Orange River History
The Orange River – The Longest River in South Africa
The Orange River (Afrikaans/Dutch: Oranjerivier), also known in isiZulu as isAngqu, In Lesotho it is called the Sinqu (or Senqu) River.
Originally known as the Gariep River, the Orange River was renamed by Dutch explorer Colonel Robert Gordon in 1779 in honor of Dutch Prince William of Orange.
It is an iconic river because it flows in 3 African counties. It is also the longest river in South Africa and is among the top 10 major rivers in Africa.
This river flows from Lesotho into South Africa and Namibia. It begins in the mountains of Lesotho, 10,800 feet (3,300 meters) above sea level, on a plateau located between the Drakensberg range and the Maloti Mountains. The Orange River forms the border between the south of Namibia and South Africa.
In South Africa, the Orange River flows from east to west across South Africa. It flows through the Eastern Cape, Free State, and Northern Cape provinces. The river flows into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay in the Northern Cape.
The Orange River is known for a variety of amazing activities like Rafting, Canoeing, Fishing and Kayaking. Some enjoy swimming in the river and camping on the banks of the river.
Our Rafting Section
The Magnificent Richtersveld - Why we call it home
The section of the Orange River we raft on was chosen because of its sheer magnificent natural wealth. This section that we raft is called the Richtersveld, which begins in Noordoewer and stretches towards the Fish River confluence. Our base camp is 680km’s due north from Cape Town and 1300km’s from Johannesburg, worth every km! To find out more about the driving directions to our base camp, click here.
Richtersveld National Park
Richtersveld National Park semi desert, through which the river runs, is one of the largest mountain deserts in the world. Over 50% of the plants here are endemic and support a wide variety of fascinating animal and insect life. Willow trees and ebony trees line the riverbanks, providing shade and shelter to river rafting clients; forming an oasis green band of life through the orange splendour of this semi-desert.
Birds Found On the Orange River
The Fish Eagle shows its majesty as it soars high above the rolling waters with the sound of its call heard from a distance, whilst the Goliath Heron with its 6-7 foot wingspan eases its way from the river’s edge. Not to mention the green brilliance of the Malachite Kingfisher as he dives between the river and the trees.
We offer different packages from ½ – 5 days. Our trips are family-friendly and are available all year round. Fitness and paddling experience is not necessary as our friendly guides offer full paddling instruction.
If you are interested in exploring this beautiful section of the Orange River with us, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to receiving your message.