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Olifantsnek Dam – history and today

If you are a fellow Rustenburger then you’ll know the Olifantsnek dam that’s just outside the Rustenburg city. Surrounded by the Magaliesberg Mountain Range, one gets a glimpse of serenity and beauty.

Coming from Derby or Krugersdorp, you’ll see that part of the Magalies Mountain, overlooking the dam, looks like the head and trunk of an elephant and part of the reason to the name – Olifantsnek Dam (Elephant’s Neck Dam). Another reason would be that apparently long ago, elephant herds were seen walking the mountains. The only entrance to the “town” Olifantsnek or “Ntsedimane” is from the R24 (across the Caltex garage).

History surrounding the dam

The dam was built by German Bernard Sumner who began and completed the construction of the dam wall in 1932. Olifantsnek itself was established as a township in 1929 and the dam is since still used for local irrigation and also fishing for locals and weekend fishermen.

The dam has a capacity of about 14 million cubic litres and covers a surface area of about 2548 km’s and forms part of the Hex river.

History on Olifantsnek

Declared a township in 1929, the place plays a part dated back to the Anglo Boer war. When one looks closely one can see a blockhouse one one of the hills overlooking the Olifantsnek dam. This pays tribute to the remnants of the Anglo Boer war. The Olifantsnek dam is said to be have been part of the Boer settlement and ruins and graves are said to be buried beneath the waters and bed of the dam.


During the early 1900’s, Olifantsnek and the Kommisisdrif Valley was serviced by the General deale store where one could buy fresh produce, “genuine Magaliesburg Tabacco” and the farmer’s could get their products.


Through the years, the tourism industry has come and gone at Olifantsnek. The Olifantsnek Hotel (not running any more  was opened by Bettina Cecelia Kruger in 1945 till 1968 which was then passed on to a Mr. Coetzee until 1976. Renamed to the Olifantsnek Country Lodge in 1996, it unfortunately closed it’s doors finally that same year.

Olifantsnek today

Olifantsnek boasts with two schools – the Rustenburg Education College as well as Mt. Sera Primary. These two schools offer a great alternative to schools within Rustenburg itself, as it’s nearer to the children and students living near or in Olifantsnek.

The local Yacht club also has started up again in 2012 and offers locals and tourists to enjoy the Olifantsnek Dam from the waterside. Although tourism is encouraged, fishing is the main attraction at this stage i.e. carp and more – although if it’s luxury you’re looking, you’re best leaving the kids and wife at home as there are no toilet facility near the area.

Places near Olifantsnek
Brauhaus am Damm

Brauhaus am Damm is a restaurant and micro-brewery overlooking the Olifantsnek Dam. This German restaurant offers only the best in hospitality, real German meals and great beer. They also offer trips and tours through their brewery so you can learn more and appreciate the first steps to a successful beer.

Rainbow Chicken Farms

Rainbow Chicken farms have over 30 farms in the North West area alone, one of them being near Rustenburg. The Rustenburg branch also offers Halaal Chicken. Which means you can be sure that they poultry is up to standard.

Magalies Canopy Tours


Have a look at the full Olifantsnek Dam Gallery here

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