Some of the best white water rafting in South Africa

Some of the best white water rafting in South Africa

The human body is a fragile thing. There is a relatively thin layer of dermis that separates the scary outside world from our sensitive nerves, blood vessels, delicate internal organs, and not-indestructible bones. Why then, do we human beings chase the risk of injury and open ourselves up to being thrown down waterfalls and having our heads bashed on river rocks? Why don’t we, for example, spend more time comparing laptop prices to ensure that we get value for money?

The adventure-seekers in all of us seem to have a firm grasp on our precarious mortality – that’s what the hard hats and life jackets are for – but still enjoy the thrill of getting into a little water craft or 7-man inflatable dingy and cruising down the wide variety of rapids in South Africa’s many rivers. South Africans in particular love white water rafting adventures, and even beginners can rest assured of their safety on some dangerous-looking rapids. Try these adventures:

Orange River Rapids

The adrenaline rush of any white water rafting activity is similar to that of a zip-line ride or bungee jump; where your life is suspended for a moment so that you can shout Whoooohooohoooooo! with the blood pumping in your ears. The most popular South African river is the Orange River, and while it offers a scenic water raft ride, there are some exhilarating rapids to be found, especially above Augrabies Falls.

In the Western Cape

Not for the faint-hearted, this is the experienced paddler’s territory, especially on the tricky Doring River. Water babies who are training for the Dusi will get a kick out of the Doring River rapids, and fire up their real paddling skills. The Palmiet River is another adrenaline-clincher on the rapids, offering paddlers some mechanical rapid navigation, which may be tough, but the beautiful scenery more than makes up for it. Paddlers will find a technical run in the Molenaars River, but since its catchment area only bubbles to life after heavy rainfall, paddlers will be lucky to time a water rafting activity in this area.

In KwaZulu-Natal

On the South Coast, the Umkomaas River is both for the amateur and the professional, offering some fun rapids (with a light pitter-patter of the heart) as well as some challenging white water (with more of a heart-stopping effect). The well-known Umgeni River lends itself to the Dusi Canoe Marathon… during which some participants have learned the hard way to not swallow the water.

In Mpumalanga

We can’t say anything about white water rafting adventures and not mention the Blyde River, which is not only one of the best rivers in South Africa, but provides paddlers with an adrenaline rush of note – with its steep gradients and suitably intense rapids.

Get your paddle on with one of many adventure tour operators in South Africa who do one-day or multiple-day trips that incorporate many kilometres of river runs, as well as other adventure activities.

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