Paddling, trip organising, safety, rescue and emergencies – learn to handle them all. Plus, gain experience and get qualified as a tour guide on rivers.

2016-7 vacation programme here

Instructor and trainee group

RIVERMAN runs training courses and expeditions to develop river proficiency, under the curriculum of Adventure Standards Africa (AsAfrica). Courses are led by The Riverman himself, Graeme Addison – the man who established river rafting in South Africa – with other expert instructors. Training takes three basic forms:

    • FORMAL COURSES ranging from weekends to 4-day and week-long courses are run several times a year. Based at a campsite or river lodge next to rapids, we use the river during the day and have lectures and videos at night. Courses may include a First Aid course as well as abseiling and teambuilding.
    • TRAINING TRIPS are expeditions on a selected river such as the Tugela, Orange or Doring or Vaal. Usually the trip begins with a day of basic skills training. Then we  set off downriver stopping to camp overnight. Trainees improve their paddling and learn to handle river situations as they crop up. This form of mentoring by experienced leaders is typical of American-style guide training.
    • FAMILY LEARNING ADVENTURES – Many parents would like to see their children develop a love of the outdoors – away from shopping malls, cellphones and parties. We offer the perfect introduction to nature and adventure with 3-5 day  family trips which are also learning experiences.

Capsize training

  • FORMAL COURSE CONTENT is determined by the ASA curriculum. A variety of boating craft may be used, from crewed rafts to whitewater kayaks, tubes, sit-on-top kayaks and even bodyboards. The emphasis is learning to “read the river” (understand how moving water behaves) and develop a sense of safety and anticipation – the so-called “What if?” frame of mind.ASA calls river guides River Adventure Professionals (RAPs). The intention is to develop outdoor leaders with a variety of skills, fitting them for professional careers in adventure.
  • TOUR GUIDING: We are associated with the DrumBeat Academy which provides courses and qualifications in tour guiding. Once a candidate has  RAP training it is neRAFTING MANUALcessary in South Africa to become qualified as a nature or culture tour guide under the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • JOBS IN ADVENTURE: We are well connected and often help our trained river professionals to find work. You are our best advert, so don’t hesitate to ask about opportunities.
  • INTERNATIONAL CONTACTS. We assist those travelling overseas to make contact with top professionals and operating companies. We advise on work permits and other requirements.

The man in charge is Graeme Addison.  Known as Ole Man River or the River Professor, Graeme pioneered many of the popular routes operated by dozens of river companies today. He also set up the training scheme for river guides, the Whitewater Training School, under the then SA Rivers Association (SARA) which later became the African Paddling Association (APA). Graeme wrote manual on Whitewater Rafting – Essential Equipment and Techniques (Struik/New Holland 2000) and also White Water: The world’s wildest rivers (Struik/New Holland 2001).

Sample course outlines and expeditions:
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera