The Orange River Gorge is the most spectacular and easy runnable white water section of the Orange River at the times of the year we operate.
Deep in the Kalahari, the river cuts through a moonscape of granite cliffs with the amazing Gariep Falls tumbling into the Orange River Gorge. We run downriver over several days. Our Camp sites along the river are as unique as the experience.
The Highlight of the Orange River rafting trip will be the portage into the gorge itself – Once at the bottom of the Gorge we paddle a few meters up to where we see the Waterfall dropping into the Gorge itself. Here we will abseil in the Gorge +/- 50 meters down to the River below the Waterfall. If you don’t want to abseil one of our guides will walk down on a small path to where we meet up at the bottom of the Gorge. The Orange River Gorge is a very remote destination and only accessible by foot or rafting – it is one of the most undisturbed sights you will ever witness. This experience will be one of the highlights of our expedition if not your life. We will also spend some considerable time “monster fishing” and if you don’t know how to fish one of our experienced guides will assist you. At night around a small contained fire we will look up at the stars and experience a sight unlike you have ever witnessed.
This is a flat water paddle experience with small rapids no higher than a grade 3 along the way. You might feel up to the challenge of the single grade 3 rapid but if you doubt your ability to paddle through the only class 3 rapid along the river – rest assured the guides will take your raft through its paces whilst you walk along the rapid and meet up at the end. The Other Rapids along the route are far less fearsome but also creates excitement and a rush of adrenaline. We prefer clients to have a leisurely time along, and on route from our entry to take out on the river section we visit. For this reason an average of 5 to 8 km a day of paddling will be part of the experience. For most this will still leave ample time to enjoy hikes in and around our camp sites or simply take the time to land that “big” elusive fish. Before we settle in for the night around the camp fire.
Orange River Rafting – Pictures
THE FULL ORANGE RIVER from source to sea – DESCRIPTION The Orange rises in the Drakensberg mountains along the border between South Africa and Lesotho, about 193 km (120 mi) west of the Indian Ocean and at an altitude of over 3,000 m. While in Lesotho, the river is known as the Senqu and parts of it freeze in winter, because of the high altitude there. This creates droughts downstream of it which mainly affect goat and cattle production. The river then runs westward through South Africa, forming the south-western boundary of the Free State province. In this section the river flows first into the Gariep Dam (the largest in the country), and later into the Vanderkloof Dam. From the border of Lesotho to below the Van der Kloof Dam the river bed is deeply incised. Further downstream the land is flatter, and the river is used extensively for irrigation. At the western point of the Free State, southwest of Kimberley, the Orange meets with its main tributary, the Vaal River, which itself forms much of the northern border of the province. From here the river flows further westward through the arid wilderness of the southern Kalahari region and Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province to meet with Namibia at the 20th degree of east longitude. From here it flows westward for 550 km, forming the international border between the province and Namibia‘s Karas Region. On the border, the river passes the town of Vioolsdrif, the main border post between South Africa and Namibia. In the last 800 km (500 mi) of its course the Orange receives many intermittent streams and several large wadis lead into it. In this section, the Namib Desert terminates on the north bank of the river, so under normal circumstances the volume of water added by these tributaries is negligible. Here the bed of the river is once again deeply incised. The Hundred Falls or Augrabies Falls are located on this section of the Orange, where the river descends 122 m (400 ft) in a course of 26 km (16 mi).
The Orange empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay, which lies about equidistant between Cape Town and Walvis Bay. Some 33 km (21 mi) from its mouth it is completely obstructed by rapids and sand bars and is generally not navigable for long stretches. The river has a total length of 2,200 km (1,400 mi)