BEST KEPT BOATING SECRETS

Getting away from it all at the Vanderkloof Dam in the Northern Cape

Vanderkloof Dam

Every month we’ll be bringing you some insights into South Africa’s best boating destinations, hopefully giving you and your family the opportunity to experience these exciting, yet sometimes isolated and hidden away boating meccas. Here we take a closer look at the Vanderkloof Dam in the Northern Cape which 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’s also a playground for watersports enthusiasts.
When the dam is full, the shoreline is 100km long, and the dam is perfect for angling and most watersports, including sailing, waterskiing, 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 up when the dam was built, and is popular with visitors.
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 200ha 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.
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.

Should you wish to make a booking please contact Vanderkloof Holiday Resort on Tel.: 053 664 0198 or visit the website: http://www.vanderkloofdam.co.za