Uncover a different side of South Africa and Namibia on this unique trip designed for the adventurous at heart. Traverse the trails of the mighty Cederberg Mountains and plunge into the crystalline rock pools along the Brandewynsrivier. Delight your inner history boff as you learn about the extraordinary rock art of the San people, which has been standing for generations!
A canoe trip along the impressive bends of the Orange River will leave you in awe of Mother Nature as you spend each night beneath the stars. Knowledgeable guides will share their fun facts about the intricate surroundings as you row along the river on your four-day canoe trip. It’s rustic, charming, beautiful and incredibly soul filling as you take things back to basics and get up close and personal with the great outdoors. The young at heart will enjoy every second of this action-packed trip, so come expectant!
Trade civilisation for the rugged bare banks of the Orange River on this serene canoe trip.
Discover rock art and plunge into waterfall pools along the trails of the Cederberg.
Visit Lambert's Bay's Bird Island to see thousands of roosting birds and sea creatures.
Start with a morning pick-up from your accommodation in Cape Town.
Set off today as you drive towards the mighty Cederberg mountains. You'll notice the landscape changing as you pass vast farmlands and fields of canola interspersed with small farming towns along the way. As you near the foot of the Cederberg mountains you'll turn toward the coast and the tiny hamlet of Lambert's Bay. One of South Africa’s hidden gems, this removed, rugged, and arid tiny town is far from the average tourist spot. Beaches are pristine and virtually empty; in fact, you’ll rarely see people other than a local fisherman and his trusty canine companion. You’ll take a stroll along the historic breakwater to visit Bird Island, which lies about 100m off the shore. This protected island serves as a vital breeding and roosting site for seabirds, particularly Cape gannets and cormorants. During breeding season you can marvel at the sight (and sound!) of between 4000-6000 pairs of breeding gannets from the camouflaged bird hide. Cape fur seals can also be seen sunning themselves on the island’s rocks.
Your afternoon sees you venturing into the heart of the Cederberg Mountains via the astounding Piekenierskloof Pass. Spend the next two nights in the mountains, surrounded by incredible fynbos and rock formations.
Adventure awaits as you have the opportunity to spend the entire day exploring the Cederberg, visiting bushman paintings and thundering waterfalls. On the morning agenda, The Sevilla Rock Art Trail is a 4km relaxed ramble that visits 9 extraordinary sites of rock art. These spectacular historic paintings were created by the San People who inhabited the area for 1000s of years.
Spend the afternoon along the Kloof Walking Trail. Meander through the boulders, down the kloof (gorge), and along the banks of the Brandewynsriver back to the waterfall. Fortunate bird-watchers might spot the evasive Witkruisarend Raptor nesting high against the cliffs. Take all the time you want to relax by the waterside or plunge into the crystalline rock pool to cool off. Look forward to another tranquil night in the Cederberg Mountains.
Overnight in the Cederberg Mountains.
Get an early start as you travel from the Cederberg area to the border of Namibia to start your 4-day Orange River Canoe trip. An adventure of a lifetime! Experience the Richtersveld on a canoe, using the mighty Orange River as your mode of transport. The Orange River starts in the Drakensberg Mountains along the border of South Africa and Lesotho, after about 2000km it eventually opens up and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Expect to spend your days enjoying a mix of canoeing and relaxing, all the while taking in the uniquely beautiful surrounds. Test out the echo of the towering mountains that border the river, float down the river in calmer areas and try your luck fishing along the banks. Spectacular sunsets mark the end of a day on the river and the start of an evening filled with the fun of cooking on and spending time around an open fire. Slip into your sleeping bag and fall asleep each evening beneath a sky that seems to be filled with millions of stars. This truly unique experience brings you as close to nature as you can get!
Your unforgettable river experience ends this morning when you paddle back to camp. You’ll be filled with mixed emotions as you’re sad to leave the tranquillity of the river, but glad to reach civilization once again. Enjoy one final lunch at base camp before packing up and departing for the small town of Springbok. Life seems to run at a different pace in this little one-horse town, and you’ll get a unique sense of the diversity of South Africa. Plunge in for a well-deserved dip or relax by the pool when you arrive at your overnight stop.
After breakfast on your last day, you’ll say goodbye to the north of South Africa as you make your way back to Cape Town along winding roads where untouched plains seem to extend out to the horizon in every direction. Take in the scenery as you pass through the quaint little towns of Vredendal and Clanwilliam, reaching Cape Town by early evening.
End with evening drop-off at your Cape Town accommodation.
Maximum 13 guests per vehicle or guide.
Led by a local English-speaking professional tour guide.
Transfers to included tour highlights.
There is no central meeting point for this tour. A transfer service will collect you from your Cape Town accommodation.
3 nights shared accommodation + 4 nights "under-the-stars" on the banks of the Orange River.
7 Breakfasts, 7 light lunches, 7 dinners
Bedding for the 4 nights on the Orange River is not provided. Either rent or bring your own sleeping bag.
You can purchase drinks on tour.
Local and international flights are excluded.
You are responsible for your own personal travel insurance.
