We use 2-man inflatable “croc” rafts. In the past we used 2-man fibreglass Mohawk-style canoes, however we found that there are more advantages to using croc inflatable rafts.
- Safer because they do not capsize or break as easily as canoes when hitting a rock.
- No need to bail water out after each rapid as the crocs have a self-bailer built in through which the water flows out.
- 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 with safety ropes.
- 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!
From November to the end of March it can be very hot. (Over 40°C). A good hat, sarong and sunblock are imperative, as well as plenty of drinking water. April, May, Sept and Oct should be a little cooler, however still be prepared for the sun. June, July and August, temperatures are usually in the 20’s during the day, with cooler temperatures from dawn to dusk. You will need to take precautions from the sun; however you will need warm clothes for the evenings. It can be colder during the day, so take a light windbreaker.
It is not common, but it does sometimes rain. Most likely period for rain would be in the summer months (January to March).
The river is dam-controlled, so it flows throughout the year. However, as it relies on the RSA summer rainfall areas for its water, it should be at its highest in March/April.
The river is grade 1 and 2. This means nothing too big and scary. It is suitable for the entire family.
The guides allocated to your trip will have a lot of equipment to carry so they cannot 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.
No you don’t need any paddling experience. Your guides will give you a full briefing on how to paddle.
We generally allocate 1 guide to every 10 guests.
We do not advise taking children younger than 5 years of age.
There is no maximum age limit, though obviously you have to be relatively fit to do this trip.
There is a small private air strip, where a chartered plane can land. Immigration has to be done at Alexander bay.
There are flights to Springbok at times; however it is mostly for chartered planes. It is still a 1.5 hours’ drive to our camp. Vehicle hire in not easily accessible in Springbok.
Yes, however it is still a good 5 hours’ drive to our camp.
+/- 7 hours self-drive. For more information, click here.
+/- 12 hours self-drive. For more information, click here.
Our base camp is approximately 10km from the Namibia border at Noordoewer – on the Namibian side.
They are open 24hrs a day – vehicle pay is R295.00 (subject to change).
Contact number for the border: 00264-63-297122
- Valid Passport. It has to be valid for 6 months from the exit date with at least 1 blank page.
- Visa if you are from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, Romania, China, Slovakia or Slovenia. This list can be updated at any time – please always check with the
Namibia High Commission +27 (012) 481 9100 or visit https://www.visahq.co.uk/namibia/ and select your country of
- Vehicle documents and Country sticker for vehicle
- All minors to have Unabridged birth certificates as well as Passports when travelling with both parents. If traveling with
only one parent or guardian, they will also require an Affidavit from the absent parent/legal guardian. The affidavit is to
be signed and stamped by a commissioner of Oaths. For more info please go to: https://bit.ly/2RdIKL7
- Please check with the border for any special health requirements or regulations regarding Covid. It is the customers
own responsibility to be updated on these types of requirements.
- Vioolsdrift Border:
South African side:
Tel: +27(0)27 761 8760
Fax: +27(0)27 761 8931
- Nakob Border:
Tel: +264(0)63 280 057
Fax: +264(0)63 280 058
South African side:
Tel: +27(0)54 571 0008
Fax: +27(0)54 571 0009
If your vehicle documents are not in order you will not be able to cross the border. You have to have the following documents
- Valid Passport of driver
- Valid driver’s licence
- Certified copy of vehicle registration papers (The Chassis, engine number, trailer number, and license details will be
checked by the police.)
- Proof of ownership of the vehicle by owner or Rental Company
- If vehicle is hired, you will need to have the Rental company contract documents with you
- If the vehicle is still being financed, carry a letter of authority from the bank (must include dates of travel) together with
the vehicle papers.
- ZA sticker
- Motor Insurance Certificate – this you will obtain at the Border. It will be valid for 30 days.
Yellow fever (if coming from an affected area)
Our camp has all the details of clients arriving. So you can just arrive, book in with the camp managers and enjoy the surroundings.
You can lock your passport in your vehicle; all valuables are to be stored in your vehicle. Your vehicle keys can be handed in with the camp managers for safe keeping during your trip. Note that you will have to carry a certified copy of your passport with you on the river.
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. Note that there is no pay phone available at the camp.
There are people at the camp 24 hours, however parking is at own risk. We do have shade, but not necessarily for everyone’s car.
Yes, we have power points at most of the camp-sites. Please check with the camp managers.
Although the river water is clean, we do not recommend drinking it. We do recommend that you bring at least 2 liters of water per person per day.
We supply you with ice (non-consumable) to keep the contents of your cooler cold. At the resupply we will supply more non-consumable ice. We do have consumable ice available at the camp. If you wish to have consumable ice delivered at the resupply point, please buy it at the bar and arrange for it with the camp manager. All bar sales are cash-based only. Resupply not available for half-day, 1 day, 2 day, 3 day and Family and Student special trips.
Basically any month that contains an R. Best months would be September and October and also when the water is on a lower stable level for a long time.
On the arrival evening after dinner (served at about 7pm) we will have a packing speech to explain how to pack your personal items and luggage in your barrel (60 liter capacity) as well as what liquid refreshments you may/can take on the river (no glass allowed). Then there will be time for questions – thereafter we will retire for the evening. The next morning, after breakfast, we will have the safety talk. We will explain how to paddle, what to do if you capsize and how to be safe in the rapids. Thereafter you will begin your adventure on the river.
Yes, you will need: Plate / mug / knife / fork / spoon.
Please, no glass, crockery or porcelain.
Vist out kit list page for more information.
During the summer most people do not take a tent, however we recommend that you do due to unforeseen weather and bugs. There is room for a small 2 man tent in your boats. During the winter it is highly recommended you take a tent, as the early mornings can be quite chilly.
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.
At our camp you are welcome to pitch your tent on our lawns. You can also upgrade to one of our en-suite chalets at an additional fee, please feel free to enquire. When you are on the river, you will sleep in the open on the river beds. Due to the wilderness nature of the trip there are no permanent structures at any of the campsites along the river.
When you are at the base camp on the first night or when you return from your trip you can have a shower in our communal bathroom showers or in the en-suit chalets (if you upgraded). Whilst on the river you are welcome to bathe, using only biodegradable soap, in the river.
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.
We will provide you with a 60 litre barrel to share 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.
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.
Each boat has a cool box with a capacity of approximately 52 cans (48 liters), with which you can carry enough cold drinks and your beers for the duration of your trip. The exact dimensions are: 290mm(w)x 520mm(l)x 280mm(h). Note that you will need to keep space for ice in the coolers to keep your drinks cold. If arranged at camp, then at resupply additional drinks can be brought to you. Please enquire at camp.
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.
Again, this depends very much on the group and water levels. Your guide will decide when to stop. Generally lunch will be served between 12 midday and 2pm. There are too many variables to give an exact time, such as group size, the time everyone gets up in the morning, if the group wants to float or paddle hard, etc.
Yes you do. The scenery is fantastic throughout the entire trip.
You will see plenty of birdlife and perhaps Vervet monkeys or baboons. There are mountain Zebra, small buck and leopards in the mountains; however it is highly unlikely that you will see them.
We will pick you up at the take out point and transport you back by bus to our base camp.