What you need to bring along largely depends on when you do the adventure, so let's look at what is appropriate to bring along season by season.
Most people tend to do rafting trips in the warmer months, essentially because that is when they take holidays, and when the kids are on school holidays too.
So what are the most essential things to bring along on these trips? Make sure you bring a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, a light long sleeve T-shirt, a sarong to protect your legs from sunburn, SPF50 sunscreen, UV lip balm, swimming costume, river shoes (aqua booties), a light sleeping bag, fold up camping chair, headlamp, cushion or pillow, a waterproof jacket, a light wind breaker jacket, insect repellant, snacks, 2 litres of water pp per day, energy drinks or cooldrinks (optional), alcoholic beverages (optional), light long track pants and top for the evenings, slops or running shoes, 2-3 changes of clothing & underwear, toilet paper, camera/phone with waterproof container/bag, toiletries, and a light towel.
Adventure Rafting provides all the rafting equipment (2-man inflatable raft, paddle, water scoop, 60 litre dry bag for clothing, toiletries, valuables), and all safety gear (life jacket, helmet), a tent, a single mattress, groundsheet, cutlery, crockery, all meals on the adventure, one cooler box and ice per raft, professionally qualified guides to help, assist and take care of your safety. The guides also make a fire every night to cook on and for you to chill around after a busy day of rafting.
All your snacks, water and beverages travel with you on the rafts (in the cooler box). Your clothing, sleeping bag, toiletries, pillow etc. also travel with you in the 60 litre dry bag that is supplied for your usage during the trip (One dry bag per person). Every rafter only gets one 60 litre dry bag to use, and two rafters share a cooler box and ice for their snacks, water and beverages. The guides carry all the food, ingredients, tea, coffee, milk etc. on their rafts.
All transfers to and from the river from the base camp, are arranged by Adventure Rafting, and this is included in the price. All camping fees are also included in the price.
The base camp has ample safe, free parking, power to charge phones, WiFi, shower and ablution facilities, fridges/freezers, camping facilities, and a lapa to sit in and braai or eat.
There are no shops at the base camp, so please buy all the stuff you'd like to bring along on the adventure BEFORE you arrive. You can safely store your valuables (car keys, wallets, passports) in a safe at the base camp while you do the rafting trip. The closest supermarkets, shops and bottlestores are located in Hopetown and Douglas respectively, and both towns are approximatly 45 minutes away by car.
Bring along all the same things you'd normally bring with in summer, but definitely include warmer clothing (fleece tops), a waterproof top (Gortex is best), an extra blanket, gloves, a warm sleeping bag, long warm trackpants, a beanie for your head and ears (mornings and evenings), bedsocks to keep your feet warm at night, warm pyjamas, and a hotwater bottle!
Although many people prefer rafting in the peak season months (Nov-Apr), there is absolutely nothing to worry about in the cooler months (May-Oct). The winter months have very pleasant sunny days and hardly any rain. There is also a big fire every night to warm yourself up at!
Typical average temperatures in the Thunder Alley section we raft in are as follows:
Spring (10 deg C min to 28 deg C max)
Summer (18 deg C min to 34 deg C max)
Autumn (8 deg C min to 25 deg C max)
Winter (5 deg C min to 21 deg C max)
The above temperatures are average, so it can get a little hotter in summer, and a bit colder in winter.
I hope this article has provided you with some important insights into what's appropriate to bring along on our rafting trips. If you have any further questions about anything, just ask.