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The Orange River Flows Through It

The Orange River is South Africa's longest river and the only major river to flow westwards into the Atlantic Ocean. It's two main tributaries are the Vaal which flows from the south eastern part of Gauteng and the Caledon which rises in the highlands of Lesotho. As it flows west the country get drier, to the north is the Kalahari Desert, becoming the Namib Desert in Namibia. To the south is the Great Karoo which becomes the Richtersveld near the coast.

The catchment area gets summer rainfall so if both rivers flood at the same time there could be a super flood on the Orange. My wife and I did the Orange in a super-duper flood some years ago, not fun because it was so high and wide that it was absolutely flat and moving at high speed. If you put your head under water it is very noisy due to the rocks being rolled along the river bottom. The only danger is if your canoe gets stuck in a thorn tree, could get nasty! Don't worry, a flood is a very rare occurrence.

The good news is that only three days of annual rain can be expected in the lower Orange River area, the bad news is that you will get one of them! Ha! Sometimes it is very low in winter so you bump over some of the the rapids, no problem, the river rocks are nice and round and it is not your canoe!


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