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Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve

The impressive Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve sits on the Drakensberg Escarpment near Harrismith in the Eastern Free State – an area of spectacular beauty with open, unpolluted blue skies and endless rolling grasslands dotted with sandstone mountains.

The Reserve incorporates the Sterkfontein Dam which is South Africa’s 3rd largest dam. With a surface area of 7000ha, the dam takes up almost half the area of the reserve, and accommodation for up to 80 people is available next to the dam in 17 fully equipped chalets at the Sterkfontein Dam Resort. There is also a central area with a bar and a Lapa for braais.

Activities on the reserve include hiking, mountain biking, bird-watching, game viewing (own vehicle), angling and watersports.

Animals that can be seen on the reserve include the endangered oribi, reedbuck and other species that favour escarpment grasslands.

The dam is a favourite destination for kite and windsurfers due to excellent wind conditions, but please be advised that you need to take your own equipment. There are no on-site organized watersports offerings or equipment rentals at the Sterkfontein Dam resort, although there is a slipway and boathouses. You may take powerboats and jet-skis into the water. All boating activities on the dam are undertaken a one’s own risk.

There is an entrance tariff per vehicle (up to 5 people), as well as per day rates for jet-ski’s, sail and powerboats, rowing boats and canoes.

Notably, while powerboats and jet-ski’s are permitted on the dam, motorbikes and quad bikes are not permitted on the reserve due to noise concerns.

For more information and to book: 058 – 622 352 (no website)

Getting there: Take the N5 west out of Harrismith to the R74 turn off south. Follow the R74 as it goes on to the R712 after about 9 kms. Continue on for 10.5 km, then turn left for 6.2 km, left again for another 11 kms, then left again. Drive a further 2km to the north entrance of the Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve.

More on the quaint town of Van Reenen More on the Eastern Free State area

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