raft otters square 180 WHITEWATER RAFTING: Join a rafting trip down the exciting rapids with The RIVERMAN, the original pioneer of our rivers now based at Otters' Haunt. Thrills, spills and even tubing fun, led by top pro guides.

couple-at-river-sept-2016 FAMILY HOLIDAYS: The ideal getaway close to Johannesburg. Look no further than our beautiful Otters' Den guest house at the riverside. Or maybe choose the Full Moon Bush Cabins for your group exclusively. Call now +27 82 475 8767 or email info@otters.co.za around-the-fire-at-rotary-function-15sept2015-bushcamp
!SQUARE_mtb domeview 180HIKING & MTB TRAILS: From easy to tough, from gentle river walks to boulder hopping. Single track and gravel routes for MTB. Come with kids, friends or your club. 

Rated best stay by Lonely Planet

Otters Den Guinea Fowl Cabin bedroom Cormorant Cabin

LONELY PLANET cover - OTTERS HAUNT.jpegWe are Lonely Planet’s “Pick” of the Northern Free State. Out of hundreds of lodges, hotels and guest houses in this area, we came out tops for adventure and hospitality. The international best-seller says: Lonely-Planet-Logo-682x323“Otters’ Haunt, the hub of all things outdoors in Parys…this secluded gateway right on the Vaal River offers a long list of outdoor activities for humans and their pets… Accommodation is reasonably priced and comes in all shapes and sizes.”


  • Standard price of a halfday rafting trip: R335pp. Our Easter Special Price: R295
  • Standard price of halfday rafting plus braai buffet: R625pp. Our Easter Special Price: R545.
  • Discounts for under 16s and families
  • Book 12 people and 2 more come FREE!
  • Don’t delay, book today. Places are limited. EMAIL US.
And remember, we have great accommodation – check out our guest house, bush camp and chalets


Mild winter – ideal for cycling

mtb cottage at rietpoort 20130609-01544It may be global warming, it may just be freak weather. Whatever the explanation for our unseasonal “midwinter summer” it makes for great hikes, mountain biking and paddling on the river.

Recently Karen and I explored Rietpoort farm on our mountain bikes, enjoying the bushland paths and route along the foot of the Dome Bergland. The picture shows the quaint farm cottage where you deposit your visitor fee in a collection box. How’s that for safety and security! On this trail all the main species of Continue reading Mild winter – ideal for cycling

Meditation on kids’ parties

Kids floatalongWe just love this picture of two boys meditating during a family river trip on the Vaal. I guess their parents are into Eastern religions and they’ve picked it up. Imagine how much of a better place the world would be if all  youngsters learnt to delve into themselves to find peace in the universe.

The meditation got me cogitating – not just thinking, but planning new family adventures in the coming spring and summer. This is a wonderful setting for a birthday party. We are doing Continue reading Meditation on kids’ parties

Wilderness canoeing

Hire a canoe and go out on your own or go with a guide who knows the islands and the wildlife.

dome canoe

Pigging out in autumn

Our grand old oak tree has produced thousands of acorns – great food for pigs! We don’t keep pigs ourselves but occasionally some monstrous visitors like the one in the photo come crashing through the fields next door. Our dogs go crazy and there is much scurrying around to get the pig to gobble-n-go.

Meanwhile, autumn is on the way. It’s a beautiful time of year. The Easter holidays are coming and we are enjoying some of the best weather ever – not too hot, not cold or windy, just lovely days. Everything is green but turning to yellows and lush browns.

Our rafting continues into April. Hopefully, recent cyclone Irina has dropped some rain in the Vaal catchment and we can expect a good flow for the remainder of the season.

As the weather cools off we start mountain biking in earnest. There are great off-road trails in the Dome Bergland and the rolling Free State platteland. One of our favourites is the ride to the Inlandsee, the salt pan at the centre of the Dome (picture).

At this time of year we expect fly fishermen to turn up looking for good catches among the yellowfish that have fattened up in the summer flow of the Vaal. No-one eats the catches, it’s cath-and-release. The fish are rising everywhere as mayflies congregate over the water.

Come and enjoy the adventures with us!

  – Graeme & Karen

New-look Otters website

The Otters' Den guest house overlooks a quiet pool and islands

The Otters' Den guest house overlooks a quiet pool and islands


We’re in the process of revamping our popular Otters’ Haunt website. For a while there will be limited information and changes will be going on.

For a quick summary of what we offer in terms of accommodation and adventure activities, go to our temporary website:


For all accommodation inquiries call Karen at 082 475 8767 or 056 8181814.

Meantime, we’d love to hear your suggestions for changes to this website. Insert a comment or drop us a line to info@otters.co.za  or call Graeme at 084 245 2490.

 Rafting from Otters' HauntRemember, we offer –

  • Accommodation: Guest House, Bush Cabins, Guinea Fowl Cottage and Porcupine Flatlet.
  • Activities: Whitewater rafting, wilderness canoeing, mountain biking, hiking, flyfishing, birdwatching.
  • We also have a conference centre suitable for groups up to 20 – ideal for brainstorms, presentations and meetings.
  • Our facilties are self-catering but for events and teambuilds we offer full board with delicious meals.
  • We do Vredefort Dome tours and can handle school and university groups.

So get hold of us to plan your getaway at the Vaal… we’ll put together the package you want.