The Gariep Dam is South Africa’s largest water storage reservoir, situated on the Orange River between the Northern Cape and the Free State just 30 kilometres east of Colesberg. Its primary purpose is for irrigation, domestic and industrial use as well as for power generation. Water sport on the dam is a big attraction with people coming from all over to enjoy the facilities.
Surrounded by nature reserves, the Gariep Dam lies in a central location on the Southern border of the Free State. With only a permanent resident population of just 1 500, it is a tranquil and safe environment with clean air. It offers one of the best rural lifestyles and climates in the country.
Only registered as a municipality in 1994, the town of Gariep Dam was voted the Volksblad Tourism Town of the Year for 2010. What makes it so special?
– Site of the first hydro-electric power station built by Eskom.
– The Gariep Dam is a staggering 100km long and 24km wide. Take a guided tour through the passages inside the wall of South Africa’s largest dam, or sample the many water sport activities on offer: fishing, windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing, canoeing, rowing…and even game-viewing by boat! That’s right – there’s a well-stocked 11,237-hectare game sanctuary on the dam’s northern shore. If you’re visiting in February, don’t miss the annual Gariep 500 Rubber Duck Race and Watersport Festival.
The Springbok Route, which connects the Free State with the Northern Cape, winds through the scenic farmlands and nature reserves of the Xhariep District. A wealth of cultural and historical attractions en route include battle sites, San rock engravings, game farms and diamond mines. Gariep Dam or Lake Gariep Route has a lot to offer visitors.
Things to do and see in Gariep Dam
– Dam wall tours
– Forever resorts – Putt putt, tennis, fishing, bowls, hiking trails, volley ball, swimming pool, splash pool for the kids, kiosk at swimming pool, trampolines, golf, sailing (own equipment ), canoeing (own equipment ), motorboat launch (own equipment ), entertainment programs in school holidays, picnic and braai areas.
– Quad-bike game viewing trails, mountain bikes available for trails,fishing, hiking
– River rafting, horse riding