Orange River Cellars raises glass to 2nd Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013
Orange River Cellars
The second Green Kalahari Cano Marathon to be contested on the waterway through the winelands of the Orange River has captured the imagination of South Africa’s canoeing fraternity.
This year’s race, which will take place from 21 to 23 March, has already received over 80 entries compared to the 30 pioneering paddlers who set-off on last year’s inaugural Green Kalahari.

According to Koos Visser, marketing manager of Orange River Cellars which is one of the event’s major sponsors, the increased interest in the canoe marathon shows that an increasing amount of South Africans are becoming attracted to the natural beauty of the Northern Cape.

“Despite the competitive nature of the marathon, which this year will attract some of the country’s leading paddlers, entrants and their supporters wish to experience this wonderful wilderness area of ours,” he says. “And what better way than from a canoe on the river where you can see the vineyards, the various animals and the indigenous plant life.”

Visser says that the exposure generated by the Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon is an ideal marketing tool for the region between Upington and the Augrabies Waterfalls, which is also one of the most unique wine regions in the world.

“The canoeists have tamed the Orange River, but one can say that the local vineyard farmers have done their fair share of taming by creating a magnificent agricultural oasis where the vines produce grapes for a diverse range of wines made by Orange River Cellars,” says Visser. “We may be 800km away from the traditional wine-making region of the Western Cape, but our unique wilderness region has shown to create wines that can compete with the very best in South Africa.

“The next challenge is to develop wine tourism within our area, as the offerings are very much different to what one will find in any wine region in the world and we believe this region of ours complements the holistic tourism offering of the South African wine region.”

Over the three day course entrants will paddle from Upington to Kanoneiland on the first day, followed by the second day’s route from Keimoes to Kakamas. The last day will see canoeists ending at the Khamkirri resort within earshot of the Augrabies Waterfalls.

Between stages entrants will be offered the opportunity of seeing various local attractions, as well as attending a wine-tasting at Orange River Cellars’s Kakamas Winery, one of the five wineries where this brand is produced. “Besides the top canoeists who are participating, we are very pleased to see the groups of development paddlers from KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape who are competing in this year’s event,” says Visser. “This makes the Green Kalahari Canoe Marathon an ideal sponsorship vehicle as it encompasses sporting prowess, a lifestyle experience, tourism leverage and sporting development. And it can only grow from here onwards.”
Starting stage two outside Keimoes
Starting stage two outside Keimoes

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