is plenty to do in the small town of Gariep Dam. Fly Fishing,
Sailing, Water skiing, Putt-Putt, Horse Riding, Squash, Hiking
Trails, Wind Surfing, Game Hunting, Game Viewing, Bird Watching,
Bird Hunting, Gliding, River Rafting, Boat Cruises, Tennis,
Bowling, Photography, Camping, and more!
are also the annual Million-Dollar Pigeon Race in January
and the International Gliding Championships in December.
giant Gariep Dam, completed in 1971, was mainly built
for generating hydro-electric power and irrigation.
It is the largest dam in South Africa, with a shoreline
of about 435 km, and the dam wall is 88m high and
huge amount of 1.73 million cubic meters of cement
was used during the building of the dam wall. Guided
tours through the dam wall includes an interesting
slide show in its well equipped audiovisual room,
as well as a walk through the 13.2km of tunnels and
more than a thousand steps that leads to its foundation
on the Orange River.
Gariep Nature Reserve, which has a total area of about
12000 ha, extends along the Free State shore from the
Gariep Dam Wall to Bethulie and is the largest in the
lies on the fringe of the Karoo and the vegetation is
known as Mixed Nama Karoo. It boasts with many antelope
species that include Springbuck, Klipspringer, Eland,
Bluewildebeest, the second largest herd of Blackwildebeest
in the world and 65 of scarce Cape Mountain Zebra. The
dam is also home to many species of birds, including,
amongst others, the Fish Eagle, Black Eagle, Goliath
Heron and many duck species such as yellow billed ducks,
Egyptian geese etc. Certain areas of the reserve is
also good for fishing.
State Fish Hatchery
fish hatchery, which is the largest in South Africa,
breeds with fish species such as barbel, yellowfish
and Orange River mud fish. Guided tours could be arranged
at 051 754 0277 (o/h) or 082 410 8251 when available.