Palmiet river just over 1 hours drive from Cape Town – Near Kleinmond
The Palmiet River is home to our River Rafting operations as SA FOREST ADVENTURES. Having been introduced to kayaking of late I love kayaking this White Water River – I don’t miss being in a Croc at all! Lol
Cape Nature describes the reserve and river as follows. “The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, because of the exceptional quality of its fynbos. The reserve lies within the southern stretch of the rugged Hottentots Holland mountain range, and has remained isolated and remarkably unspoilt. Its high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River create a sense of remote wilderness”
Getting to the Palmiet River
From the coastal road along Gordons Bay, past Betty’s Bay you will reach the entrance to the Kogelberg World Heritage site on the left hand side – just before the Pamliet river bridge. Drive this gravel road into the reserve. Upon entering the reserve you will need to pay the Cape Nature entrance fee of R40 per person.
From the parking area you need to follow the footpath “Palmiet” Along this path you will find the put in point clearly indicated with a Cape Nature sign.
A bit of a walk later on this trail the fun begins – The Palmiet is probably the Western Cape River that is most forgiving if you havn’t kayaked for a while or starting to kayak.
Daily river rafting trips
SA Forest Adventures offers a daily commercial trip on this river in the 2 man Crocs or 5 man rafts depending on the water level. Guests are treated to a white water rafting experience they will forever remember. Book on the website www.saforestadventures.co.za
Rapids we love on the Palmiet River
Some of the Rapids we love to run.
Bubble and Squeak will be the first proper rapid you approach – the name at low level is evident as it hosts a nice boulder garden.lol At a higher level however this is an easy rapid.
On a much lower level it almost seems like two different rapids but on a high level this rapid becomes double drop. The lines are easy to spot and this rapid should not be a problem at all.
Waterfall – Rapid
As you drive in on the dirt road you will find it hard not to spot Waterfall rapid on the right hand. Running this rapid is also a lot of fun and you can pull out before the rapid on the river right to scout your line before you continue. Crocs run this rapid on the far left (river left) flow. Kayaks can run this rapid as the water level dictates – always nice to run “Waterfall” straight of the nose .
“not a nice swim” on high levels this rapid starting form the weir is more challenging than most of the rapids on the Palmiet and it isn’t called Judgment day for nothing.
A small weir is situated just below the bend of the first large weir. You might only notice this at a medium level or lower. This weir has a lower section to the right where you can pass if the levels are low. ( This will ensure you don’t scratch your kayak more than necessary as the gap to the right is just perfect.) Just after the small weir is a nice eddy to chill in before you descend any further. The best line I have found from here is river left – hit the white water full on and stay on the river left till close to the end.
The last stretch of the rapid will push you through the” Hells Gates” rocks – at low level its best to hit the middle of the gates (two boulders at the bottom of the rapid) at high levels you won’t notice the gates at all LOL.
Take out on the Palmiet is just below the bridge to the right – if you take out to the right after the bridge you need to cross the busy road – be aware of oncoming traffic as this road is dangerous. If you take out before the bridge to the left you can walk up a nice short path past the municipal toilets to the gravel parking area.
Do You Need A Lift???
SA Forest Adventures intend on assisting kayakers on our “home river” where we can. So phone us if you only have one vehicle and need a lift into the reserve – this way you don’t need two vehicles. We don’t charge for this service but it must be communicated to us 24 hours before hand to check our availability and preferably during times we operate on the river in order for us to assist. – Don’t blame us if we cant assist with your time schedule – you need to fit into our time schedule. 083 517 3635 for more details…