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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Top 14 African Countries for White-Water Rafting Trips

From the frigid south to the blazing north, the massive range of the African continent is not lacking in white water. 

The African continent offers plenty of opportunities for adventure, and white water rafting is not an exemption. 

Thanks to the seasoned whitewater rafting enthusiasts at most of these locations that are readily available to guide your trip.

Here is a collection of the top fourteen (14) rivers in Africa you should consider for a wild ride, whitewater rafting.

1. Ahansal River – Morocco

Ahansal River is an 80 kilometers river with an array of rapids located in the Atlas Mountains near Tiloguite, little hours from Marrakech, Morocco. 

It is an impressive choice for whitewater rafters, featuring scenic views of cedar trees, olive groves, sandy beach, and wildlife seen while floating on the crystal blue river. 

The most favorable season for rafting in Ahansal River

The best season for a rafting trip on the Ahansal River is from March to June, when the temperature is pleasurably warm, with its level of difficulty ranging from Class III-IV / Beginner-Intermediate. 

Depending on the water levels and section or rapids used, rafting can take about 3 to 5 days. 

What to bring for Ahansal rafting

While going whitewater rafting at this location, you’re to travel with warm clothes like a sweater, polar, warm jackets, and summer clothes. 

It’s also essential to go with trekking boots, sports shoes, Teva sandals, and a sleeping bag.

Agina, you need sunglasses, sun cream, and swimming gear for whitewater rafting in the Ahansal River.

Things you need to know about the Ahansal River

Using a tabular form, we will point out the necessary information about Ahansal River every rafter should know. 

Price: 299 EUR per person 

Best time to go for rafting: March April May

Duration: 2 Days

Grade: 3/4

Age: Minimum 16

Participants: Minimum of 4 participants at once

Meeting point: L’Auberge a la Cathedral

2. Molenaars River – South Africa  

Molenaar’s River is another excellent choice for a whitewater rafting trip in Africa situated 70km or one hour from Cape Town, South Africa. 

It has a more slender channel than any other Cape river hence offering a steep technical challenge for the whitewater fanatics. 

The fast-moving rapids of Molenaars River are more reliant upon winter rains, making its season June and September. 

Whitewater rafting in Molenaar’s river is a lifetime experience as its length is seven kilometers and rapids grade II to IV+. 

Its location is at the Western Cape, 70 kilometers from Cape Town, South Africa.

Things to do before rafting in the Molenaar River

It’s important to listen attentively to instructions at the rapids, paddle correctly, and enjoy the good looks of the environment.  

What to pack before going for water rafting in the Molenaar River

The necessary things for whitewater rafting in Molenaar River South Africa are an old pair of running shoes, quick-dry clothing, and a couple of clothes to change afterward. 

Best season to raft in the Molenaar River

The best season for water rafting in this river is from June to September since it depends on the winter rains.  

3. Omo River – Ethiopia  

Another popular rafting destination in Africa is the Omo River, otherwise known as Omo-Bottego. 

It’s a not-to-miss spot whether you’re a beginner or expert whitewater rafter, expanding over 165 km2 and flowing 400 miles into the northern end of Lake Rudolf. 

The best season for whitewater rafting is from September to December, and its rapid is grade III to III+. 

Omo River, which rises in the Ethiopian plateau, is located in southwestern Ethiopia, Africa. 

Things to see while rafting in the Omo River

During rafting in the Omo River, rafters behold a variety of scenery like hot springs, side streams, clear swimming pools, wildlife, birdlife, and vegetation. 

Things to know before rafting in the Omo River 

Before going for the whitewater rafting in Omo River, they are precautions or things to know, and such include

  • Ensure you have the correct outerwear for the day.
  • Select a professional rafting outfitter. 
  • Always be on a life jacket.
  • Try and hold the paddle appropriately.
  • Stay in the boat comfortably. 
  • Know the suitable swimming method. 
  • Don’t panic

4. The White Nile – Uganda 

The Nile is a north-flowing river that flows into the Mediterranean sea, with its drainage basin covering eleven African countries. 

