South African Hotels

Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting

The Blyde River in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is probably one of the most stunning rivers in the country and has rather steep gradients which make for some intense South African white water rafting. As the third biggest Canyon and the largest vegetated canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon is one of the best white water sections in South Africa.
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Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting Overview

Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting
 
The Blyde River in Mpumalanga, South Africa, is probably one of the most stunning rivers in the country and has rather steep gradients which make for some intense South African white water rafting. As the third biggest Canyon and the largest vegetated canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon is one of the best white water sections in South Africa. 
 
The Blyde River Canyon is an un-spoilt wilderness area with spectacular scenery. Rapids range from steep pool-drops to long, technical rapids.  Picnic Lunch is serve on the river bank and ice cold beer or cold drinks on the boat to end the trip while taking a scenic boat trip over the dam.  The day trip ends near Swadini where the boat comes ashore.

An overnight trip is also available, where paddlers sleep at “Wet Camel” – where the Blyde River enters the Blydepoort Dam at the foot of the famous Three Rondavels.  Wet Camel is a rustic bush camp with small A-frame huts each with two mattresses, an outdoor kitchen/dining area and a bush shower with a long drop for a toilet. Don't expect five-star luxury here but enjoy the evening meal around the campfire and an early morning hike in the canyon. The motor boat ride to the end point follows a late breakfast on day two.
 
Location:  Blyde River

  • Starts in the Mariepskop Forestry Reserve
  • Ends where the Blyde River enters the Blydepoort Dam

Duration: Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting
 
  • Full day (7 am / 8 hours)

Age limit:
 
  • 16 years
     
Minimum number required:
 
  • 6 persons
     
Difficulty: Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting
 
 
Class 3-4 Type: Steep pool-drop, some long, technical rapids

Difficulty is rated on a scale from 1 to 6, where Class 1 is moving water,  Class 2 and 3 offer great excitement and Class 4 is truly challenging.  A class 5 rapid is extremely difficult, long and very violent (first-time paddlers certainly don't do them).  Class 6 is essentially unrunnable, until some insane kayakers survive it and the rapid's rating may be changed to Class 5.  Flipping the raft or falling out and having a swim is part of river rafting.  Although few people ever end up swimming in the Lower Blyde, everyone has a swim in the Blyde Canyon. 
 
Equipment: Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting

2-person "Croc Rafts" are used.  These forgiving boats are ideal for our river conditions, from the mild Lower Blyde to the challenging Blyde Canyon. Participants paddle their own boats (2 per boat) and guides go along in their own craft. Each participant is issued with a buoyancy aid, a helmet and, of course, a two-bladed paddle.
 
Safety and River Ethics: Blyde Canyon White Water Rafting

All whitewater trips are run in accordance with the APA River Safety Code and Code of Practice.  A detailed safety briefing precedes each river trip.  Participants need no prior experience but should not be afraid to float in swift water with a buoyancy aid and should be essentially healthy.  No alcohol 8 hours before or during paddling activities.
 
What to bring along:

Shorts, T-shirts, swimming costume, sun-block, shoes you can swim in, walking shoes, towel and a sense of adventure.
Rapids are challenging and exciting and you need a degree of physical fitness.
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