F.A.Q – Canoeing
Need more information to prepare your canoe-kayak trip on the day or on a 2 to 7 day touring tour? You find here what could question you before your departure.
– Practical issues –
– F.A.Q. special touring holiday –
Yes, as long as you know how to swim more than 25 meters and immerse yourself. If the parents are beginners we recommend a small course. Children must be at least 6 years old and be able to swim without assistance, even if accompanied by an adult.
The courses are accessible to beginners, we advise you to start on a 9 km course at first to take your marks with the activity.
We provide you with a lifejacket to wear throughout the course, it is mandatory.
For people with reduced mobility, the activity is accessible to reckless people with an aptitude for sports activities. The person must be able to swim alone and return to the shore in case the boat turns around. Attention, we are in a natural environment, the points of embarkation and disembarkation can be accidental and make access difficult.
The «Minis» courses of 9 km in class 1 (Vayrac-Gluges, Saint-Sozy-Pinsac) are the shortest, so they are the most suitable for younger people or for people who wish to combine several activities in the same day.
The 9 km course in class 2 (Monceaux-Brivezac) is not more complicated, the water is a little brighter and cooler since it comes out of the dams upstream.
The 18 km «Classic» courses in class 1 (Vayrac-Saint-Sozy, Saint-Sozy-Souillac) are not technically more difficult than those of 1h30 but they are simply longer.
We advise against it for their safety. Boarding can stress your pet and the heat can be overwhelming. A reversal can happen…… However, if you insist, your dog can occupy the middle place in a canoe as long as you don’t tie it up and be very vigilant.
You will be asked to keep it on a leash on the Leisure Base.
For the bus shuttle: it may be refused by the driver if he is aggressive or if the comfort and safety of other passengers are disturbed.
The leash will disappear during navigation.…. An additional 5€ per dog will be required.
We don’t have a lifejacket for your companions.
The reservation for a day or half-day trip is not mandatory, but strongly recommended in high season. The availability of equipment cannot be guaranteed to people without a reservation, especially on sunny days!
For multi-day touring tours, the reservation is mandatory in order to block the equipment and reserve the seats on the bus, via the booking platform.
The shuttle is part of your service.
If you plan to leave your vehicle at the point of arrival, the shuttle will pick you up in the morning (ask about available times) at the parking point. Booking required.
If you choose to leave your car at the starting point, the shuttle will pick you up at the end of the ride. The time chosen will be noted on your rental agreement.
Large free car parks are at your disposal to allow you to leave your vehicle at the different bases. These parking lots are private but not supervised.
In summer, a bathing suit, shorts, T-shirt and caps are enough.
In the spring and fall, you have to have a windbreaker, warm clothes to put on during stops. Provide dry clothing to change on arrival.
In all cases, the wearing of closed shoes such as water shoes or sneakers is necessary to walk in the water. Glasses should ideally be strapped with a cord.
Don’t take any valuables you don’t need and risk losing in the river.
Canoeing 100% fun, take the time! A break is in order! Go down at your own pace, swim, ricochet and picnic on the pebble beaches…… keeping an eye on the shuttle schedule. The time of your bus is noted on your contract, plan to arrive 15 minutes before the chosen time.
Of course, you can bring your picnic and take a break along the way wherever you want. Don’t forget to take water to hydrate yourself.
Nature is beautiful, let’s respect it. Bring back your waste…
The river is a natural environment and its bed moves every year. Its depth varies from a few centimetres to several metres, sometimes very quickly. Be careful and choose beaches with a gentle slope and without too much current for your picnic or swimming breaks. Thus, you will fully enjoy these moments of pleasure.
Tip: you can swim with your lifejacket, you will become the kings and queens of the board!
The difference between canoeing and kayaking is in two aspects: paddle and legs.
Kayaking is an Eskimo invention. The pilot sits inside the boat. He has a double paddle. His legs are elongated.
On the other hand, in a real canoe, we sit on our knees and the movement is done with a simple paddle.
Nowadays, our boats are hybrids between these two types of boats: we sail comfortably seated and we use a double paddle. The boat is usually a sit on top, the legs are free. We are no longer sitting at the bottom of the boat but on the boat. Comfort and safety!
The prices are fixed and calculated per person, according to the age, the type of boat and the chosen route.
The rain does not prevent navigation on the Dordogne.
However, heavy rains over several days can lead to rising waters. Beyond a certain threshold, we will be forced to postpone or cancel your stay. Every effort will be made to ensure your comfort and safety.
In case of an emergency, call the fire department immediately: call the emergency number 18, and geolocate yourself via the SOS button of the Canoe France app. We can tell the fire department your exact location.
If you want to drop out, join one of the pick-up points on the app and call us to schedule your return as soon as we have a vehicle available.
Please note that a surcharge may be charged.
Safaraid Dordogne does not accept any responsibility in case of theft or loss of your personal belongings during your descent of the Dordogne or on one of the various car parks available to you.
If you deteriorate or lose equipment, it will be charged to you. You will therefore have to get closer to your insurance to make your Civil Liability work.
