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When in Vereeniging

Words: Schalk van der Merwe, Biokineticist. Article from the DO IT NOW Online Magazine.

Over the decades, the Vaal Dam, which was built during the Great Depression some 77 years ago, has ebbed and flowed as a popular destination for holidaymakers, conference delegates and pleasure seekers.

Much has changed the landscape of her beautiful river banks and today you will find hotels that have been built or revamped, real estate has exploded and function and leisure venues abound. Close to Vereeniging, the dam is a trendsetting fusion of design and lifestyle.

When in Vereeniging …
Take a sunset cruise down the Vaal River.
Pickniking on the river's bank is always enjoyable.
Take a glorious swim in the BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal's swimming pool.


And who knew there was so much to do in Vereeniging? Derived from the Dutch word meaning ‘association’ or ‘union’, Vereeniging is just 45 minutes from Johannesburg and has much to offer, from sports to culture and the arts.

You can enjoy boat cruises, challenging rounds of golf, pampering at a spa, tucking into a long, lazy lunch, taking a tour, sipping on your favourite merlot, mastering a water sport or trying something you’ve never done before. And there are some lovely hotels and guesthouses to relax at when you return from a busy day of doing it all.

Craig Swart, General Manager of BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, comments, “With the guest experience always front of mind, we are continually seeking ways to offer more. Over and above the extensive facilities at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, which include golf, tennis, water sports and a spa, it is wonderful to be able to offer our guests other activities in the area, most of which they are not even aware of.”

The area is steeped in history and a selection of tours on offer will take you back in time to remind you of our heritage and transformation.

And just for fun, there is always a tour of a chocolate factory to satisfy your sweet tooth. Adrenaline junkies can skydive, scuba dive, bungee jump, paraglide or learn something new and challenging.

“Sedibeng, and the Vaal area in particular, is Gauteng’s hidden jewel. It is the golden province’s own coastline; a haven for water-sport enthusiasts and the entire family.

The serene and tranquil environment makes it a must-visit area and preferred weekend and short break destination, adding variety to Gauteng’s tourism mix,” adds Barba Gaoganediwe, spokesperson for Gauteng Tourism.

There's plenty to keep the kids entertained at the BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal.


Still not convinced? Well, here are eight more reasons to stop by:

1. Vaal River Meander Wine Route: Six weeks of weekend wine tasting during July and August
2. BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal: In her hey-day, this hotel was the place to be! Under new management and with a few minor refurbishments under the belt, she is back to her former glory
3. Sharpeville Tour: Take a day to visit the Sharpeville Memorial, which features a dramatic wall at the entrance containing the names of the people who are buried in the nearby Sharpeville Cemetery
4. The Vredefort Dome Route: Experience and learn about the geology, history, bird life, flora and fauna of this World Heritage Site.
5. Pont de Vaal Riverside Bistro: A taste of the French countryside located within the Cote de Vaal River Lifestyle Estate.
6. Barnyard Theatre: Take in a show jam-packed with song and dance.
7. Petit Verdot Riverboat at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal: Sip your favourite cocktail as the sun sets over the river aboard this lovely riverboat.
8. Soweto Golf and Shebeen Tour: Enjoy 18 holes at the Soweto Golf course and visit several shebeens and historical sites within this vibrant area.

Famous people who have hailed from this small town nestled alongside the banks of the Vaal River include politicians, athletes, singers and actors. Events held throughout the year bring families, conference delegates, sportsmen and athletes, music- and wine-lovers, bikers and artists. These include:

• Spring Beer Festival
• COMPAK Sporting World Championship
• Carols by Candlelight
• Rhino Rally
• Vaal Trail Run
• Whiskey Festival
• Raft Fishing Safaris
• Vaal River Carnival
• Formula One Powerboat Racing

You would be surprised at just how much the area has to offer and if you have not “been there, done that and gotten the t-shirt,” there is no time like the present!

More on BON Hotels

BON Hotels, founded in 2012 by Guy Stehlik, is a South African-based hospitality company that owns, manages and markets hotels throughout Africa. Guy’s handpicked management team has over 100 years’ collective experience in hospitality. Focusing on every aspect of hotel management and operation, BON Hotels delivers a relevant, modern approach to hotel management, property openings or major repositioning. With specific needs of hotel owners in mind, BON Hotels has emerged as a forward-thinking company that is bringing a fresh perspective to the African hospitality landscape. For more information, visit.

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