With activities from gliding, fishing, cycling, hiking and abseiling to picknicks and game drives, our dams have it all. Here are the activities offered at 6 of our beautiful dams bound to rekindle that flame of adventure within.
Albert Falls Dam – KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
Most noteworthy is the Albert Falls Dam. This beautiful dam is certainly the largest in KwaZulu-Natal and is part of the Umgeni River. It is a popular playground for anglers, sailors, canoeists and horse riders. The Albert Falls Bass Fishing Classic Competition is South Africa’s leading international bass fishing competition. The avid angler stands a great chance of landing their own world record sized bass. Nearby is Msinsi Reserve allowing visitors spectacular game drives with sightings of several antelope species and abundant bird life.
Berg River Dam – Western Cape, Franschhoek
The Berg River Dam forms a major part of the Berg Water Project supplying Cape Town with water over the dry summer periods. Luckily for Capetonians, with the recent rains relieving the drought in the area, the natural beauty is again coming into its own. Enjoy the roughly 60 km’s of mountain bike trails which attract many weekend bikers. The more challenging of these trails are home to mountain bike challenges such as the Cape Epic which will be held again from 17-24 March 2019. Nearby Franschhoek offers some world class accommodation to add that touch of class to your experience.
Gariep Dam – Northern Cape, Colesburg
This is the largest storage dam in South Africa, built in the Orange River between the Eastern Cape and the Free State. Here you will find the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve, home to the Cape Mountain Zebra and many species of antelope. If you are a gliding enthusiast, this is the area to visit because glider pilots have been to the Gariep Dam Airport for years, exploiting some of the world’s best soaring conditions and competing in the international gliding championship hosted here.
Midmar Dam – Kwazulu Natal, Howick
A recreational hotspot for water-sports like boating, water-skiing, swimming and fishing. Camping, picnicking, walks and horse riding round off the experience because not all of us are water babies are we? Let’s not forget that the world’s largest annual open water swimming event, the famous Midmar Mile swimming race is held here. Splash off is normally near the middle of February every year and is a must for the avid swimmer.
Sterkfontein Dam – Free State, Harrismith
The third largest of our South African dams, the Sterkfontein Dam is located just outside the town of Harrismith. This is the perfect environment for yachting as the prevailing winds are sure to fill your sails. Another popular activity is angling. The waters are cool and deep therefore they offer ideal conditions for trout and many other varieties of fish. Surrounding the dam is the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve home to many unique species of animal, bird and plant life. A visit to this reserve should reward you with a sighting of Oribi, Mountain Reedbuck, Martial Eagles and above all, Cape Vultures. There are many beautiful plant species on show such as Wild Myrtle, Redwood, Highveld Protea as well as the scarce Tree Fern.
Steenbras Dam – Western Cape, Grabouw
Escape the day to day grind of city living because just outside Cape Town is the beautiful Steenbras Dam. This gem can be found in the Steenbras Nature Reserve. A must do for the adventurous hikers are the Steenbras River Gorge and Crystal Pools hiking trail. The brave can join like-minded adventurers by abseiling, kloof jumping, hiking and swimming in the crystal clear rock pools.
Finally, remember the old African proverb which says “Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet”. While it is great to be brave, always be careful and play save. Now with the warnings out of the way, who’s up for some fun.