Runner Up, Best Film on Adventure, Banff Mountain Film Festival
The Orange River is born high in the Drakensberg Mountains and travels some 1500km before finally coming to rest in the Atlantic Ocean. Its descent is one of the most spectacular kayak challenges in the world.
Its journey takes it just south of the Kalahari Desert and its celebration is at the 'Augrabies Falls' where it tumbles 60 metres into the shadows of a steep-sided gorge. Augrabies, originally 'Akoerabis' in the native 'Khoi' tongue appropriately means 'place of great noise'.
No person has ever intentionally negotiated the rapids directly below the plunge pool of the falls. Andrew Kellet, Alex Nicks, Brad Ludden and Diego Valesechi - all world class white water kayakers, had a vision to unleash the rivers power and to test their skills in the massive rapids of the Augrabies Gorge. But at the rivers current low water level the massive gradient, gargantuan boulders and the sheer walls of the gorge make it impossible to safely kayak.
But what would happen if they could co-incide a flood with an attempt at kayaking the resulting stretch of white water? Thanks to the Department of Water Affairs a flood was organised. To enter the gorge at the top implied negotiating the rapids and only exiting at the bottom. A commitment that could be your last.