Olifants River – Bobbejaan to Loskop Dam

This is a very similar section compared to the previous one, except that the most difficult section is on the first half before levelling off on the last couple of kilometres.Ideal for: Kayak

  • Grade: 3 to 4
  • Length: 34km
  • Duration: Long one-day, easy two-day trip
  • Type: Pool-drop, continuous at places
  • Put-in: At the huts of the Bobbejaan hiking trail next to river
  • Take-out: Just upstream of Loskop dam (where Roan Lodge used to be), near the well-known Kanongat
  • Dam controlled: Witbank Dam
  • Permits: Permission for entering hiking trail on farm, call (013) 282-6101. Ask for directions to the huts. A 4×4 or at least a vehicle with high clearance is needed. Same applies to take-out on farm. Ask permission and use a 4×4. Also permit for take-out. Contact the Manager of the Loskop Dam Game Reserve at (013) 262-4190.

MAP 45

The very first rapid right at the put-in is a difficult boulder garden, which is probably easier to portage. The portage is on the right bank, and an adrenaline-rushing jump into the deep pool below the rapid can be made from the cliff. After some easygoing, almost flat-water stuff, a couple of more serious rapids are encountered in the high class 4 range. Be very careful here, the gorge is deep and isolated.

The gradient eases off on the second half of the trip, but the scenery stays spectacular. The take-out is not easy to recognise and seconds should preferably be waiting there to indicate the end of the excellent stretch. You definitely don’t want to go down too far, because the further you go, the greater the possibility of meeting crocodiles and hippos.

As already mentioned before, this whole area is environmentally very sensitive. Also keep in mind that, although the river is open to anyone, all the land next to it is conservation area. When planning an overnight trip, discuss it with the Manager of the Loskop Dam Game Reserve beforehand.

This river description is taken from my book “Run the Rivers of Southern Africa”.
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