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ORANGE RIVER
 
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ORANGE RIVER TRIPS
 
What boats do we use and must I supply my own Crockery and Cutlery?

In the past we used two man fiberglass Mohawk-style canoes but have now switched over to two man inflatable "crocs".
You will need:  Plate / mug / knife / fork / spoon

 

How do Mohawks differ from crocs?

  • Safer because they do not capsize as easily as canoes
  • One does not have to bail out water after each rapid as the crocs have a self-bailer built in through which the water flows
  • More comfortable than the canoes to relax on
  • Plastic and more child-friendly – no more wounds from sharp fiberglass pieces
  • One can load more onto the crocs and also tie camping equipment on the sides onto the safety ropes.
  • Do not break when you hit a rock in the rapids
  • Easier to steer, therefore safer in faster flowing water to avoid rocks.
  • One can get in and out of crocs more easily than canoes - an important factor for swimming during the hot summer months!
 
What grade is the river?
The river is grade 1 and 2. This means nothing too big and scary. Suitable for the entire family.
 
Will there be a guide to paddle me or my child?
The guides allocated to your trip will have a lot of equipment to carry so we cannot guarantee they can fit an extra person in their boat. Should you feel you definitely need someone to paddle you down please inform us when you book so we can make the necessary arrangements.
 
Where do we sleep?
You sleep in the open, under the stars whilst on river and at camp unless you bring along you own tent. Due to the wilderness nature of the trip there are no permanent structures at any of the campsites. However when in camp there is an option to stay in en-suites at an additional fee, please feel free to enquire.
 
Where do I go to the toilet?
Each trip takes a portaloo on river with them. This will be set up each night, and we use a paddle to indicate whether it is engaged or not. This will be explained to you upon arrival.
 
Can I have a shower? 
You can have a shower on the first night at our base camp, and when you return to the camp on the last day. Whilst on river, you are able to bathe (using bio-degradable soap) every evening.
 
 
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How will I get back to my car after the trip?
We will pick you up at the take out point in a bus, and transport you back to our base.
 
Will my car be safe? And is there shade?
There are people at the camp 24 hours. We do not have shade for everybody’s car.
 
What is the weather like?
From November to the end of March it can be very hot. (Over 40° C) A good hat and sunblock is imperative, as well as plenty drinking water. April, May, Sept, and Oct should be a little cooler. But still be prepared for the sun. June, July and August, temperatures are usually in the 20’s during the day, with cooler evenings and nights. You need to take precautions from the sun, but need warm clothes for the evenings. It can be colder during the day, so take a light windbreaker.
 
Does it ever rain?
It is not common, but it does sometimes rain. Especially in the winter months.
 
Should I take a tent?
During the summer most people do not take a tent. There is however room for a small 2 man tent in your boats. During the winter it is recommended you take a tent, as the early mornings can be quite chilly.
 
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 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.
 
Do I need to have paddling experience?
No you don’t need any paddling experience. Your guides will give you a full briefing on how to paddle.
 
How many guides will be on my trip?
We generally allocate 1 guide to every 10 guests.
 
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.
 
Can I drink the river water?
Although the river water is clean and you cannot catch any diseases from it, we do not recommend you drink it. We do recommend that you bring at least 3 liters of liquid per person per day.
 
How do I carry that amount of cool drink? What about my beers?
Each boat has a cool box, with which you can carry enough cold drink and your beers for the duration of your trip.
 
How many hours a day will we paddle?
This really depends 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 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 between 12 midday and 2pm.There are so many variants, such as the time everyone gets up in the morning, if the group wants to float or paddle hard, etc.
 
What is the minimum and maximum age limits?
We do not advise taking children younger than 6 years of age.
There is no maximum age limit, though obviously you have to be relatively fit to do this trip.
 
Will we travel into the Richtersveld National Park?
We start at Noordoewer and then we will raft into the Richtersveld National Park. The scenery is fantastic from the start until the end of the entire trip.
 
Will I see any wildlife?
You will see plenty of wonderful birdlife and perhaps a Vervet monkey, or baboon. There are mountain Zebra, small buck and leopard in the mountains, but you are highly unlikely to see them.
 
What time of year will the river be at its highest?
The river is dam controlled so flows throughout the year. However, as it relies on the summer rainfall areas of the country for its water, it should be at its highest in March/April.
 
I used to be able to get into Namibia with an id book.
This is no longer possible, you require a passport.
 
What will I need to travel across the border?

You will need the following:

  • A passport
  • All children UNDER 18 MUST have a UNABRIDGED BIRTH CERTIFICATE – this is very important!
  • A country sticker (e.g. ZA sticker) for your vehicle.
  • Vehicle registration documents – this should all be on the license disk – so just make sure it is up to date.
 
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 are flights to Springbok, but this is still 1.5 hours’ drive from our camp.
 
Can I fly to Upington?
Yes but you are still a good 5 hours’ drive from our camp.
 

Where do I leave my passport & car keys?

Bring along a waterproof bag (e.g. a Ziploc bag) for your passport as you have to take it with you on the river. You can pack this in your barrel for extra waterproofing. You can hand in your car keys at the bar area for safekeeping during your 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 and enjoy the surroundings.

 

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

You will still have Vodacom reception at the border and in our base-camp. For the other networks there is no signal at base camp and very little at the border.

 
 
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