Oranje Gorge 5-day

April-September “Kalahari Cool Green Season”. Rapids Class 2-3+ (easy-moderate).

What to Expect

Our trips meet on Saturday evening for the briefing and issue of kit. We raft from Sunday to end Thursday late afternoon, returning to base on the last night. Our base is at the magnificent Raapenskraap grape estate, 100km west of Augrabies Falls near the Namibia border crossing at Onseepkans. You do not need passports, we do not go into Namibia. We run the Oranje Gorge over 5 days (1 night in camp to start, 4 nights on river, 1 more night back at base). The trips are planned to coincide with school holidays and are aimed at families & friends. Our maximum number is 16. 

UNSCHEDULED DATES. Groups minimum 10 may book own dates.
RATES AND DISCOUNTS – Our savings for families are the best for any outdoor adventure. 

Click for Oranje Gorge leaflet to circulate to friends.

Around Onseepkans, between South Africa and Namibia.

The most scenic and awe-inspiring whitewater rafting trail in Southern Africa takes us though a region bypassed by most travellers and still today regarded as a wild and abandoned frontier. It is remote, lonely, beautiful and exciting.


The trail lies west of Augrabies Falls, in stunningly scenic mountainous country. Below Onseepkans is a moonscape of baked rocks with a roaring river. You will learn to love this ancient river course with its many moods and wily character: it is a wonderful environment for self-discovery and for cementing family and relationships or building team spirit.

Highlight of the trip is the view we get of the Oranje Falls, otherwise known as the !Gariep or Ritchie Falls. The river tumbles over and through rock caverns, emptying into the main gorge. The falls come at the end of what we call the Chicken Run along the Namibian side of the main gorge. We paddle to the very lip of the gorge and stop to camp, then hike to see the falls.

After a night’s rest we portage down into the gorge, roping our boats and equipment to the water’s edge. Then we paddle up to see the falls from the level of the water – a truly awesome sight as a roar fills our ears and the water boils around us.
The trail starts at the border town of Onseepkans – a name derived from the Khoisan for “big turn in the river”. Here, the river turns south and east, the only place along its course where it appears to reverse itself before finally turning and heading for the Atlantic Ocean. The Orange River Gorge, or Oranje Gorge, is though to lie along a massive fault or shear line similar to the San Andreas Fault in California. Because of the geology, the river cuts a deep gorge, filled with rapids.

Campfire tales under brilliant night skiesNever fear – we know the routes well and as we were the pioneers of this route in the 1970s we have explored it at every level and in every season, coming to know its changes and dangers intimately. Although we cover only about 35km in three-and-a-half days, every moment is taken up with activities and sight-seeing so as not waste this precious time in one of nature’s wonderlands. Even in winter it can be hot here and in summer you won’t find us here at all.

We travel fully self-contained on the river, carrying all food, clothing and camping kit with us. When you book we send you a comprehensive Briefing explaining what to bring and what to expect. We do not book groups numbering fewer than 8 and our limit is 18. The river is raftable at almost all times. If there is a serious drought or a flood we may move to a slightly different location but the scenery and experience will be very similar.Drive yourselves to the rendezvous near Augrabies Falls. We strongly recommend allowing a few days in advance or afterwards to explore the area, see Augrabies, and visit the Orange River wine cellars! Also on offer is our 1-day “warm up” paddle on the Neus Gorge section of the Orange near Kakamas.

  • Call us to discuss your plans – the group size and possible dates. If your group is small we may be able to put you together with others.


Want to know more?

Ask for the full 8-page Trail Briefing.

The best night skies in the world!

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