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Palmiet River Tubing
20 Dec 2015

An hour from Cape Town, Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom because of the exceptional quality of its fynbos. The reserve is remarkably unspoilt, with its high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River. Tubing offers endless enjoyment as you cascade down the mountainside through various drops and tumbling mini-falls on the Palmiet River, which snakes among small boulders and vegetation, providing the ideal ambience for this laid-back activity. The trip takes two to three hours, all depending on the flow of the river...

(GPS coordinates: -34.2903, 18.96)


Crocodile River Rafting
15 Oct 2015

Don’t let the name of this river fool you - the crocodiles are non-existent in the commercial paddling section. But that doesn’t mean you can turn up and relax. This section involves some proper white-knuckle paddling at higher water levels, although during drier periods it is nothing more than a grade two. Just 45 minutes from Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Crocodile River has its source in the Witwatersrand mountain range and feeds the irrigation-focused Hartbeespoort Dam before running into the Limpopo River. Qualified guides deliver a comprehensive safety briefing at the start, and the first few kilometres consist of several forgiving rapids, enabling adventurers to hone their paddling skills...

(GPS coordinates: -25.795636, 27.893381)


Palmiet River Rafting
21 Sep 2015

The Palmiet River tumbles through the fynbos-covered mountains of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, just outside Kleinmond, about an hour's drive from Cape Town. A friendly stream during the summer months, winter rainfall turns the river into an exciting whitewater adventure. A big advantage is year-round accessibility and, since all rapids are optional, there are a number of adventure choices, from thrilling whitewater to leisurely cruises. As such, the river is all-inclusive and caters for any age or skill level...

(GPS coordinates: -34.290286, 18.959978)


Ash River Rafting II
31 Aug 2015

The fast-flowing Ash river, with its source high in the peaks of Lesotho near Malibimatso, is one of SA’s prime white water kayaking and rafting rivers. The flow of the river is augmented by water from the Katse dam which is pushed through a 40km-long tunnel to thunder into the Ash just outside Clarens. In the process, an exhilarating stretch of grade 5 rapids is created. Beware that this is not for inexperienced kayakers, and you need to be proficient to take on either ‘Fishpond’ rapid (just below the bridge) and the equally challenging ‘Big Surprise’. Local knowledge and above-average skill is also required at the nasty inlet channel above the new power station and at the waterfall, but the rest of the river should be no problem...

(GPS coordinates: -28.45, 28.4)


Get ready to SUP in Cape Town
12 Aug 2015

Get ready to SUP in Cape Town

Robert Peters for Cape Town Tourism

Stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and it is quickly taking hold in South Africa, not only as a sport, but as a fitness-orientated pastime as well. Like surfing, part of the draw is the physical element, without it ever feeling like a workout. But unlike surfing, it doesn’t take very long to get to grips with the basics.

I honestly thought I would start this article with a hilarious story about falling into the canal. I generally have the balance of an 11-month-old baby, so I was treating my first foray into the world of SUP with some trepidation.

Turns out my balance is not that bad… that, or even an 11-month-old baby could SUP.

Regardless, there were no major incidents, apart from the odd wobble and near accidental submersion at the start of the lesson, it did not take long to get going. We weren’t going to be winning any races, but we picked the basics up quickly enough.

Under the watchful guidance of Jacques, of Adrenalised Boardsports, Kelly and I were put through our paces. Starting on our knees, we moved in a circle for a few minutes, before eventually moving into a standing position, repeating the circular trajectory, and then finally being adjudged ready to head out into the canal system at the One & Only.

The joy of SUP is definitely the ease in which you can pick it up. Taking it into open water will obviously be more difficult, but with the placid nature of the water and the expansive width of the canal itself, it was seriously easy-going.

But don’t be fooled, while it isn’t hard to get the technique right, it is one heck of a workout. Granted, I was wearing a wetsuit on a cracker of a day, but I was dripping with sweat within minutes, and by the time we turned the first corner, my quads were starting to shake a little too tremulously for my liking…

Thankfully, the fatigue did not rob from the experience and there was certainly something zen-like about gliding across the water, paddle in hand, and being able to enjoy the surroundings from the vantage point of the water.

The Mother City is always on display and there is something to be said about changing up the view. The water is definitely a good place to start.

For more information on Adrenalised SUP lessons:

Lower Umzimkulu River Rafting
30 Jul 2015

The Umzimkulu is a river of many personalities. With its source in the Drakensberg Mountains, it flows southeast into the Indian Ocean at the town of Port Shepstone. From a temperamental trickle at its early stages, it transforms through the landscape into a powerful torrent that rivals the Tugela in power along its bottom stretches. It’s easy to guess, then, that these lower sections deliver some of the best rafting in the province, with the added benefit of year-round availability. The rafting setup is based at the Oribi Hotel...

(GPS coordinates: -30.706507, 30.269995)


Great Fish River Rafting
29 Jul 2015

Not to be confused with Namibia’s Fish River, the Great Fish River runs 644 kilometres through the Eastern Cape, from its source east of Graaff-Reinet, until it meets the Indian Ocean a few kilometres north of Port Alfred. It is the section close to the town of Cradock that makes for the best river action. The river alone is quite a spectacular sight – a brown ribbon of life feeding the farmland on its banks as it slithers through the arid Karoo landscape. The river is best known for the annual two-day Fish River Canoe Marathon, which takes place in early October...

