have lunch/stop in the evening?

    Again, this depends very much on the group and water levels. Your guide will decide when to stop. Generally lunch will be served between 12 midday and 2pm. There are too many variables to give an exact time, such as group size, the time everyone gets up in the morning, if the group wants to float or paddle hard, etc.

  • Will we travel into the Richtersveld National Park?

    Yes you do. The scenery is fantastic throughout the entire trip.

  • Will I see any wildlife?

    You will see plenty of birdlife and perhaps Vervet monkeys or baboons. There are mountain Zebra, small buck and leopards in
    the mountains; however it is highly unlikely that you will see them.

  • How will I get back to my car after the trip?

    We will pick you up at the take out point and transport you back by bus to our base camp.

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