Location: 680 km from Cape Town, South Africa
The Orange River winds through Richtersveld National Park, from the Lesotho highlands in the Drankenburg Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. In the stretch where whitewater rafting trips are available, the Orange River forms the border between South Africa and Namibia, in South Africa’s Northern Cape.
Level of Difficulty: Class II / Beginner
A rafting trip on the Orange River is mostly an exploration of an amazing mountain desert landscape, rather than a whitewater adventure. It’s Class II rapids are made slightly more exciting by the fact that guests are allowed to take their own 2 person rafts down behind a guide, but are still easy enough that there are no age minimums or maximums.
Scenery: Orange Mountain Desert, Ancient Exposed Rocks, Lush Riverbanks, and Endemic Wildlife
The Orange River is one of South Africa’s most stunningly scenic waterways. Its fast-flowing currents are surrounded by rugged mountain peaks, towering rock formations of volcanic lava, granite, and limestone, cliffs of swirling metamorphic rock and sedimentary mud, and finally a lush strip of riverside vegetation composed of reeds, grasses, tamarisk, raisin trees, and other desert riparian plants. At times, the river also flows past fruit farms and vineyards. Altogether the landscape is a vibrant mix of orange, greens, and blues, starkly contrasted against one another. Common wildlife sightings include baboons, Goliath Herons, the Great White Egret, bright green Malachite Kingfishers, and Water Monitor Lizards. River trips on the Orange last anywhere from 3 to 5 days.
Season: All Year
Be prepared for extremely hot weather in November and February!