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Raft-camping « RIVERMAN South Africa


All year. Class 1-3.
Run down river, stopping on islands overnight
Camping out in nature on a 2-day Vaal expedition

Camping out in nature on a 2-day Vaal expedition

How about camping out among the wilderness islands of the Vaal in the beautiful Vredefort Dome? The RIVERMAN has arranged exclusive access to certain secluded islands with grassy banks and fire circles surrounded by ancient granite rocks. You could be anywhere in Africa – far from the traffic of Gauteng. Night skies are spectacular, unspoilt by city lights.

Oarboat carries some of the camping load

Oarboat carries some of the camping load

We take our time running down river through famous rapids like Gatsien and little known ones like Heart Bypass. True to RIVERMAN’S traditions, our guides are seasoned outdoors experts who know the lore of the river and will entertain you with tales of rapids near and far.

We run 1-night and 2-night trips, fully catered. Great meals! All you need is your tent and sleeping bag (which can be hired) and your own happy juice to sip around the campfire. We provide sealed buckets and bags for clothing and bedding, carrying all on the boats in true safari style downriver touring. When you book we send a trip briefing explaining what to expect and how to prepare.

Tents and gear among the islands

Tents and gear among the islands

If you want a true wilderness experience only an hour or so from Johannesburg, this is it. There is the excitement of running rapids but also the pleasure of watching the sunset over the river. The company around the campfire is wonderful, as stories of expeditions near and far unfold and we stare into the flames remembering times past.

We don’t use established public campsites but seek out entirely natural surroundings. The Vaal is full of small and large islands where shady trees and grassy banks provide ideal sites for tents. We choose spots where the central fire is surrounded by rocks and fallen logs to sit on. All waste is carried out. Toilet arrangements are hygenic, comfortable and private.

  • Anyone can do it and it’s a wonderful way for families to get to know each other through the experience of rafting and contact with nature.
  • Also see our 4-day rafting safaris down the magnificent Orange River Gorge in the central Kalahari.
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