The rapids on the Palmiet River will float your boat.
The Kogelberg Nature reserve, just 90-minutes from Cape Town, is an area of pristine beauty. Fynbos-dotted mountains line the picturesque Palmiet River that offers chilled or adrenaline-pumping experiences depending on the time of year you visit.
During high-water levels, rafting takes place on the longer 5km section of the river, while the shorter section is reserved for tubing when water levels are low.
Rafting on the Palmiet River
Winter rains turn the otherwise-serene river into an adventure zone of white-water rapids, where you can go rafting between June and October in two-person inflatable vessels (“crocodiles”) or four-person rafts.
Registered guides lead the way, sharing their knowledge of the area, as well as tips on how to negotiate the river. The two-person “crocs” are self-steered and you will receive a full safety briefing before setting off.
Rafting on the Palmiet is graded from 1 to 4 (easy to challenging), with bigger rapids including “Bubble and Squeak”, “Itchy and Scratchy” and “Judgement Day”.
The following is included in the cost:
- boating and safety equipment
- paddle jackets
- transport to the launch site
- wetsuit (or bring your own)
What you’ll need
- closed shoes or river sandals that can get wet
- change of clothes
- packed lunch (or opt for the riverside braai for an additional fee)
To keep tours intimate and the environment peaceful, river excursions are limited to 24 people per group (minimum six people). Two smaller groups can be accommodated simultaneously.
During late spring, summer and early autumn, when the water levels are lower, the Palmiet is best suited to floating downriver in one-person inflatable tubes (“gekos”). You’ll negotiate the river in a more chilled, reclining position – drifting along channels and through pools and over small rapids. Any dangerous rapids will be walked.
You are supplied with a lifejacket and helmet, and a wetsuit is advisable (bring your own or hire one for R150). Wear sturdy shoes that can get wet. The excursions are limited to 20 people per group (minimum four people) and take around four hours.
Please note Tubing is usually not available during the in-between season when the river is too low for rafting but a bit too high for safe tubing.
Whichever option you choose for your river-soaked adventure, it’s sure to be a thrill.
Good to know
- Your guides will be waiting at Oudebosch Reception in Kogelberg Nature Reserve.
- Rates don’t include the CapeNature conservation fee (R50 per adult).
- River-rafting is suitable for children 12 years and older, and tubing for ages eight years and older.
- The maximum weight per person is 100kg for rafting, and reasonable physical fitness is required.
Address CapeNature Office, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Western Cape
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