We 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.
Raft guide Karen (back left) with Linda and the horde on the Vaal River.
The meditation got me cogitating – not just thinking, but planning new family adventures in the coming spring and summer. This is the ideal setting for a birthday party. We are doing many float trips – rafting downriver on very mild rapids – in our paddle rafts. Moms, dads, kids and dogs take to the water. Some paddle, some don’t, but one thing is sure, they have a whale of a time in the big boat. After traversing a few channels among the islands they stop off for a picnic on the rocks (meditation time!). It all reminds me of the poem by Edward Lear:
The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat;
They took some honey and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pound note…
I don’t remember what happened to Owl and Pussycat after that but I guess they chilled out on the river and came home at peace with themselves and the world!
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
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 email@example.com or call Graeme at 084 245 2490.
Remember, 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.