!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. 
couple-at-river-sept-2016 PEACE & NATURE: 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 around-the-fire-at-rotary-function-15sept2015-bushcamp


American style rafting on guided oar boats and paddle rafts

Bring the family and enjoy an exciting trip with a guide on board the raft with you. Run the river in expert hands, wield a paddle yourself, and show the kids how nature in the raw is fun! Ages 6 to 75. Bring granny too! Read all about us here.


Otters' Haunt and The Riverman are offering the wonderful 5-day ORANJE GORGE TRAIL between May and September. Don't miss this best and most exciting of all rafting safaris - Kalahari desert scenery, fun rapids, great hikes, fishing and relaxing. School holiday trips. Contact Graeme 084 245 2490 or Karen 082 475 8767 or Watch the video.

BOOK NOW for adventures!

Click to go to our bookings site

Click to go to our bookings site

Rated best stay by Lonely Planet

Otters Den Guinea Fowl Cabin bedroom Cormorant Cabin

LONELY PLANET cover - OTTERS HAUNT.jpegWe are once again (2018) recommended by Lonely Planet as a great adventure destination. Out of hundreds of lodges, hotels and guest houses in this area, we get the nod as “the pick for adrenaline-pumping adventure” in mountain biking and rafting. Previously, 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.”


Chill out in the warm autumn sun!

Otters’ Haunt, on the banks of the Vaal River, is the ideal holiday getaway for families and friends.

You can relax, read a book and listen to the birds. We cater for birdwatching groups and have a list of the species spotted so far – including rare types like the black-shouldered night heron. Fish eagles, many species of waterfowl and kingfishers throng the river and its banks.

Indulge yourself eating out in the nearby town of Parys. There are antique shops, good restaurants and coffee bars, artist’s studios and township tours.

Or tour the magnificent Vredefort Dome with our expert guides. Tours cover the geology of the meteorite blast that created the biggest and oldest visible impact crater on earth 2 billion years ago. We also offer battlefield tours, ecology and geography for schools, and research to order for visiting specialists.

Bring your dog – provided it’s not a savage beast – to our pet-friendly establishment. There’s room to run on our lawns and in the fields on our property.

Take a leisurely walk along the Vaal islands or hike in the spectacular Dome Bergland. We have access to numerous trails and we provide a trail briefing and map, as well as a well-informed nature guide if you want one.

There’s plenty to do – and not to do! Special rates for families and groups. Only just over an hour from Johannesburg and you are in a different world! Otters’ Haunt is an old-established rustic place with a variety of types of accommodation. We are old-style hosts who welcome you and show you around, tell you about the place and encourage you to enjoy surroundings.

Give Karen a call at 082 475 8767 or email


AfriStay Award for best value

Otters Haunt wins 2018 Best Value Establishment Award!

We’ve been rated as a top value accommodation destination in Parys, based on consistent and excellent rates offered by Otters Haunt to guests.

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  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.