Deneysville, Vaal Dam
Deneysville is a small town on the banks of the Vaal Dam established in 1936. It is named after Deneys Reitz, writer of Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War and son of former Orange Free State president Francis William Reitz.
Deneysville is famous for:
• Water sport of all kinds, from power boating to laid-back pontoon boat trips and fishing charters.
• The annual “Round the Island” Yacht Race – South Africa’s biggest inland regatta.
• The Deneysville Croc Ranch which has about 2,800 crocodiles and also farms emus.
The lake formed by the Vaal Dam was originally planned to be named Lake Deneys but was never formally adopted. The town “Deneysville” however, established on the shores of the dam was named after him.
The stone cottage on the waterfront which was originally built as a hunting lodge by the Reitz family, is now St. Peter’s Church, and has become a popular wedding venue.
The original village management board became a municipality and today falls under the large area council of Metsimaholo. The town was slow in developing until the turn of the century when it was rediscovered and is today a fast developing recreational center with many new holiday homes adding to permanent working and retired population.
The waterfront along Waverley Road was declared a tourism node by Fezile Dabi district municipality in 2013 and is the start of the ‘Lion Route’. If you want a taste of everything that is typically “Free State”, the Lion Route has it – from culture to nature to history.
The towns along the Lion Route are Deneysville, Sasolburg, Parys, Vredefort and Kroonstad.
Deneysville houses 4 yacht clubs that hold regular sailing races at weekends. Two of the most known races are Keel Boat Week held at Deneysville Aquatic Club and Round The Island Yacht Race which is held at Lake Deneys Yacht Club.
In early stone-age times, the San had settled along the shore of the Vaal River, where Deneysville is established today. They were followed by the Khoikhoi. The ruins of their stone dwellings can be seen in the area today opposite the Municipal buildings. There is an interesting exhibition of artifacts in the town’s library which is situated behind the Municipal offices.
Many of these artifacts were saved prior to the flooding of the valley and originate from the farm, Zandfontein, which is now an island in the middle of North Bay called Groot Eiland (or UJ Island, as the University of Jhb. has a 99-year lease over it).
|Country name||South Africa|