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Activities in and around The Orange River

Join us on a memorable excursion passing through the awesomely beautiful Richtersveld Nature Reserve. We offer multi-day river rafting packages on the lower Orange starting at base camp in Vioolsdrift, 680km from Cape Town. Our dedicated and qualified river guides assure every client of a safe, relaxed and fun-filled experience whilst sharing their passion and knowledge of the local environment. A rafting trip on the Great Orange River between Vioolsdrift and Fish River Canyon offers a truly magical adventure of breath-taking and unique scenery and exciting rapids. We invite you to experience this exciting yet peaceful adventure with us. The perfect getaway to unwind and relax with family and friends as well as for corporate groups. Half-Day Trip Covers 10km with a few small rapids and take about 3 hours. The flow of the water determines your speed and there will be plenty of relaxing, swimming and floating. Ends at base camp and can be booked with or without lunch. Full-Day The full-day trip is like the Half Day trip. After having more confidence in your boat and a delicious lunch back at base camp we depart for the next section, which has more exciting fast flowing sections. The trip ends with a small cliff jump and a stop at Geelkrans viewpoint from where Vioolsdrif's green fields and kilometers of the Orange River create a picture-perfect view. Overnighter Starts at ORRL basecamp. After boats and equipment have been packed we make our way down the mighty Orange River towards the Richtersveld Park. We stop at lunchtime where the guides prepare a delicious meal. The afternoon is spent paddling and floating down the river, experiencing beautiful scenery and birdlife. We camp on the banks of the Orange River and watch a breath-taking sunset over the mountain ranges of the Richtersveld. Dinner is prepared on an open fire by the guides. After a relaxed night under the starlit sky and a hearty breakfast the following morning you will be transported back to basecamp to end the Overnighter. Minimum of 2 persons to do this trip. 3-Day Fishing Rafting Trip Everyone arrives on the evening prior to departure at base camp where you will be welcomed by the Richtersveld hospitality and get a full briefing of the exciting few days awaiting you. The trip covers approximately 35km from Vioolsdrift Weir to Richtersveldt. After breakfast and packing all the equipment we depart from the base camp where we left behind our busy normal-day lives to begin our 3-day adventure. We start off with a slow paddle to lunch time. Each evening we set camp under the stars for the next two nights and during daytime, we enjoy breath-taking scenery, interesting walks, exciting rapids and all that the wilderness offers. All meals are prepared by the guides. On the last day after lunch transport will be waiting to take us back to base camp where we will enjoy supper on the banks of the Orange River. Delicious breakfast before departing the following morning. Minimum of 6 persons to do this trip. 4-Day Richter’s Rafting Trip Everyone arrives on the evening prior to departure at base camp where you will be welcomed by the Richtersveld hospitality and get a full briefing of the exciting few days awaiting you. The trip covers approximately 53km from Henkries to Vioolsdrift Weir of the Orange River into the Richtersveld mountain desert. After breakfast and packing all the equipment we depart from the base camp where we left behind our busy normal-day lives to begin our four-day adventure. We start off with a slow paddle to lunch time. Each evening we set camp under the stars for the next two nights and during the daytime, we enjoy breath-taking scenery, interesting walks, exciting rapids and all that the wilderness offers. All meals are prepared by the guides. On the last day after lunch transport will be waiting to take us back to base camp where we will be spending the fourth night on the banks of the Orange River and enjoy a delicious breakfast before departing the following morning. Minimum of 6 persons to do this trip.
Activities
Activities
Activities

Fishing Safaris

Welcome to Orange River Fishing & Birding Safaris – Vioolsdrift
Our base camp is situated on the banks of the mighty Orange River more commonly known these days as the Gariep. The Orange River, being the longest of our rivers covering a distance of somewhat 2300km poses as great fishing waters. The river is home to a large number of different fish species like Largemouth Yellowfish, Smallmouth Yellows, Carp and Monster Catfish. At the end of the day its all about what you as the fisherman is after or targeting on your trip.

Large and Smallmouth Yellowfish:
Once you are hooked on catching these most sought after species in South Africa there is no turning back! Both species are caught in fast flowing water which adds to the aggressive strike and superb fight, better than any other fish of its size.

Smallmouth Yellowfish:
These fish feed up and down the rapids foraging for insect larva amongst the boulders. A number of different methods can be used to hook one of these aggressive little fighters. Fly fisherman use a method could Czech nymphing, which in my opinion is the most simple and effective way of getting hooked into a good size Smallmouth on a fly.

If your not a Fly fisherman, then you can enjoy catching these fish on a light weight rig. The guides will collect an assortment of natural baits which is then just floated down the rapid or placed in an eddy. Once again these are aggressive little feeders and with the right assistance from your guides, you will be hooked into a Yellow in no time!

Largemouth Yellowfish:
Largemouths are truly beautiful fish to catch, I often refer to them as the Kabiljou of the freshwater. Unfortunately, they are less common than the Smallmouth, but when you hook into a good sized Largemouth Yellow for the first time you and your tackle are in for a new experience.

This is the largest full-scale freshwater fish found in South Africa, the record being over 20kg. CAN U IMAGINE HOOKING INTO A 20KG FISH ON LIGHT TACKLE!!!

Just as with the Smallmouths there are many ways to catch this fish all depending on what the angler requires. Silvers are not as common on the Fly but can be taken on Deceiver patterns, crab imitations or any bulky predator type fly. Bait fishing is also a good option. I personally enjoy targeting these fish on natural baits especially the big old steam trains!

Catfish:
Okay well, not all fisherman enjoy catching these slimy fish but the Richtersveld Nature Reserve section of the Orange River is definitely home to some of the biggest catfish. The SA record is over 40kg and being able to pose for a photo holding a fish that size is a good feeling for any fisherman.

Catfish readily take flies of almost any kind especially of the dark bulky flies, fish or deceiver patterns, etc. The guide is always at hand to give advice on what to use and when. If you fly fishing for Catfish and you are out to target the big boy’s then strong tackle will be needed, 9wt rod, good backing and strong tippets will be required to subdue these monsters. Bait fishing for Catfish is no rocket science but again good strong tackle is necessary

Birding Safaris:
If fishing is not your thing then come along to enjoy the simplicity of just floating down the river. The river is teaming with birdlife and boasts with almost 200 different species. There is something majestic about waking up on the banks of the mighty Orange to the call of the Goliath Heron or the sharp thrill of the Pied Kingfisher.

The guides will point out the different bird species to you and share the interesting stories of where names came from and local folk’s law tails.

Remember while paddling and fishing with the Orange River fishing team there will always be a guide close by to give professional advice or assistance at any time!

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