|Where:||Onseepkans, N Cape|
|When:||All year round|
|Difficulty:||Class 2, Suitable for all skill levels and children above 5 years.|
|Season:||All year round|
|Distance:||999km from JHB
1412km from Durban
786km from Bloem
700km from Cape Town
1135km East London
1106km from PE
957km from Kynsna
Situated on the banks of the Orange in the tiny village of Onseepkans, 50 kms north of Pofadder, Red Rock River Camp offers a peaceful stop over or a great base to explore the area for a few days. As the base camp for Gravity Adventures, you also have the option of joining a rafting trip, either for just a day or one of our multi day wilderness trips.
Onseepkans also offers a relaxed and ‘QUICK’ border crossing into Namibia – none of the crowds you will find at Vioolsdrif! On average there are 3 – 4 vehicles p/day crossing the border. From the Border post there is a beautiful drive to Warmbad where there are hot springs and a quick route to the Fish River canyon.
We offer day trips on the river from the camp as well – a guided, relaxed and easy paddle in our 2 person inflatable ‘crocs’. Fishing trips can also be arranged as there is excellent small and Large mouth Yellow Fish found infant of the camp!
Red Rock camping consists of grassed areas with trees and bomas providing shade,shelter and wash up facilities . There are two ablution blocks with flush loos and showers and we will soon be building a dedicated 4×4 private camp with its own facilities. Electricity is available as well as fridge and freezer space in low season.
We also offer two canvas dome tents, each equipped with 2 stretchers and mattresses for those who are not equipped to camp.
Self catering cottages are also available in the town – contact us for more information
Paddling Day Trips: One of our guides will accompany you and provide advice on routes and the best lunch spot for the day. We can also provide cooler boxes and catering equipment if you don’t have your own. The day trip is usually run on a self catering basis but we can arrange catering for larger groups by prior arrangement. Put in and take out transport is arranged on a shuttle basis, using our vehicle and yours.
Nearby Attractions: The catholic mission of Pella, with its hand built cathedral is well worth a visit for a glimpse into the lives of the local people. Augrabies Falls National Park is about 1.5 hours drive away. The Ritchie Falls are the second highest waterfall on the Orange and can be reached on one of our rafting trips or by hiking up from Onseep Farm (4×4 access only) – ask us for more information.
*Note – Web prices subject to change without notice.
|Camping Adults – including electricity||R150.00p/p|
|Camping Kids under 12||R 40.00p/p|
|Camping Kids 5 and under||Free|
|Paddling day trips||R300.00p/p|
Q & A
How do I get up to the river?
You can drive up in your own vehicle or we can recommend a vehicle rental company or coach with driver . The road is a good tar road all the way up from Cape Town and takes around 9 hours. The road is also good tar coming in from the Gauteng direction. The last section of +/- 50 kms to the camp is usually a good dirt road. This road does, however, become difficult after heavy rain (not common in this area). We recommend that you contact the Pofadder Police Station (tel: 054 933 0022) or Onseepkans Police Station (054 951 0002) to check the condition of the road and choose the alternative route if required. Full directions will be supplied on confirmation of booking. We can also make recommend accommodation en route for you if you’d like to do the drive over two days. Fly in tours can also be arranged.
Do I need my passport?
No, you don’t. The trip starts and ends on the South African side so no border crossing is required.
What are the camping facilities like?
Our base camp is a grassed campsite on the river banks. Rustic ablutions and flush toilets are provided. There is one hot shower per ablution block. We will soon be building a dedicated 4×4 campsite with its own private facilities. You can also upgrade to a dome tent or to a nearby guest house for the nights in base camp, by prior arrangement.
Is there electricity?
Yes, the camp has main electricity and you can usually charge appliances or even plug your fridge in – just ask Alex, our camp manager, for help. Out of season, when we don’t have too many rafting groups in camp, you can also use our fridge and freezer space.
Is there cell phone reception?
Vodacom and MTN clients get full reception in camp. There is no 3G but you can still download mail etc.
Tell me about the paddling day trips
The river here offers relaxing paddling – there are flowing channels, a few very small rapids and lots of bird life. It’s a really lovely day on the water.
What do I need to bring?
You won’t need much for the day trip – most important: your packed lunch, swimming costume, shorts, sun cream, hat and a long sleeved shirt.
Can I bring my camera?
Yes. Although there can be no guarantees on a river trip, we do provide watertight dry buckets for cameras, binoculars etc. It is also worth considering buying a disposable waterproof camera.
Do I need to be fit? What if I’m not a strong swimmer?
You don’t have to be an athlete to do the trip but a reasonable level of fitness and good health is required. Temperatures can be extreme, especially in summer so please bear this in mind. There is no age limit but you should familiarise yourself with what the trip entails and make an informed decision on your ability to participate, based on your own fitness. Our general recommendation is a minimum age of 8 years and a maximum of 70. Expectant mothers are welcome – up to about 4 months along. Each client is issued with a PFD (’Lifejacket’) and is instructed on how to handle him or herself in the water, you don’t need to be a strong swimmer but please let us know if you are not confident in the water. There is always the option to walk around rapids you are not happy to do. You also have the option of requesting a very stable raft, which is steered by a guide (dependent on water level – medium and high levels only)
Is it difficult to steer the boats? Will I fall out?
We use 2 person inflatable ‘crocs’ that are very stable and easy to paddle, even for beginners. This section of river has lots of flowing channels and a few small, fun rapids. You will be equipped with a PFD (‘lifejacket’) and will have been given instruction on exactly how to behave if you fall out of your boat. We also use only highly trained guides who will be on hand to rescue you if required. You also have the option of requesting our very stable 5-person raft, which is steered by a guide (dependent on water level– medium and high levels only).
Is it safe? What about if I hurt myself?
Whilst there is an inherent element of risk in every adventure, running rivers with our professional guides should not be considered dangerous. Our guides are all trained in First Aid and we carry a First Aid kit. It is your responsibility to inform the guides about any allergies or medical conditions you may have and to make sure you have any personal medication with you (e.g. asthma pumps, allergy medication etc.). This trip does take place in a remote wilderness environment where evacuation can be difficult and time consuming but we have put plans in place to cope with any emergencies. We do not carry a sat phone as there is cell coverage from high points at various locations along the river. In general, evacuation by helicopter is not possible due to the rough terrain and the distance from the nearest helicopter but in our 17 years of operation, we have not needed it!
What about my catering?
The day trip is run a self-catering trip – you provide your lunch and we will provide coolers etc to pack it in.
Is the water safe to drink?
Generally, the water is clean enough to drink but we use water purification tablets to be on the safe side.
What will the weather be like?
In summer (September-April), days are very hot (30-40 degrees) and the nights are also warm. In between seasons, the days are still warm but the nights can be quite cool – a change of warm clothing and a good sleeping bag are required. In winter (June-August), days are warm (20-25 degrees) and nights (and water) are cold. The rainy season is late summer but since this is a semi-arid region, rain is not a frequent occurrence. Thunderstorms do sometimes occur but are usually over quickly.
Any other restrictions?
The APA code of safety requires us to warn you against consuming alcohol or drugs in the 8 hours preceding the trip as well as at all times on the water.
How do I book?
Contact us to make a booking.
More Questions? Give us a call!
Tel/fax: (021) 683 3698