Not only does the little farming town
of Bloemhof (flower capital or court)
lie on the Vaal River, it also rests
right up against a large dam known as
the Bloemhof Dam - a major fisherman's
paradise, especially for carp and fish
cat, and somewhere you can definitely
see a number of antelope and at least
250 species of bird.
Bloemhof Dam, which hosts an annual
Bonanza Fishing Competition, is also the
site of paddling, sailing or simply
relaxing, whilst further upstream of
here there is yet another dam, the
Wolwespruit dam which, although smaller,
has a large supply of indigenous yellow
Closer to the Dome
conservancy (also known as Vredefort
Dome) a white-water rafting trip is a
wonderfully gentle way to experience the
Bloemhof serves as an
ideal stopover whilst holidaying in the
North West, particularly if your
emphasis is on outdoor adventure.
far from here is the SA Lombard Game
Reserve where you can see the black
wildebeest, further north but remaining
with the North West, is Wondergat - a
sink hole with steep sides that serves
as a fantastic dive site, and further
still there is Sun City, Vredefort
Dam, Hartbeespoort Dam and
the Pilanesberg National Park.
Dam is a dam in South Africa. It was
originally known as the Oppermansdrif
Dam when under construction during the
late 1960s. It is located at the
confluence of the Vaal River and the Vet
River, on the border between the
provinces North West and Free State. The
dam wall has a total length of 4,270
metres (14,010 ft)
reservoir is very shallow, therefore
needs a large area to mean anything for
water storage. The area around the
reservoir (dam), has been a protected
area, but because it lies on the border
between provinces, these became two
separate nature reserves. On the North
West Province side lies the Bloemhof Dam
Nature Reserve, on the Free State side
is the Sandveld Nature Reserve.
of Bloemhof lies on the north west side
of the Vaal River.
The dam was
commissioned in 1970, has a capacity of
1,269,000,000 cubic metres
(4.48×1010 cu ft), and has an area of
223 square kilometres (86 sq mi); the
wall is 33 metres (108 ft) high. It is
fed with the outflow from the Vaal
Dam (located upstream in Gauteng) as
well as rain collected in
the Vaal, Vet, Vals and Sand
River catchment areas.
SA Lombard Game
One of the
earliest wildlife conservation research
centres in the country, the SA Lombard
Nature Reserve is the park credited with
saving the black wildebeest from
extinction in the wild, and whilst it
is not open to the public, there are a
couple of guest houses that serve as
accommodation in this beautiful, and
consequently peaceful nature reserve.
historical town of Bloemhof or ‘garden
of flowers’, has been in existence since
as early as 1866 following a burst of
activity after diamonds were discovered
in the area.
Today it is
a peaceful little town, storage silos
marking its predominant maize farming
As a result
of SA Lombard Nature Reserve’s pioneer
work with the black wildebeest, this
animal has been restored to reserves
throughout South Africa.
reserve serves also as a breeding centre
for what they term ‘plains’ animals that
include a variety of antelope like
the springbok, red hartebeest and
the zebra, and many of these animals
make their way to game farms around the
Dome is the oldest and largest meteorite
impact site (Asrobleme) in the world.
Formed an estimated 2000 million years
ago when a gigantic meteorite (larger
than Table Mountain) hit the earth close
to where Vredefort is today.
Vredefort structure is currently
regarded the biggest and oldest clearly
visible impact structure on Earth. It
just beats the Sudbury impact structure
in Canada for this ranking.
structure is some 200 km in diameter and
is estimated to be 1.85 billion years
activities can be enjoyed in the area.
From river rafting, river tubing,
abseiling, horse riding, mountain
biking, archery or walking.
visits to Anglo Boer War sites, the the
largest wild olive forest in South
Africa at Venterskroon, or a visit to a
distillery where traditional South
African "witblits" (extremely strong
spirits) is made.
Nature Reserve is renowned as a major
birding spot, not only in the Free
State, but in the country – 295 species
of bird have been recorded here. Best of
all the reserve, which lies 200
kilometres from Bloemfontein, and
roughly three and a half hours' drive
from Johannesburg, remains relatively
Nature Reserve is not about birds alone
and white rhino, giraffe, buffalo, sable
and roan antelope, blue wildebeest,
zebra and other mammals are all present
in the Reserve.
supports other game like giraffe, eland,
gemsbok, sable and roan antelope, the
black and white rhino, black-backed
jackal and aardwolf, whilst a move to
the waters edge will reveal an abundance
of water birds – flamingo, egrets,
pelican and spoonbills. Even sightings
of the Martial eagle have been recorded.
Facilities are by all accounts not great
- don't expect restaurants or luxury
accommodation in the Sandveld reserve.
But there are night drives, organised
walks and picnic sites along the
shoreline of the dam for day visitors.
the reserve on the R34
between Hoopstad and Bloemhof.
area of about 25 000 ha, this dam is one
of the largest in South Africa.
approximately 320 km from Johannesburg,
this dam is fed by the Vaal River and is
great for all water sports.
itself is about 12 000 ha and is one of
the most popular angling sites in South
here is mild to hot during summer,
however it can become quite cold during
bird species can be found here,
including rare waterfowl.
It is also
home to a wide variety of game including
springbok, wildebeest and eland.
Tel: 083 228 1593
House number 12