Ever since the Great Fish River was linked to the mighty Gariep Dam via the Orange-Fish Tunnel in 1976, it has been a favourite pastime of schoolchildren to float down the fast-flowing river on huge tyre tubes.
It has become something of an Eastern Cape Karoo custom.
Upriver at Schoombee near Middelburg, an enterprising schoolteacher called James Jordaan and his wife Delina have their own Karoo version of the famous Victoria Falls white water adventures and, although not quite as scary as the rapids up north, it’s every bit as exotic.
The Jordaans offer a farmstay that comes complete with big skies, majestic mountain ranges and a river with a strong flow for most of the year.
The guides from Karoo River Rafting take their clients (normally groups of corporate team builders and youngsters on school outings) on trips down both the Brak and Great Fish Rivers.
Like their better known counterpart on the Zambezi River, the course is lined with occasionally daunting rapids (grades 1 to 4) and equally dramatic names like Jackie Chan, S-Bend, The Thousand Waves, Washing Machine, Suicide Weir and Mother-in-Law.
Staying over in cabins on the farm De Keur, guests have many adventure choices besides river rafting. They can go veld-hiking, mountain biking, bird watching, fishing and, in hot weather, are encouraged to swim at the base of a waterfall on the Great Brak River.
But although the outdoor adventure offerings are great, that’s not all you get over a few days with Karoo River Rafting.
There’s also the incredible Karoo landscape, the joy of being out with friends and family – and the feasts back at Base Camp after a full day spent in Nature.