Having left the corporate world of banking, I’m up for any challenge the fast paced tourism industry has to throw at me! As the friendly voice behind the Hotspots2c hotline, it’s my joy to help our travellers have an awesome South African experience. When I’m not manning the reservations lines, I can definitely be found snuggling up to my pup Luna, or indulging in a little Harry Potter fandom.
Click terms for more details.
To be confirmed.
This tour has pre-paid expenses linked to it and if cancelled no refund can be offered.
An Indemnity form for minors will need to be signed by parents / guardian to allow permission to partake in this Hotspots2c Tour and third party activities scheduled. A chaperone can also join the student group on tour.
11 official Languages Spoken
Afrikaans – English – isiNdebele – Sepedi.– Sesotho – Siswati – Xitsonga – Setswana – Tshivenda – isiXhosa
How to say hello?
Molo – Xhosa
Sawubona - Zulu
Hallo - Afrikaans
Dumela - SeSotho
Electricity – Volt & plug
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Most plugs are 15 amp 3-prong or 5 amp 2-prong, with round pins.
WiFi/Internet Access on tour
WiFi can be found at most accommodations, restaurants and airports, however, the download speed is often slow and many connections limit your data usage. In short, you’ll be able to stay connected with home, but don't expect to watch HD movies in your spare time.
When to go
South Africa is blessed with a mostly mild climate, but different areas will yield different temperatures throughout the year. Summer in South Africa is usually peak season, lasting between November – February, however Easter time (March) is often still considered peak season too. Temperatures range from 25ºC in coastal areas to high 30ºs in inland areas. Cape Town has ideal weather during this time and Durban sports warm beaches and humid air, Johannesburg experiences hot clear days and often an afternoon thunderstorm.
Shoulder season is April and May, as well as September and October. Surprisingly, the weather in Durban is often at its best during this time, and other areas simmer down from their scorching highs. Prices are lower and crowds are smaller. September and October see eruptions of flowers and blooms all around the country.
Winter is beautiful in most parts of the country. Cape Town experiences winter rain and is often a little cold and miserable, but still crisp and beautiful. Because of the warm Indian Ocean, Durban has spectacular weather in winter, often hovering around 20-25ºC with clear blue skies. Inland areas get quite chilly and the odd snowfall is not uncommon (it only lasts for a day though!). Prices are at an all time low and it is an ideal time for game viewing, as the animals are more active in the cooler weather.
Best time to go
Jun-Jul = Safari
Jan-Feb = Beach
With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays. In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open.
|1 Jan||New Year's Day|
|21 Mar||Human Rights Day|
|30 Mar||Good Friday|
|2 Apr||Family Day|
|27 Apr||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 Jun||Youth Day|
|9 Aug||National Women's Day|
|24 Sep||Heritage Day|
|16 Dec||Day of Reconciliation|
|17 Dec||Day of Reconciliation Holiday|
|25 Dec||Christmas Day|
|26 Dec||Day of Goodwill|
Visa & Travel docs
Travellers from most Commonwealth countries (excluding New Zealand), most Western European nations, Japan and the USA receive a free, 90-day visitor's permit on arrival. These travellers do not need a visa to enter South Africa. A valid passport is essential with at least two empty pages. You generally will need to show return or onward travel arrangements. Children aged under 18 must show an unabridged birth certificate (showing both parents details).
Some countries do, however, need a visa. Visas are not issued upon entry, they must be attained beforehand. It is advised that you clarify this before you leave, the Department of Home Affairs office has a comprehensive list of countries that do not require visas. http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/immigration-services/exempt-countries
What to pack
We're generally laid back in South Africa, so no need to haul out your best silks and diamonds when you head to our shores. Here's some clothing advice when in South Africa:
Health & Safety
There are no compulsory vaccinations required to enter South Africa with exception of a yellow fever vaccination if you have been in a yellow fever area within the last 12 months.
The only major health risk you might face in South Africa is malaria, which is confined to small areas in the north-eastern parts of the country. Small pockets of the northern parts of the Kruger National Park fall under this area but the risk here is considered extremely low and it is not always necessary to take anti-malaria tablets. Remember as a precautionary measure to check with your accommodation what is recommended.
South Africa may have high crime statistics, but if you conduct yourself wisely, most tourists enjoy the country without any incident at all. Ensure that you lock away your passports and travel documents in a safe, which is usually provided by your accommodation. Don't flash around valuables and keep an eye on your belongings at all time. Majority of South Africa’s crime is opportunistic petty crime, so if you are vigilant about your belongings you should not have any problem.
South Africa has 3 world-class airports that receive international flights every day; Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Most international airlines will have flights into one or all of these airports daily.
There are numerous budget carriers that offer domestic flights between the major cities for very reasonable rates; this is the fastest and safest way to span large distances, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town, which is a 2-hour flight.
From the airports there are numerous shuttles and taxis that you can pick up upon arrival, there are also many different car hire options at each airport and in all major cities. Uber is another reliable and affordable option.
Our currency in South Africa is the South African Rand. You can easily convert your currency to rand at a bank or Forex Bureau, the airports and larger towns often have many different Forex options. You can also withdraw from an ATM, banks are available throughout South Africa. Be sure to check what international bank charges you will incur for withdrawals before you arrive. Major credit cards are usually accepted in hotels or restaurants, however, there may be a surcharge. It is advisable to have small amounts of cash for curios and tipping.