The rapids of the river range from grade 3 to 4, and their length is roughly 6,650 kilometers and suit just about every experience level for rafting. 

Nile whitewater in Uganda has the best season for rafting, and such seasons include January, February, and June to September.

The primary source of the river is in Jinja 1-5 hours from Kampala, Uganda. 

Packing list for White Nile rafting in Uganda

There are notable items you need to pack while going for whitewater rafting in water Nile Uganda, and they include lightweight slacks, sweaters, swimsuits, pair of sports sandals, and sturdy boots.

5. The Zambezi River – Zambia  

River Zambezi is one of the largest flowing and fascinating rivers in Africa, located in Zambia, offering an experience quite different from whitewater rafting at other locations. 

The river has one of the highest falls (Victoria Falls) in the African continent. Therefore, white water rafting near the falls fits the seasoned rafters.

The rapids of the Zambezi River vary from class IV-V, and its length is 2,700 kilometers hence making it appropriate for rafting. 

Best time: The best season to go for whitewater rafting in the Zambezi is from January, February, September, and October. 

Location: Ikelenge district, the northwestern province of Zambia. 

Things you should know before rafting in the Zambezi River.

Before rafting in the Zambezi River, you must know that the water levels vary seasonally. There is a need to gift your friend Nyami-Nyami necklace, that the river offers excellent multi-day options, and that your raft may flip. 

Other things essential to know are that the river is in a steep-sided gorge, they are non-harmful crocodiles, the river is class V, and that they are a rafting event every 24th to 27th October. 

The reason to gift your friend Nyami-Nyami a necklace is that the carving is a symbolic representation of the god of the river. 

History has it that wearing the necklace grants free and safe passage through the gorge.

List of things you need to bring

While coming for water rafting in the Zambezi River, you need to bring suitable walking footwear, shoes that can get wet, a quick-drying cloth, sun cream, and chums.  

6. Rufiji River – Tanzania 

Rufiji is a suitable river for whitewater rafting formed by joining the Luwegu and Kilombero Rivers, located in Tanzania, 178 kilometers south of Dar-es-salaam.

It flows 175 mi northeast and east to enter the Indian Ocean. 

Although the fast-moving water has a Class-3 rating, rafting along the river is worth practicing with the neighboring lovely beauty along its shores.

Items for pack list during whitewater rafting in Rufiji River

The guideline on the type of costume to wear includes a light dress, swimming outfit, warm jacket, running shoes, sandals, etc.  

7. Fish River Canyon – Namibia

Fish River Canyon, Namibia, is the longest river in the nation, offering an excellent adventure combination, including full-day whitewater rafting trips.

From purple, gray to pink geological wonders are only part of what you’ll see at this African hotspot for adventures which runs 161km long, 27 km wide, and 550meter deep. 

Fish River Canyon is well known to be the largest in Africa and the top tourist attraction in Namibia. 

Best time to go to a Fish River Canyon 

The Fish River Canyon is a good place for rafting in Namibia and the best season is the autumn period which ranges from March to May. 

The temperature is usually hot during summer, so visiting from December to February is advisable.  

The winter month is not exceptional because the weather is cool and its month is June to August.  

Essential items for rafting in Fish River Canyon

The following items are critical when packing for a raft in Fish River Canyon, and they include a quick-dry towel, sunscreen, brimmed sun hat, and light sandals.   

8. Mangoky River – Madagascar

The Mango River in Madagascar has its source in the central highland of Madagascar, flowing through the Makay range, with a length of 564km and with class-2 whitewater rafting best for beginners. 

With its incredible scenery, the Mango River is the best destination in Africa to explore rafting from mid-July to mid-February. 

The Mango River is a river in Atsimo-Andrefana and Anosy, which the Mananantanana and the Matsiatra form. 