(GPS coordinates: -32.098354, 25.579906)


Rio Elefantes Canoeing
23 May 2015

“Paddling the Rio Elefantes” (the section of the river between the confluences of the Shingwedzi and Limpopo Rivers) is a new canoe trial located within the Parque Nacional do Limpopo. This huge 1,1-million hectare Mozambique sector was recently added to the Kruger National Park to create the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. Paddle for four days and three nights along the muddy roil of the Rio Elefantes, camping wild in a range of rustic bush camps lining its tree-lined banks. Cast for wily tiger fish, skirt pods of hippo or scan the banks for rare aquatic birds along a 50-kilometre journey sure to enthral you…

(GPS coordinates: -23.809219, 32.073898)


Sabie River Rafting
5 May 2015

The Sabie River is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa and runs eastwards through Mpumalanga, the Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Featuring spectacular scenery, birdlife and riveting whitewater covering 20 rapids, this is an iconic section of river in northern South Africa. Water levels can vary considerably along this section, with the summer months bringing the fullest river. Rafting is best from December to April, when the bigger grade-three rapids can necessitate six-man rafts. At other times, trips are done in two-man inflatable Crocs, and the river is usually accommodating all year round...

(GPS coordinates: -25.030356, 31.026174)


Goukamma River Canoeing
21 Apr 2015

A pristine 2 500-hectare nature reserve coupled with a marine protected area stretching 1,8 kilometres seawards, situated along the exquisite Garden Route on the Cape south coast ... It sounds like heaven for any nature-lover who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle, and there is no better way to explore this area than from a boat on the water. The long beach, extensive dune fields, Goukamma estuary and the unique Groenvlei Lake, with no river in-flow or link to the sea, provide an idyllic playground for all ages. Canoe trips start from the Cape Nature office in the Goukamma Reserve...

(GPS coordinates: -34.066028, 22.944914)


Tugela River Rafting, Lower Canyon
10 Apr 2015

One of the most popular commercial paddling sections in the country is the 20-kilometre stretch of rapids and pools in “The Canyon” just outside the small town of Weenen. This section of the Tugela river is best experienced as a two-day trip, starting from Peter’s Pump Station, with an overnight stop somewhere along the untouched banks of the river, depending on water levels and the distance covered...

(GPS coordinates: -28.716984, 30.063218)


Augrabies Falls Rafting
9 Apr 2015

The Augrabies Falls National Park is about much more than just the waterfall. There is a big stretch of land below the falls that is open to vehicles and offers game drives through some beguiling countryside. The park also extends above the falls, but this section is less accessible. One way of doing it is by boat with Kalahari Outventures. They run a 9km stretch through this section of the park. In fact, the take out point is just a few hundred metres above the falls...

(GPS coordinates: -28.605435, 20.360878)


Tugela River Rafting
22 Mar 2015

The Tugela River, locally known as the Wild One, will not disappoint aqua adventurers in search of a rush. Summer is all about white-water rafting in Zululand and Zingela Safaris hosts the SA White-water Rafting Championships along this stretch of river. Tugela Canyon starts just below the Battlefields town of Colenso and, after a few huge waterfalls, it drops towards a range of monster rapids boasting names such as Jaws, Rocky Horror, The Washing Machine and Liquidizer...

(GPS coordinates: -28.716786, 30.0634)


Paternoster Sea Kayaking
21 Mar 2015

Sea-kayak trips in the area are refreshing for novice and experienced paddlers, with the focus on a holiday experience and soaking in the natural beauty of the area – a unique west-coast town surrounded by crystal-clear water and a wide variety of sea life. All trips are highly customisable to guests’ abilities and needs. The excursion takes guests on a gentle paddle out to the rocks and between the interesting rock formations, which are home to colonies of penguins, which nest on the rocks and have become quite accustomed to paddlers passing by on the water... 


(GPS coordinates: -32.807868, 17.890484)


Vaal River Rafting, Bumper Run
14 Mar 2015

The Vaal ‘Bumper Run’ is a little-known section running from the weir above Golf Course Island and downstream through tight channels and over exhilarating drops until you hit ‘Big Daddy’. Though not massive, these rapids are thrilling and you can expect to get wet, for sure. You can be a hero and paddle your own 2-seater inflatable canoe (or 'Croc') or be a “sissie” and climb into a 4-6 guided raft. For fun on smaller rapids there are single-seater tubes or 'geckos'...

(GPS coordinates: -26.879703, 27.477493)


Hopetown Rafting
25 Feb 2015

The access point for this section of the !Xhariep river is Hopetown, the place where South Africa’s first diamond was discovered. To get here, you will drive through the seemingly endless but beautiful landscape of the Northern Karoo, dotted with windmills and church towers. This section of the Orange River has just the right mix of rapids to get the adrenalin racing, along with flat stretches with magnificent scenery to aid relaxation. The trip is guided but self-catering, so bring your own camping equipment. Paddlers must be comfortable in the water, able to swim and moderately fit...

(GPS coordinates: -29.6025, 24.1095)



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