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The Vanderkloof Dam, Northern Cape Province

Vanderkloof Dam, Northern Cape ProvinceThe Vanderkloof Dam is the second biggest dam in South Africa, with the highest dam wall at 108 metres, and a span of 765 metres. The Vanderkloof Dam plays an important role in providing water for irrigation to more than 100 000 hectares of productive agricultural land.

But it is also a playground for water sports enthusiasts. When the dam is full, the shoreline is 100 km long, and the dam is perfect for angling and most water sports, including sailing, skiing, and windsurfing. Dam tours can be taken, to explain the workings of the dam and convey some of its history. There is a hydro-electric power station (one of only two in the country) built within the dam wall which can also be visited by appointment. The pretty town of Vanderkloof, at the head of the dam, sprouted when the dam was built, and is popular with visitors.

Vanderkloof Dam, Northern Cape Province scenery

The Vanderkloof Holiday Resort is a great place to camp or stay in a chalet next to the dam, especially if you want to spend as much time as possible on the water. At the resort there is a good place to launch your boat and enough space for docking. On the north western shore is the 6 200 ha Rolfontein Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to eland, gemsbok, red hartebeest, Burchell’s zebra, white rhinoceros  kudu, springbok, grey duiker, bat-eared fox, baboon, vervet monkey, aardvark and aardwolf.

Vanderkloof Dam, Northern Cape Province

Further south is the Doornkloof Nature Reserve. The Doornkloof Nature Reserve is a 9 388 hectare area that also incorporates a section of the Seekoei River, regarded as an important tributary of the Orange River. It is a particularly scenic reserve with an amazingly mountainous landscape and a consequent collection of deep, shady kloofs grown over with olive, buffalo-thorn and sweet thorn trees. Mammals like the mountain reedbuck, buffalo, eland, kudu, the lurking brown hyena, the bat-eared fox and even the odd hedgehog and some 173 bird species including 19 raptors, are often spotted here.

Doornkloof Nature Reserve is wonderful for hiking. There is a two to three day hiking trail, but hikers can also apply to walk anywhere in the reserve and either sleep in the hiking hut provided, or anywhere in the veld. There are basic camping facilities available, and there are also picnic and braai areas on the Seekoei River bank at Roodewal.

Vanderkloof Dam, Northern Cape Province

Should you wish to make a booking please contact Vanderkloof Holiday Resort on 053 664 0198 or  visit the Website.

Distance Table

Distances to Vanderkloof Dam, Northern CapeDirections:

From Bloemfontein: Take N8 towards Kimberley. Drive about 75km and turn LEFT just after Petrusburg onto the R48 towards Koffiefontein:  After turning left, drive 70m and turn right to follow the main road: Drive about 53km and turn left at the T Juncion near Koffiefontein: Drive about 450m then turn RIGHT towards Luckhoff / De Aar: Drive about 61km then turn LEFT towards Vanderkloof Dam: At the circle, follow signs towards Vanderkloof Dam: Follow the road into Vanderkloof.

From Kimberley:  Take the N12 towards Cape Town / Hopetown: About 37km outside Kimberley, take the turn off LEFT onto the R705 towards Jacobsdal: Drive about 48km then turn RIGHT onto the R48: Drive about 10km and turn left at the T Juncion near Koffiefontein: Drive about 450m then turn RIGHT towards Luckhoff / De Aar: Drive about 61km then turn LEFT towards Vanderkloof Dam: At the circle, follow signs towards Vanderkloof Dam: Follow the road into Vanderkloof.

From De Aar: Take the R48 towards Phillipstown: After about 55km turn LEFT At the T Junction in Phillipstown to stay on the R48: After 52km turn RIGHT at the T Junction, towards Vanderkloof: At the circle, follow signs towards Vanderkloof Dam: Follow the road into Vanderkloof.

More info on the quaint town of Trompsburg More info on the Xhariep area