Tips for rafting in Mangoky River in Madagascar 

The following tips are essential when rafting it includes good helmets, always wearing the proper dress code, don’t take your valuable like rings and bracelets.

The tips demand that a rafter should be a competent swimmer, wear your lifejacket tight, always listen to your guide, and paddle harder. 

9. Orange River – South Africa 

Orange River, named after the Dutch Royal House by Gordon Jacob, alternatively called Senqu River, is the longest river in South Africa with the best setting for novice and experts rafting enthusiasts.

The color of the river does not apply to its name, meaning the river is not

Orange, as the name implies. 

The best period for orange rafting with easy run-able whitewater is March and April. 

The Orange River rises on the western hill of the Drakensberg in Lesotho, and it forms a border between the south of Namibia and South Africa. 

When packing for a water raft in Orange River – Things to consider 

When packing for whitewater rafting in Orange River, it’s crucial to horde sunglasses, sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, shorts, floppies, a closed shoe for the river, and gloves.  

10. Bujagali falls – Uganda 

Bujagali Falls, otherwise spelled as Budhagali, is a waterfall referred to as the source of the Nile that offers exhilaration for whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, river boarding, kayaking, etc.  

Proudly situated in Jinja, Uganda, Bujagali Falls offers a thrilling class-4 rapids whitewater rafting experience.

What to wear

Preferably, a light T-shirt, shorts, and water-resistant sunscreen are good suggestions while on the river.  

Since rafting requires one to be under the sun, it’s also recommended you pack a towel, skimpy outfit, few clothes to change after the adventure.

11. Itanda Falls – Uganda

Itanda Falls is one of the hidden reserves in Uganda described by all the six whitewater rafting levels. 

It’s a rafting spot offering a spectacular set of cascades amid lush hilly greenery and rapids, with attractions like baboons, monkeys, a diversity of birds, and Nile monitors.

The Itanda Falls has three suitable grades for amateurs and experts whitewater rafting enthusiasts.

Location: Itanda Falls in Jinja is located next to the Nile River in Eastern Uganda, and it’s 30 kilometers off Jinja road.

Best time to go for whitewater rafting at Itanda Falls

It is best and favorable rafting in Itanda falls between January to April and July to October.

What to pack

A list of things to bring for a water rafting trip in Itanda falls includes river shoes, quick-dry shorts, sunglasses, a hat, and sandals.

12. Victoria Falls – Zambia

Victoria Falls presents rafters with an impressive sight, awe-inspiring attractiveness, and splendor.

Whitewater rafting in Victoria Falls is the best as it comes with the world’s most significant grade 5.

Cost of rafting in Victoria Falls

Rafting for 6.5 hrs half-day in the morning costs per person $120 while rafting 6 hrs a half-day in the afternoon is $95 per person.

Additionally, 9 hrs full-day rafting is $140 for an individual, and high water half-day rafting for 6 hrs is $130 per head.

Favorable month for Victoria Falls rafting

The most encouraging month for low water whitewater rafting in Victoria Falls is August to December.

The best period for high whitewater rafting is between January to February and June to July.

Age requirement for rafting in Victoria Falls

The minimum age for whitewater rafting in Victoria Falls is 15 years, and personalities under this age need to sign an authorization.

Provisions at the spot

Visitors to this location should anticipate drinks, lunch, and transfers from Victoria Falls-based hotels.

What to wear when rafting in Victoria falls

Since it’s a physical activity, it is best to take comfortable shoes, waterproof sunscreen. Do not go along with valuables.

Tips for whitewater rafting at Victoria Falls

• Safety briefing should not scare you off.

• Eat plenty of energetic food before the rafting.

• Bring sunscreen and decent shoes.

• In case of fallout, don’t panic.

• Ensure you have a good time.

• Remember to keep all valuable, including cameras, at home.

