Starting high in the dramatic Drakensberg mountains and running all the way to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean, the beautiful Orange River is the longest river in South Africa, about 2,200km in total.

The river is also known as the “Gariep River”, which means “Great River” in the language of the Nama tribe that are indigenous to this region, and is as rich and diverse as it is long, winding through some of South Africa’s most spectacular and wild landscapes, including vast expanses of the incredible Richtersveld Desert. The river also forms large parts of the border with neighbouring Lesotho and Namibia.

Over the years, particular sections of the river have become hotspots for outdoor enthusiasts, with great hiking, kayaking and river rafting among the main draw cards. There are a number of secluded lodges and campsites from which to enjoy these activities along the river bank.

Orange River’s ever-increasing popularity should come as no surprise when you take into account the clear skies almost all year round, the breathtaking sunsets, the amazing rock formations and the array of flora and fauna. And of course some of the best adventure trails in South Africa, whether on land or on water.

So whether you’re a Capetonian looking for a quiet weekend break or an international visitor looking for something a little bit more from your trip to South Africa than just Cape Town and the Kruger, this incredible desert oasis might well prove to be a dream come true.