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

HIKING TRAILS: Take a relaxed stroll in our fields and forest, or test yourself against the Dome Bergland. Lots of trails. Guide available.

CYCLING TRAILS: From easy to tough, from single track to gravel roads, come with kids, friends or your club. Bikes and guide for hire.


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.


COVID protocols are strictly observed. Please keep your social distance, wash hands, sanitise and wear masks.

We are on Solar power on the Otters Haunt side (not at Bush Camp yet). This means energy must be conserved at night with no devices such as hairdryers or microwaves, heaters or geysers, drawing heavy power. When the system reaches its limit, power will switch off.

Note that the regulations of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site forbid music or noisy parties which may disturb wildlife or disturb others.

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.”

Mild winters – ideal for activities

mtb cottage at rietpoort 20130609-01544 In Autumn and Winter, days in the Vredefort Dome are generally a warm 16-22degC with occasional cold snaps. The sun shines and it’s great for hiking, mountain biking and canoeing among the wilderness islands of the Vaal.

Recently Karen and I explored Rietpoort farm on our mountain bikes, enjoying the bushy 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 winters – ideal for activities

Easter and April holidays

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 Continue reading Easter and April holidays

Come stay, come play!

Vaal Rafting       Hiking       Mountain Biking       Vredefort Dome Talks & Trails

If you’re looking for summer fun in the sun come to Otters’ Haunt. We are surrounded by water, forests and mountains in the beautiful Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. Ideal for family get-togethers and homely holidays, we are near Parys, only 1hr 15min from Johannesburg, on tar all the way. If you’re just arriving or leaving from Johannesburg airport, our place is a convenient port of call. Rustic accommodations include a large guest house, bush camp and chalets, all equipped for self-catering. Don’t wait – we book out well in advance – so call Karen at 082 475 8767 or

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.