13. Livingstone Falls – DR Congo

Livingstone Falls is another whitewater rafting spot on the lower cost of River Congo that gives high float personal flotation devices (PFDs) before rafting.

The tour operators at Livingstone Falls pick their visitors from their lodges between 7:30 and 8:30.

Again, they offer brief comprehensive safety tips and provide them with helmets and paddles before exploring whitewater rafting in the Livingstone Falls.

Livingstone Falls comprises a series of massive rapids on the lower course of River Congo in west equatorial Africa suitable for whitewater rafting and swimming under the falls.

Location: Downstream from Malebo Pool, Lower Course of the Congo River, extending to Matadi in Bas-Congo, DR Congo in West Equatorial Africa.

Items to take along

While preparing for a whitewater rafting trip at Livingstone Falls, you should pack the following items;

Water bottle

Chums to secure glasses

Swimsuit and or shorts

Thermal top

T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt

Sturdy shoes and sandals

Sunscreen and lip balm

14. Parys River Rafting – South Africa

Parys River is a fantastic spot for rafting trips which takes an exciting route on the Val River.

The Parys River rafting has other sub rafting spots like Compact River rafting, full-day river rafting, Vaal river tubing, half-day river rafting, multi-day rafting.

Compact River rafting has the longest rapids and is suitable for non-swimmers and beginners.

It offers a quality guide, one bottle of water, safety equipment, and transport from the base.

Things to pack

  • comfortable, dry clothes
  • sunscreen
  • no flip flop
  • sunglasses
  • towels

Half-day river rafting is a two to three-hour rafting that is perfect for first-time explorers and non-swimmers.

Visitors gain transportation opportunities from the base to the rafting spot, a bottle of drinking water, eligible guides, and rafting equipment.

 There is a need to bring sunglasses with straps, shoes that can get wet, sunscreen, and a towel in the car.

Details of the half-day river rafting trip

Duration: 2-3 Hours depending on Water Level

Start Point: Real Adventures Base Camp

Minimum: People 4

Distance: +/- 7Km

Transport included: from Base Camp to start location and back to base Camp.

End Point: REAL Adventures Base Camp

Meals: None

The authorized age for rafting in Bujagali falls

The approved minimum age is from 8 to 16 years, and it also changes according to the chosen grade of difficulty.  

If a child under 16 years wants to raft, they should go with adults, particularly whitewater rafting guides.

What is the highest class for whitewater rafting? 

Classes for whitewater rafting ranges from class-1 to class-6. Class 1 is the safest and most accessible for beginners, while class 6 is the most dangerous and most challenging, mainly for experts.

Class-5 is a high recommendation for experienced rafters, and class-6 (the highest class) of white water rafting is usually unrunnable by people since it projects to risk. 

Which countries in the world can you take white water rafting trips to?

There are various countries around the world where whitewater rafting is awe-inspiring.

However, the best destinations that top the list include; 

  • Río Upano in Ecuador
  • Zambezi River in Zambia
  • Magpie River, Canada
  • The Brahmaputra in India
  • White Nile in Uganda
  • Pacuare River in Costa Rica
  • The Middle Fork Salmon River USA
  • Sun Kosi in Nepal 
  • Futaleufú River, Chile
  • Noce River in Italy
  • Colorado River Grand Canyon in the USA
  • Chilko River (Canada)
  • North Johnstone River (Australia)

Where is white water rafting most popular in the world? 

The best whitewater rafting locations globally are the rivers of Idaho and Oregon America, Noco River Italy, Zambezi River Zambia, Upano River Ecuador, and North Johnstone River Australia. 

Conclusion 

Africa has many amazingly pristine sceneries, and journeying to one of these exciting rivers offers an opportunity to explore the continent at its best.

If you seek a multi-day rafting ride with minimum whitewater, Africa got you covered. 

All the destinations mentioned above offer plenty of opportunities for grade-1 to grade-5 whitewater fun in both fall and winter.

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