!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 info@otters.co.za 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 info@otters.co.za. Watch the video.

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 trees are labelled: a great way to learn your botany, if you can squint at the type while peddling past. For more on offroad cycling, go here.

We are having the mildest winter on record since we moved into Otters’ Haunt 12 years ago. Other parts of the world seem to be suffering their worst floods ever: central Europe’s Danube hit record highs; the folks in Calgary, Canada, had water up to the first floor; England was awash over the past winter.

vaal river in midwinter otters haunt parysHere we wander along the Vaal on a riverside walk looking at a tranquil river. The days are seldom less than 20 degC and often up to 25C.  Nights are cold in the Vaal valley, but this year the worst so far has been -2 degC. Nothing like the -13C we once measured.

The Weather Service assures us winter is not over. A big high pressure system has been sitting over central South Africa for weeks, pushing the polar cold fronts to the south of us. Mountain areas of the Western and Eastern Cape have had snow, with some over the Drakensberg. Meantime we continue to enjoy an Indian summer.

After a day of exercise and maybe a ramble it’s time to retire with a roaring wood fire and a glass in hand. There’s nothing to worry about.


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