Location: 70 km from Cape Town, South Africa
The Molenaars River runs alongside the N1 highway, just an hour’s drive from Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape. The put in for whitewater rafting trips on the Molenaars is close to the Du Toit’s Kloof Tunnel on N1, on the upcountry side of the Huguenot Tunnel.
Level of Difficulty: Class IV / Intermediate
The Molenaars is the Western Cape’s most challenging winter river. A much narrower channel than other Cape Rivers, the Molenaars provides a very technical, steep challenge for the whitewater enthusiast. No experience is required, but only the more adventurous and fit beginners should try it. Experienced rafters will appreciate the Molenaars for its continuous, fast-moving rapids.
Canyon & Scenery: Steep Walls, Lush Green Fynbos, Waterfalls
Because the Molenaars can only be run after winter rains, rafting trips provide a unique look at its steep-walled gorge. Numerous waterfalls plunge from the mountainsides down towards the river’s edge, and all the surrounding fynbos are a deep, lush green. High mountain peaks guard the canyon from either side. The whitewater itself is part of the scenery, as the river winds and drops over and around huge boulders through narrow ravines.
Season: June – September
The Molenaars is even more dependent upon winter rains than the Cape’s other winter runs. It can only be run in the few days directly following a storm. If you plan on running this river, you will need to be in close and continuous contact with an outfitter in the weeks leading up to your trip. Rumor has it that this one is worth the dedication.