“This review contribution was from Melissa and her husband who has been on a 4-day orange river rafting adventure with us in April”
Recently my husband convinces me to join him for a trip rafting down the Orange River near the town of Onseepkans on the Namibian border close to Pofadder.
The reason why we selected to raft the Orange River Gorge section near Onseepkans was that we have rafted the Vioolsdrift section before. It was disappointing with how commercialized the whole experience was. We had 4 other rafting companies with us on the same stretch of river. It did not feel remote at all. As the Owner of Sa Forest Adventures explained to us – our experience with them would be similar to an exploration experience vs the commercial rafting experience. He was spot on!
Although my husband and I are both somewhat adventurous I sincerely did not know what to expect from our Orange River Rafting holiday. We have traveled quite extensively, but I must say without hesitation this Orange River Rafting trip was by far the most memorable of all our adventure excursions. It completely exceeded our expectations! Normally on trips like this, you often experience hiccups with regards to bookings, logistics, etc, however, the process was quick, effective, and being a bit of a control freak I was delighted when the information and details were swiftly emailed through. We were kept in the loop about departure times, what needed to be brought along and what the company supplied etc.
Our transfer to Onseepkans for the Orange River was in a spacious sprinter 13 seater bus, with aircon and enjoyably there was a constant flow of music which kept the small group in jovial spirits. The transport was an additional cost but worth the price for not driving from Cape Town and back. Throughout the trip, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the professionalism and friendliness of the guides. They were extremely knowledgeable about the terrain and the rafting in general. They taught us the necessary signals when in various situations on the water and also took time to ensure proper safety was set up for each rapid.
The food that was served on this rafting trip was phenomenal! I mean out of this world! The rafting takes place on one of the most remote stretches of rivers. So we did not expect such a high standard of food. From the breakfasts to snacks for lunch and dinners. It is difficult to distinguish a favorite. All the dishes were prepared skilfully over the crackling fire. There was an array of fruits, teas, coffees, and yogurts also served some mornings when a warm breakfast wasn’t served. I didn’t dream that these meals would surpass even some hotels we have stayed at before. But I am letting the delicious food sidetrack me.
Back to the guides, from SA Forest Adventures, one of the most unforgettable experiences was when one evening after dinner we were all gathered around the dying embers of the fire. One of the guides meticulously pulled out a brilliant green laser, which is usually used to highlight stars in the evening. He taught us things about the stars, the alignment of constellations that I myself never knew, it was beyond fascinating. Despite his education and interesting stories about some of the stars and how they originated, it is hard to forget the magnificent beauty of the twinkling orbs when the velvety black of night spread across the heavens
On this Orange River Rafting trip, it was as if my eyes opened to the remarkable beauty of nature for the first time. A kaleidoscope of orange, reds, and yellows painting the canvas in the sky every evening upon its descent. I know, I have left the best for last. The actual experience of the trip was surreal for the lack of a better word. From start to the finish, the raw beauty of the canyons we rafted past had me in awe – the scenery was breathtaking. With each paddle new wildlife and new elements of nature were exposed to us. It was as if the crew had managed to guide us into one of nature’s most secretive locations in Africa, which had been yielded to only the bare minimal human contact. The Orange River Gorge was the highlight of our 4-day adventure. One evening we slept high up on a rocky slope near the Orange River Gorge, was magically I even left my tent open so I could see the mesmerizing twinkling stars. They appeared so abundant on the inky blackness like I could reach out and touch them we were so high up.
Another evening we camped next to the cascading river. The soothing sound of the water tumbling over the rocks vibrated over the landscapes and lulled us to sleep. Another night we camped on a grassy slope next to a calmer section of the river. On that particular campsite, we spent hours fishing which was tremendous fun! There isn’t one particular memory that stands out from the rest or one that I can openly highlight from this whole experience. Each and every aspect of the orange river rafting adventure contributed to making this our most unforgettable vacation ever!!!
We will definitely return!
Ps. The settlement of Onseepkans is a remarkable place for photography – it seems to be frozen in time with plenty of old buildings it felt like it was frozen in time. Pity I lost my SD card in Cape Town before I could upload the pictures 🙁
Thank you Melissa for the awesome revies on your orange river rafting trip – Pictures below are from past experiences on our Orange River Rafting trips. If you would like to book an adventure of a lifetime.