This post was written by Abby Clark, guest blogger.
We’ve all heard that Africa is a great destination for Safaris, but did you know that it’s also home to wonderful rivers for whitewater rafting? This exciting activity is a great way for the whole family to explore areas that are otherwise not accessible and also to see some of Africa’s famous wildlife close up.
When choosing a company to guide your rafting tour, it is important to find one that supplies safety equipment and training. Keep in mind that rivers are graded on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 being the most gentle and 6 being un-raftable. Beginners should be able to start with a class 2 or 3 run, but if you’re feeling nervous, don’t be afraid to ask for an easier route.
Recommended Routes for Rafting:
Class of rapids: 5
Trip Length: Day, overnight, and multi-day
When to go: Trips are available year-round, depending on whether you want low- or high-level waters.
The Zambezi River is the fourth longest river in Africa. Rafting on the Zambezi starts at the foot of Victoria Falls in the Batoka Gorge, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Although access to this rigorous course’s starting point involves steep terrain, those who feel up to the challenge are rewarded with what many people call the best one-day rafting trip in the world.
Class of rapids: 3-4
Trip Length: 2-5 days
When to go: Spring, after the snow melts
The Ahansal River, located a few hours from Marrakech is formed by snowmelt from the Atlas Mountains, which gives the water its gorgeous blue color. Since, trips here usually last for a few days, visitors have a chance to explore the area. Although this run has some rapids that will keep you working, you’ll be able to relax and soak in the beautiful scenery during the calmer stretches.
Blue Nile River, Ethiopia
Class of rapids: 1-5
Trip Length: Half day to two weeks
When to go: November-February
The Blue Nile. home to abundant wildlife and exotic birds including hippos, kingfishers, cormorants, and eagles, offers numerous river runs that vary in length and difficulty. Rafting trips can be as short as a few hours and as long as a couple of weeks. This river ride is a great way to view some of Ethiopia’s villages and lush vegetation.
Class of rapids: 1-4
Trip length: Single day, from 3-9 hours
When to go: September-April (trips may be available in the summer, but high flood risks make it more dangerous)
Just a short drive from Johannesburg, the Vaal River flows through the Vredefort Dome: the largest meteorite impact structure on earth and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With rafting options for beginners and advanced rafters, and also a number of swimming holes along the runs, the Vaal River is a fabulous destination for a weekend getaway outside of Johannesburg.
Class of rapids: 1-3
Trip length: 1-5 days
When to go: Year round
The Breede River, which flows through South Africa to the Indian Ocean, offers easy rapids for families and beginner rafters. With many access points just 1.5 hours from Cape Town, this is a great option for a day or weekend trip, especially if you want to visit one of the surrounding vineyards.
About the author: Abby Clark has loved to travel since she was a teenager, and has explored several famous as well as little known cities and towns around the world. Abby writes for Best Quote Travel Insurance which offers visitor to Canada insurance for travel.