River skills

RIVERMAN arranges and runs a range of courses and clinics. Join us for 4-day river proficiency training in basic boating, safety and rescue for club members, adventurers and river guides. We are affiliated to training institutions and offer South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF) skills courses and assessments.

We coach paddlers in –

  • River proficiency – basic safety, reading the river, basic rescues and trip organisation
  • Kayaking– introductory rolling sessions and downriver trips, along with raft-supported camp-outs
  • River ecology– river processes, riverine wildlife and birds, vegetation and care of the river

River Proficiency Courses

Come and learn to look after yourself and others on a river! Courses are run for keen adventurers, clubs and schools, triathletes and extreme racers, and those intending to develop into guides. We do not specialise in swiftwater rescue skills but provide a general foundation to understand rivers and know your limits. Confidence in paddling forms the theme of our courses, with training in safety, rescue and dealing with emergencies. Ecological responsibility is the ethical foundation. We emphasise Leave No Trace camping and protection of rivers against pollution and unplanned development. All courses are taught with an emphasis on being river-wise, properly equipped and well organised. Courses range from an introductory day, a weekend including a river trip, to four days and nights in which we impart the fundamentals of river guiding. River “professor” Graeme Addison is course supervisor, with well qualified and experienced lead guides as instructors. We apply the curricula of Adventure Standards Afric. Those who pass the tests can be ASA accredited.

Check out these videos: Learn River Skills and Survive. Hootin’ Tootin’ Guide Rafting.


With us you can learn by doing and we prime you in the essential techniques. Learn to Eskimo roll and understand the uses of the key paddle strokes. Know what kinds of kayaks are available for trips, playboating and steep downriver descents. We include kayakers in our local trips and expeditions all over the country – on the Vaal, Tugela (KZN), Orange (NorthnCape) and Doring (WesternCape). In other words with us you can do trips near and far and we support you with guides and river knowledge. Kayaking can be hectic but that’s not where you want to start! We apply our years of experience on all kinds of rivers all over the world to mentor you and ensure you have a good time at just the level of challenge that suits you. On expeditions we have loadboats to carry the food and camping gear. If you first want to do a formal kayak course talk to us and we will arrange intensive training.

Check out these videos: Simple Little Kayak Trip . First rapids – not the last!

River Ecology

Vital knowledge about how to conserve and improve our seriously threatened wilderness waterways. Rivers maintain life and without them our cities, farms and industries will die. We offer courses and familiarisation trips for youngsters and teachers. See Educationals

Check out these videos:  De La Salle Does the Vaal.

Psst… for a quick answer!


+27 84 245 2490 or +27 56 8181814. 



Let us know what trip interests you, the date, the number of people and anything else relevant - eg are you wanting a family trip, teambuilding, a birthday party or what?
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