Reception at the Safaraid base in Vayrac the day before departure between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. Drafting of the rental agreement, description of your hike (a river map will be provided), delivery of luggage tags for people who have chosen this option, If you wish, you can take your cans so that they are ready for the next day’s departure.
The next day:
For departures from Argentat, the rendezvous is at 8:30 am at the Vayrac base for the departure by bus.
For departures from Vayrac, the meeting is free between 9.30 and 12.00 on the Vayrac base.
Private parking is available in Vayrac to park your vehicle.
At the end of your hike, we will pick you up at the meeting point and at the time indicated on your contract.
If you have chosen to book campsites: all campsites are directly accessible by canoe. When you arrive at the campground, pull up the boats well (do not leave them at the water’s edge) and keep your vests, paddles, cans near your tent. Come to the reception so that you can be told your location and to pay for your night. Please respect your reservations, if a change must be made, contact the campsite directly, this avoids blocking pitches unnecessarily.
Please note: For persons benefiting from the baggage transport, your luggage is collected every day around 11:30 am and dropped off at the next campsite around 15:00 (1 bag per person + tent folded in a bag + duvets attached together or grouped together in a bag).
Each campsite has a SAFARAID baggage room.
At the base of Vayrac you will find free private parking to park your vehicle during your stay.
If you come by train, you can go to the Saint-Denis-Lès-Martel train station and reach the base on foot (you are 4 km away on foot). You can also take a taxi from where you are or hitch a ride if you have some time ahead of you.
If you come by plane, the airport «Brive-Vallée de la Dordogne» is 30 minutes from Vayrac (about 25Km). You can order a taxi.
Depending on your stay and the number of people per boat, we will provide you with a sit on top kayak (1 or 2 places) or a Canadian canoe (2 or 3 places), a 55L can per boat included, a vest and a paddle per person.
A waterproof card with all the instructions will be given to you at your departure.
Remember to download the Canoë France app to prepare your stay and guide you throughout your hike.
Throughout the route, you will find towns and villages offering shops to refuel. Some campsites along the river have small grocery stores. Plan the first picnic before leaving Vayrac because at the departure of Monceaux you would have nothing until Beaulieu (18km below).
Yes, wild camping is tolerated on the banks of the Dordogne. No fires are allowed.
Respect private properties and their neighbours.
Plan your camping equipment (tent, mattress, down, stove, etc.), business adapted to the weather of the moment. Water shoes or sneakers so you don’t get hurt on the pebbles, enough to cover your head and your toiletries. Think of the essentials: sunscreen (or better: UV-T-shirts to avoid polluting our natural environment), headlamp, mosquito repellent and first aid kit.
No, the campfire is forbidden in the Dordogne Valley. Please respect the place.
If you want optimal comfort, let yourself be tempted by hotels and bed and breakfast near the river. You will find addresses via our partner listing but also by preparing your route on a route tracer. Do not hesitate to contact your hosts to organize your arrival, they are mostly used to canoe/kayak stops. You will find what to dock nearby, just think about getting your boat out of the water and plan an anti-theft device to secure it for the night.If you want optimal comfort, let yourself be tempted by the hotels and guest rooms near the river. You will find addresses via our partner listing but also by preparing your route on a route tracer. Do not hesitate to contact your hosts to organize your arrival, they are mostly used to canoe/kayak stops. You will find what to dock nearby, just think about getting your boat out of the water and plan an anti-theft device to secure it for the night.
Board with your essentials for your stay to optimize your luggage. Do not worry about living, you will find as you descend the villages to refuel.
You have room for a 55L can fitted on the back of the single-seater kayak and also the possibility to put a waterproof bag on the front of the kayak.
You have a 55-litre can that is provided to you. These boats allow you to load the equivalent of four 55-litre cans. If you choose to take a canoe for 3 adults, you will not be able to take your luggage with you. Weight destabilizes the boat and falls are too frequent. You will be advised to take a canoe and a single-seater kayak.
Ideally, limit the number of bags, count one bag per person. For small pieces such as duvets or mattresses, make sure to tie them together.
We will stretch out all your luggage before your departure.
It is best to have a lock and chain or even a bike lock to secure your boat.
In France it has become common to classify from 0 to 5 the technicity of the rivers.
Level zero is affordable for everyone as long as you know how to swim. It remains imperative! Do not force people who have a reluctance. They have the power to say no! Do not take young children. It is not a service to them. Think about their relationship to the water when they are teenagers or adults. Overturning is always possible in canoeing. The rivers have been there for millennia, they will be there when you come!
Level 1: The river descends. Untimely turns can happen! You have to steer the boat and it can get wet!
Level 2: it’s not for the Olympic selection but it’s moving! Having a little practice on lower levels or having had an initiation is recommended but not mandatory.
Level 3: The French legislation limits the rental in freedom to this technical level. We enter the serious descents! Obstacles are not visible, eddies and large waves.
Level 4: Olympic Games, slalom gates to climb, time trial, etc.
Level 5: That’s the extreme! That’s the limit of airworthiness.
Level 6 exists but it’s more like free fall!