Pre-Trip Briefing 4 Day & 5 Night
1. THE DRIVE & THE CAMPSITE
“FIDDLERS CREEK CAMPSITE” – is situated on a small farm on the South African Bank of the Orange River, just 10 km from the Vioolsdrift border post on the gravel road. The camp is equipped with clean ablutions, hot and cold running water, flushing toilets, electricity and bar facilities. Your vehicle will be left at the campsite for the duration of the trip and we have a safe for your valuables.
2. THE TRIP
Please meet us at Fiddler’s Creek campsite by no later than 5 o’clock (17h00) on the evening prior to the trip departure date. Here you will be met by your guides and given a pre-trip briefing on what to expect during the trip and a packing demonstration, followed by a delicious meal. After dinner, you will have to pack your dry bags, park your car in die parking lot, hand in your valuables and get ready for the next day!
Breakfast will be served at camp. After breakfast we will load all the equipment and we are ready to leave camp. We will take you to the Henkries launch point where the river trip will start (more or less a 120km drive). Once we get to the point, your guide team will assist you with packing your boats. Lunch will be served and your lead guide will do a safety speech. Once settled, it is time to hit the water! A slow paddle to our camping spot for the 1 stnight to see that everyone gets used to paddling and controlling the boats. We will set up camp out in the open, under the stars on the bank of the river. On the river there are no showers, toilets or power points.
DAY 2 & 3
Both full days of paddling, swimming and walks – each night camping under the stars at different sites further down the stream.
An early start after breakfast takes us to our last lunch spot on the water. In the afternoon we will arrive at our take-out point where vehicles will be waiting for us to take us back to the campsite again. The take-out point is about 20km away from camp. We will spend the last night at the camp again.
After coffee and a light breakfast, you set out on your journey home.
3. THE WEATHER
Generally, the weather is pretty warm throughout the year with hot days and comfortable nights. During the hotter months – November, December and January it can become incredibly hot with temperatures soaring into 40 C. While during May, June, July and August temperatures become cooler – with sometimes very cold nights. So, it will be advisable to pack appropriately.
4. THE BOATS AND SAFETY
We use crocs – which are two-man inflatable canoes. They are incredibly easy to handle, are very stable and as they are inflatable, are unsinkable. Each trip will be accompanied by at least (2) two professional, registered river guides, who each carry throw ropes and are well versed in river rescue techniques and each person is given a life jacket which they are required to wear on the river.
The following is a guideline list of things to pack for the trip. As everything has to be packed on the canoes and taken with us, it would be wise to take as little as possible. It is also a good idea to pack in your older clothes, as your clothes will probably become very dirty.
WHAT TO PACK?
- Warm sleeping bag with inner liner.
- Foam roll mat (available at most camping outlets).
- Small ground sheet or tarpaulin.
- Lightweight tent (optional – generally the weather is such that a tent is not required and one sleeps outside under the stars).
- Eating utensils – plate, bowl, mug, (preferably plastic or tin). Knife, fork and spoon
- Toiletry bag: toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving kit, hairbrush or comb, deodorant, biodegradable shampoo and soap.
- Strong black plastic bags (at least 4 per person) for waterproofing your personal belongings.
- Small personal first aid kit – a couple of plasters and pain pills.
- Insect repellent.
- Sun tan oil and sun block.
- Lip Ice.
- Torch and spare batteries.
- Hat or cap.
- Sunglasses with straps.
- Warm jacket, jersey or windbreaker.
- Long pants and warm top (for wearing in the evenings).
- Walking shoes.
- 2 x pairs of socks.
- Strops or flip-flops (to be worn on the river).
- 2 x shorts.
- 4 x T-shirts.
- Fishing gear*
- Small fold up chair*
- Gloves (to paddle with eg. Cycling or climbing gloves)*
- Sweets, chocolates, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages (please ensure that all refreshments are either in cans or decanted into plastic bottles, as broken glass tends to be hazardous in the river environment).