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Bronkhorstspruit Dam and Nature Reserve, Northern Gauteng

Bronkhorstspruit Dam and Nature Reserve, Northern Gauteng

Getting away from the city is easy, with the Bronkhorstspruit Dam and Nature Reserve just 40 minutes from Pretoria and just over an hour from Johannesburg. On offer here is a wide range of water sports, fishing, bird watching and just being outdoors.

The dam itself is a haven for all types of boating activities, from motor boats to canoes and catamarans. The Catamaran Club (TCC) is located on Bronkhorstspruit Dam and is the place to be for competitive sailing for adults and juniors.

The windsurfers have established their own launching pad alongside the foreshore, which offers the prevailing winds and clean water to enjoy their sport.

For those with motorised boats, there are two launch sites. Please make sure you have the required life jackets as safety regulations are strictly enforced. Jet skis are also allowed and if the wind is up, kite surfing is also fun.

Bird watching at Bronkhorstspruit, Northern GautengBut the Bronkhorstspruit Dam Nature Reserve is not only for boating. This is an ideal birding spot, with over 200 species recorded. The best spot for birding is in the nature reserve at the southern end of the dam. A haven for waterfowl and the grasslands that surround the dam attract a number of interesting endemic bird species. Bird species include the Pink-billed Lark, Northern Black Korhaan, Long-tailed Widowbird, Blacksmith Lapwing, Southern Masked Weaver, Black-shouldered Kite, African Fish-Eagle, Cape Wagtail, Three-banded Plover, Common Fiscal, Common Waxbill, Streaky-headed Seedeater, African Stonechat, Spike-heeled and Red-capped larks, Cisticolas, Pipits, a variety of Reed Warblers, Orange-throated longclaws and Brown Throated Martin. Some waterbirds are Red-billed Teal, Yellow-billed Duck, Red-knobbed Coot (hundreds of them), African Jacana, Klittlitz’s Plover, Little Grebe, Egyptian Goose, Grey-headed Gull, Reed Cormorant, African Darter and White-breasted Cormorant. You can even spot owls if you go to the nature reserve in winter, and you should keep in mind that every season brings different species to the area. Specials to look out for include, Redchested Flufftail (more often heard than seen), Whitebacked Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Caspian Tern, Fantailed, Cloud and Ayres’ Cisticola, Blue Korhaan, Orange River Francolin as well as the occasional Osprey.

Fishing at Bronkies, Bronkhorstspruit, Northern Gauteng

The dam is a major draw card for anglers, especially for the bass that lurk in the thick grass that line the kilometres of bank. Bronkhorstspuit Dam offers largemouth bass, carp, barbell and kurper. For detailed information on fishing at the dam and in the area, see Bass, carp and fly fishing around Bronkhorstspruit Dam.

Facilities at the dam include camping, restaurants and swimming pools. There are private resorts around the dam too, with camping sites and self-catering chalets. Kaia Manzi Lodge and Caravan Park: 013 932 3140: Website. Bajadam Resort: Tel : 072 258 6810: Cell : 082 826 4660: Website.

The reserve can be busy on weekends and public holidays, so if you want to stay at one of the camping sites along the dam’s shore you need to book in advance.

Visiting hours: Summer ( September – April): 07:00 – 18:00: Winter ( May – August): 07:00 – 17:00

Public Camping: Tel: 071 671 8605: Tariffs Guideline: Admission fee per day: Adults 13 years and older (per person) R20,00: School children, 7-12 years (per child) R10,00: Pre-school children, 0 – 6 years (per child) R5,00: Persons 60 years and older who can produce proof thereof, and disabled persons, per person R10,00. Camping fees: Campsite without electricity R40,00: Campsite with electricity R70,00: Canoe, per canoe per day R20,00: Motorboats, per boat per day R50,00 (make sure you have all the safety equipment, including life jackets).

From Pretoria take the N4 east, take the R25 exit and turn south and then turn onto the R42. From Johannesburg take the N12 east and turn north onto the R42. S25 53.793 E28 44.494

More on the quaint town of Bronkhorstspruit More on the Northern Gauteng area

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