Ride this legendary South African river through the Orange River Gorge and the Richtersveld National Park in an inflatable raft or Indian Mohawk canoe, with stopovers each night under the stars. It’s the closest you will get to pure nature, with skilled guides leading the way.

Did you know?

The Orange River is also known as the Gariep River, so-named by the Nama people. Gariep in Nama means 'great river'.

The Orange River Adventure in the Northern Cape is 1 of this country’s best-kept secrets. Prepare 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 2 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.

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' is at Onseepkans and Felix Unite's is at Noordoewer. They are all remote places.

With 2-, 4- and 6-day packages on offer, the 4-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.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Wildthing Adventures
Tel: +27 (0) 21 702 9424
Email: info@wildthing.co.za

Felix Unite
Tel: +27 (0) 21 702 9400
Email: info@felixunite.com

Gravity Adventures
Tel: +27 (0) 21 683 3698

Bushwhacked Outdoor Adventures
Tel: +27 (0) 27 761 8953
Email: info@bushwhacked.co.za

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).

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.

Length of stay

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

What to pack

Swimming gear, hats, sunscreen, sleeping bags, tents.

What to eat

The river rafting trips are fully catered.