General questions activities
Do I have to make a reservation beforehand and how do I do this?
You need to make a reservation for your chosen activity. Activties need to be booked a minimum time beforehand. This information can be found on the page of the activity "when can I plan this activity?".
Attention: last minute reservation aren’t always possible. Its depends on which target group you belong to and what the corresponding possibilities are.
You can book a reservation using the reservation from.
Send us your application. As soon as we receive it, we will check if your activity is still possible and we will send you a confirmation e-mail with the payment details.
Last-minute reservations can be made by telephone.
Until when can I send in the amount of participants
When making a reservation more than 14 days in advance, the estimated number of participants must be communicated. The deposit is calculated upon the estimated number of participants and needs to be paid within 7 days of making the reservation. We ask to confirm the exact number of participants 10 days beforehand. Based on this number wel calculate the remaining amount that needs to be transferred to our account before the activity.
When making a reservation less than 14 days before the start of an activity, the estimated number of participants must be provided. After this you have up to 7 days before the start of the activity to provide the exact number of participants.
When making a reservation within 10 days before the start of an activity, the exact number of participants must be communicated directly. No advance payment is requested, the total amount must be paid before the start of the activity.
When making a last-minute reservation, the exact number of participants must be communicated directly.
Can I register additional participants on the day of the activity?
It is possible to spontaneously register additional participant(s) on the day of the activity but we can not guarantee that there will also be availability for the additional participant(s). In order to guarantee a high quality service, we prepare our activities thoroughly. Meals are also calculated on the registered participants. If the amount of participants does change, please inform us as soon as possible.
Can I change my choice of activity the day before or on the day of the activity?
It is not possible to change the activity on the day of or one day before. In order to guarantee a high quality service, we prepare our activities thoroughly.
What to do when with bad weather?
Even when it is raining the activities continue.
Only when the weather is extremely bad , like heavy rainfall which can cause the waterlevel to rise too high (flood risk) or turbulent weather conditions such as thunderstorms, can the activity be cancelled by us. In this case the activity will be postponed with a couple of minutes, hours or we will change the date.
We can only determine this on the day of the activity. We will of course consult you in this case. You can find more information in our general terms and conditions.
Can I pay by card?
Am I insured in case of an accident?
You are not insured by the organization in the event of accidents. As an organization, we only have a liability insurance. You can find more information about this in the general terms and conditions. Consult your own insurance for questions.
Can I bring my own picnic?
During weekends (Saturday and Sunday) it's possible for customers to consume a picnic on our terrace with a drink from our bar (a condition!). This picnic can consist of a small individual snack like a sandwich.
During the week (or outside openinghours of the terrace) it's possible for customers to consume a picnic before the start of an activity (on our picnic bench). This can only take place from maximum 30 minutes before the start of the activity (more information in Practical Information). This picnic can consist of a small individual snack like a sandwich.
It's NOT allowed during the week or weekends to bring a large meal where serving material is required.
It's NOT allowed to picnic on our terrain or parking-lot.
The above agreements are invalid if other agreements were communicated during the process of reservation of an activity.
Accomodations and facilities
When is the Café & Terrace open?
Can I have a meal at the Café?
During weekends you can buy snacks at the Café like chips and ice cream. We also offer homemade soup with bread, a farmer sandwich with cheese or ham, mixed portion snacks and sweets.
More information on the page of the Café & Terrace.
Can you rent the grand hall (barn) for private parties or self-organised activities?
Do you rent out the terrains and grassfields?
No, the terrains and grassfields our not rented out.
Do you have showers?
At this moment we do not have showers (but we are checking what we can do in the future). We do have dressing rooms (gentlemen and ladies) and toilets.
Trips down the Dyle
Is it a canoe or a kayak?
We only offer trips down river with a canoe. The most significant difference is that the pedal of a canoe only has one blade, in comparison with a pedal of a kayak which has two blades.
How many people can fit in a canoe?
We offer 3-person canoes and 10-person canoes.
The 3-person canoes are for maximum 3 adults or 4 kids per canoe. When combining kids and adults, 4 people are allowed.
For the trip to the centre of Leuven we also use 3-person canoe but then we divide the canoes into 2 adults per or 3 kids per canoe. When combining kids and adults there is a maximum of 3 people per canoe.
The 10-person canoe is for a maximum 10 people. The minimum number of people is 6 adults. There will always be a captain (guide of The Shelter) accompanying for the steering of the canoe. He/she is not included in the maximum or minimum.
