Location: South Africa, 100 km from Cape Town
One of the closest rivers in proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, the Palmiet River runs through the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, between the towns of Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. Rafting trips generally meet in Kleinmond.
Level of Difficulty: Class III / Beginner
Another one of South Africa’s winter runs, the Palmiet River’s level of difficulty depends partially on the amount of runoff that is coming off the mountains after winter rains. When the river is at its higher stages, it can get to the point where it has a few Class IV rapids. But even then, the level never gets above Class IV, making the river an easy intermediate run. To sum up, then, the Palmiet is a good rafting run for beginners, regardless of flows. It will just be a bit more exciting at high flows!
Scenery: Bright Fynbos Fauna, Views of the Tsitsikamma and Langkloof Mountains
The Kogelberg Nature Reserve, through which the Palmiet River runs, is renowned for its incredibly abundant and rich flora. With over 1600 different plant species to be found in the reserve, there is no shortage of vibrant color and lush greenery as you make your way downstream. Wildlife sightings could include leopards, antelope, numerous birds, and the freshwater crab. While the eye-level scenery is beautiful in and of itself, one can also look up to see the majestic mountain tops of Peak Formosa and Thumb Peak.
Season: June – September
River trips are actually run on the Palmiet all year, but whitewater rafting trips are only available in the winter months when the river gets more exciting.