Vaal River Kayaking with Paddle with Us Parys

What to do in Parys? Relax and enjoy a scenic kayak trip on the beautiful Vaal River.

FOR WHO: Tourists to Parys and locals alike.
PROFICIENCY REQUIRED: First-timers to experienced kayakers are welcome.
WHAT TO BRING: Sunscreen, a hat, a towel and a change of clothing.
COST: R50 per person (kayak and lifejacket rental excluded)
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE RIVER: Though we all know the water is not clean at present, we didn’t see or smell anything “unsavoury.”

My wife Karin and I were invited to participate in this months Paddle with Us Kayak Race in Parys, Free State.

First, let’s address the elephant in the room. NO, you don’t have to race! You can just do a leisurely, scenic paddle at your own pace, which is what we did.

The event starts at the Likkewaan Canoe Club just outside Parys on the first Sunday of the month. You are welcome to use your own kayak or canoe, or you can rent one from the organisers. Lifejackets are mandatory and can also be rented.

The event is hosted by Paddle with Us and kayaks from the local Vagabond Kayak Factory are used. Vagabond offers a wide range of kayaks, check them out here.

After a quick briefing, you hop in a kayak and get out on the water. “Kayak Lisa” as she is known locally, checks that everyone is okay and comfortable in their kayaks and then you’re off to the start. I was secretly hoping we start the race with an airhorn like the Cape to Rio Yacht Race, but no such luck. Someone said “go”, and the “race” started.

And so began a joyous morning. The river views were spectacular, the Vaal is such a beautiful river. It was great to be out in nature and being on a kayak that close to the water really makes one feel connected to it all.

We passed beautiful scenery with age-old trees on the banks, and the only sounds being the leaves rustling in the breeze and the water lapping against the boat.

Time flew by, and before we knew it, our trip was over. We enjoyed it immensely, and we can highly recommend this activity. We’ll definitely be back next month.

After the paddle, there are boerewors rolls for sale, and you are also welcome to pack a picnic basket and picnic under the lovely trees by the river.

Paddle with Us also offers a 2-hour scenic paddle, a 2-day overnight paddle and a 5-day paddle tour.

Thank you for inviting us along and may Paddle with Us go from strength to strength!

For further info contact Paddle with Us here:

Call “Kayak Lisa”: 082 936 2509

Mail “Kayak Lisa”: iwant2paddle [at]





15 President Steyn Rd., Parys


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