Five-Hour Vaal River Tour

Our Five-Hour Vaal River Tour has been a hit with friends and clients for the beautiful scenery, a route that meanders between islands, excellent sightings of fish eagles and herons and the small, friendly rapids that have them crying out, “More! Bigger! Please!”.

QUICK REFERENCE

WHERE Parys, Free State (125km from Jo’burg)
WHEN Scheduled by arrangement. Minimum 4 paddlers.
DURATION Five hours from meeting to getting off the water
(4hrs on the water)
DIFFICULTY Scenic, leisurely pace with friendly, very small rapids
COST R450 per person (includes lunch)

Our Five-Hour Vaal River Tour has been a hit with friends and clients for the beautiful scenery, a route that meanders between islands, excellent sightings of fish eagles and herons and the small, friendly rapids that have them crying out, “More! Bigger! Please!”.

Our Vagabond Mazowe kayaks are perfectly suited to this tour. They are stable, comfortable and easy-to-paddle kayaks. There is very little risk that you’ll fall in. We’ll teach you all the paddle skills that you’ll need. No experience is necessary.

On this tour, we make a stop on an island for a light lunch, which we provide.

A shuttle driver takes us to the put-in and your vehicles remain at the take-out so you can head into Parys to enjoy the town’s vibrant main street after the tour.

Recruit a group of friends and come Paddle With Us.


TOUR TIMES

We schedule this tour by arrangement and require a minimum of 4 paddlers.


TOUR ITINERARY
We meet at the Likkewaan Canoe Club at 8am and our shuttle driver will take us around to the put-in where our kayaks wait. We’ll get you kitted and fitted before we get on the water to practice some paddling basics. Then we’ll head off. About two hours into the trip we stop for a light lunch and then continue to the end where your vehicle is waiting. Duration from getting on the water to getting off is around four hours.


NEED TO KNOW

  • Payment for the tour must be done in advance to confirm your booking.
  • Double-seater Vagabond Mazowe kayaks are provided.
  • Children are welcome. Minimum age is 8 years. Children must be on the kayak with a parent.
  • Paddles, personal flotation devices (PFD, aka lifejackets), a waterbottle and a small drybag for your valuables are provided. The wearing of your PFD at all times is compulsory.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that can get wet i.e. sandals. You will get splashed and you may get half wet..
  • We recommend that you use sunblock on your face, neck, arms and legs and that you wear a hat and shades on the water. Remember to bring your prescribed/allergy medication.
  • Pack a towel and warm, dry clothing for afterwards.
  • Paddle tours are weather dependant. Fortunately, we have very few bad-weather days. We assess the weather conditions for each outing to ensure your safety and comfort.
  • Being on flat and flowing water, it is unlike that you will get seasick. Should you be sensitive to motion sickness, please take your motion-sickness tablets before coming on the tour.
  • The group stays together, with the guide, at all times. Please do not go off on your own.
  • By booking a tour with us, you agree to abide by our Booking Terms & Conditions and that you will follow all instructions given by our guides. An indemnity must be signed at check-in.

CANCELLATIONS

  • No-show, no refund.
  • No refund will be given for cancellations received within 24 hours of the scheduled date and time of the activity.
  • For cancellations received within 24-60 hours of the tour, 50% of the fee will be charged.
  • Cancellations made more than 60 hours before the tour will only be charged a 10% admin fee.
  • Paddle With Us reserves the right to cancel any tour should there be insufficient guests and/or unfavourable weather. We aim to give you at least 24-hours notice of cancellations. A full refund will be given.

REFUND POLICY
If we make the decision to cancel a tour because of unsafe weather, we will aim to notify you 24 hours before your scheduled tour. In the event that we cancel a tour, we will give you a full refund, which may take 4 – 7 working days to process.

TERMS & CONDITIONS
Please read our booking terms.


WHAT TO BRING

Wear comfortable clothing and footwear that can get wet i.e. sandals. You will get splashed, and your bottom and legs will probably get wet. Bring sunblock, hat, shades, prescribed/allergy medication, a towel and warm, dry clothing for afterwards.


MAKE YOUR BOOKING

RATES
Adults: R450pp | Children under 12: R380pp

BOOKINGS
Please contact us directly to check availability and to confirm your booking. Remember to let us know the number of people and ages of children. You will be provided you with relevant information and banking details. Your booking will only be confirmed on confirmation of transfer.


DIRECTIONS & MAP

The beautiful Likkewaan Canoe Club is located just off the R59 on the Sasolburg side of Parys.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: What are the pros of a kayak tour vs an inflatable raft tour?

A: The Vaal River in Parys offers both flatwater and whitewater sections. Rafts are slow and ideally suited to running rapids; they are sluggish on flatwater. Our trip focuses on flowing flatwater, which makes kayaks are the most suitable boats. Our kayaks are stable, fast in design, easier to paddle and ideally suited to our tour locations. They can also run class 1 rapids with ease. Kayaks allow us to cover longer distances with less effort. They have dry hatches to stow your gear and offer a much more rewarding paddling experience.

Q: How big is a class 1 rapid?

A: Rapids are graded according to difficulty, accessibility and risk. Class 1 would be those where the river flows over rocks, making ripples and small waves, but with no serious obstructions nor danger.  Little skill or manoeuvring is required. These rapids add variety to flatwater with no risk to your safety.

Q: Do I need any paddling experience?

A: No, you don’t. When we first get on to the river, we’ll teach you some basic techniques to best paddle and steer your kayak. This is an active getaway with a leisurely pace to ensure that you get to the end having enjoyed the paddle and with enough energy to explore the town.

Q: How long do we paddle for each day?

A: Our time on the water is around four hours. This includes a lunch stop. We reach the end by 13h00.

Q: Will I have to swim at all?
A: No. Our kayaks are stable and we are on flatwater so the likelihood of you falling in is very small. In any event, you will be wearing a lifejacket at all times.

Q: Do you offer tours during the week?
A: Yes. On request and for a minimum number of 4 people.

Q: Do you do custom and private guided tours?
A: Yes. The minimum number for a private booking is 4. We have a variety of tour and kayak options to cater for young children (younger than 12), teens, families and corporate groups.

Q: Can children come on this tour?
A: Yes. Children from 8 to 14 can paddle with a parent in the front seat of the double kayak. From the age of 14, children can be booked on this kayak tour without a parent having to be present on the tour. The parent will be required to sign indemnity on behalf of children under 18.

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