We fill the canoes per group as much as possible up to the maximum number of people allowed per canoe. (eg 6 people have 2 three-person canoes / 7 people have 3 three-person canoes with a division of 2x2 and 1x3.)
You can find more information about the canoe trips here!
What is the minimum age to participate?
The minimum age depends on the vessel or route, but in most cases it is already possible to participate in a trip from the age of 6 years (with swimming experience!).
If a child under the age of 6 but can already swim, this must be passed on when booking.
Do you need to be able to swim?
We ask that everyone who wants to participate in a trip down the Dyle or Demer can swim. Everyone will receive a swim-jacket before departure. A swim-jacket is a floating aid that keeps you warm and gives protection. Attention: a swim-jacket is not a life-jacket!
Is it obligatory to wear a swim-jacket?
A swim-jacket is mandatory for the trips, both for children and adults. It is a floating aid, keeps you warm and gives protection. Attention: A swim-jacket is not a life jacket!
Can I change my vessel on the day of the departure?
This depends on the available vessels at that time. You can discuss with the supervisors of The Shelter if any vessels are still available and change them if possible.
Do I have to return to The Shelter after the trip?
It is certainly not obligatory to return to The Shelter after the trip. This of course depends on your choice for the return and whether you have left personal material behind. It is possible to return directly to your own destination after arrival at the endpoint with your own transport.
Can you swim in the Dyle or the Demer?
It is possible, but we ask not to swim during the trip but AFTER. You can swim at the arrival point after you have returned the equipment of The Shelter safely to the instructors of The Shelter. The water is always deep enough and because the bottom has been cleaned many times the chances of getting hurt are small. You can also access the water easily thanks to the pier.
For safety reasons, it is NOT possible to swim at the endpoints of the trip to Leuven or Wilsele.
Can you exit the vessel during the trip?
It is not allowed to exit the vessel onto the riverbanks of the Dyle or the Demer. The Dyle and the Demer are located in the middle of a nature reserve and on various private sites. This means that the banks are not accessible or private.
Can we take drinks & snacks with us during our trip?
It is allowed to take small snacks and drinks with you.
Alcoholic drinks or drinks in glass bottles are forbidden. Cans or plastic are allowed. Please take all your waste to the endpoint and throw it away in a waste bin!
Attention: It is not allowed to exit the vessel onto the riverbanks of the Dyle or the Demer. The Dyle and Demer are located in the middle of a nature reserve and on various private sites. This means that the banks are not accessible or private. We recommend to eat your picnic before or after the trip. It is certainly possible to have your picnic and other personal belongings transported to the endpoint by one of our cars.
Attention: Changes due to measures COVID-19:
1. Personal items can't be left in The Shelter or, in the case of trips down the Dyle or Demer, taken in our car to the end point. Leave your equipment at home, in your car or take it with you during your activity (in a waterproof available barrels).
Can I take my dog with me?
It is possible to take your dog with you during a canoe trip. This is at your own responsibility. We recommend not to take any large dogs with you in the canoe and no dogs that are afraid of water. You should mention when making a reservation if your bringing your dog. He can join for free.
Can my kid take part in a camp if he/she still has to turn the minimum age in the same year?
Your son or daughter can take part in the camp if he/she turns the minimum age the same year.
Do the kids need to have their own mountainbike to take part in the MTB for kids kamp?
Yes, the children have to bring their own mountainbike for this camp. You certainly do not have to sprint to the store to buy a new MTB, you can also rent it at rental companies. We only have mountainbikes for children larger than 1m50.
You can find more information about the camps here!
Are these multiple day trainings?
The Start to MTB is a training of 8 sessions over a period of 8 weeks. The MTB Track Challenge are multi-day weekends in neighbouring countries. The other courses are always one-day trainings from 9AM to 5PM.
More information can be found on the MTB Experience page!
Can kids take part aswell?
Children from 10 years can participate in the Start to MTB Kids. A training of 8 sessions spread over 8 weeks.
All other training courses are accessible from the age of 18.
Read all about it via our page of the MTB Experience!
Can I bring an E-mountainbike?
What is a Kickbike?
A Kickbike is a large scooter/step with a large front wheel and a small rear wheel. At The Shelter, a Kickbike is used as a means of transportation for the return after the trip down the Dyle or as a team activity for Birthday Parties, Companies & Schools.