Posted by Beth | May 4, 2016
Perhaps the single most fun thing we have done on our trip so far was spending a day canyoneering, or kloofing as often referred to in South Africa, in a remote canyon near the town of Wilderness, South Africa. Kloofing is a popular sport in this region, and for good reason. The scenery is stunning as you float through narrow openings and the day trip is full of adventure—hiking, abseiling, swimming and jumping off cliffs.
We did a semi-private tour with Marthinus from Paradise Adventures and could not recommend this trip highly enough. We found Paradise Adventures on Trip Advisor and Marthinus had nothing but rave reviews. We emailed him about two days prior and he was able to accommodate us and was very helpful in coordinating a meeting spot so we didn’t get lost driving to the entry point.
Marthinus, the owner and guide, is an adventure athlete that has climbed every peak in South Africa and traversed every river from source to ocean. He competes internationally in trail running, white water kayaking, canyoning, rock climbing and pretty much every other mountain adventure sport you could imagine. He is sponsored by Red Bull but has started this private tour business as a new side job.
Our tour group was small, only us and one other middle aged woman from Perth. He was accommodating in making sure we had a great time even when she was uncomfortable on a few of the jumps. The day tour takes place in a remote canyon near a university (his alma mater) that only his tours access. He referred to it as his private canyon, as he’s the one who maintains the trails and set all the anchors. I use the word “maintains” the trails loosely, as they were still very overgrown. Martinhus has a degree in Botany and was able to make the dodging, dipping, ducking and dodging of the trees and bushes informative and interesting. Nonetheless, I was wishing I had pants and long sleeves on to push through the bush. Short video of the hiking portion below.
Upon arrival to the bottom of the canyon, Martin handed out our wetsuits and safety gear and gave us a few pointers on how not to hurt ourselves. From there we spent a couple of hours moving down the river through the canyon tackling various obstacles. Several times we would be able to jump off rocks down to the next point, other times we had to abseil down waterfalls and a lot of times we were just walking or swimming through the reddish black water. Though it looked rather disgusting, it was supposedly actually very clean, only turned to the blackish color you see from the minerals in the water.
Perhaps the best part was the very end when we reached our exit point there was a cliff you could climb up and jump about 30 feet into the natural pool below. Watch our video below!
Cost: The extreme version kloofing that we completed is R750, but there’s a shorter, more mild trip for R450. Our total cost for two people, plus tip and purchasing the video was R2000 ($119).
Included: Free hotel pick up and drop off from areas around Wilderness or George, all equipment including a wetsuit, helmet and harness, water, juice and snacks in the canyon.
Here is Martinhus’ info, it would be a bit of a trip from Cape Town but in our mind, it would be worth the drive even if just for the day.
082 764 3112