Vaal River 2022

4-day rafting course

Learn to look after yourself and others on South Africa’s exciting, difficult rivers. This 4-day course is based on the curriculum for river guides but is open to anyone aged 14-65. It is run at our base, Otters Haunt on the Vaal near Parys, about an hour from Johannesburg.

  • For Booking Form contact us via WhatsApp at 084 245 2490. Website:


The event is a lot of fun but also a challenge that grows your skills. We use the Vaal River in the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site, a truly beautiful area with greatly varied river features. There are rapids, long pools, islands, and good access roads for safety.


This is the 18th year in which we have run the course, training scores of river guides, club safety officers, private boaters and some emergency services personnel. You need to be fit but we provide all that is necessary for the river. You need a tent and sleeping bag, groundmat, clothing for the nights, and wet gear to wear on the river. We have boats, lifejackets etc and access to various jumping in spots and takeouts.

The course runs over four days and nights. Participants camp at our base near Parys but if living locally can go home at night. Catering forms part of the course and is paid for, rather than having people self-cater which wastes precious time.


The course covers river know-how (rapids, environment, flow), equipment (rafts, kayaks, tubes, canoes), personal gear (lifejackets, helmets, accessories, communications), boating (paddling techniques, reading the river, hazards), safety and rescue (basic precautions, risk sites, wading, set-up rescues, ropework and other techniques), weather and climate (summer and winter trips), logistics and catering (health and safety, nutrition and hygiene, transport, expeditions and planning, minimum environmental impact), and job opportunities (in South Africa and the world at large).

Extensive notes are provided free online. These include Prof Graeme Addison’s book on Whitewater Rafting, sold throughout the world.


To Book WhatsApp us on 084 245 2490


Candidates who are ready for it may be assessed for the Technical Certificate in River Rafting. The assessment follows the curriculum (River Guide Observation Checklist or RGOC). Being assessed as competent is a requirement to proceed to the official qualification for adventure tour guides which is the only way to be legally accredited.


For fees and the Booking Form contact us via WhatsApp at 084 245 2490