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.
The 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 fish.
Closer to the Dome conservancy (also known as Vredefort Dome) a white-water rafting trip is a wonderfully gentle way to experience the water.

Bloemhof serves as an ideal stopover whilst holidaying in the North West, particularly if your emphasis is on outdoor adventure.
Not 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.



Bloemhof 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)


The 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.


The town 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 Reserve

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.

The little 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 community.
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.

The nature 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 country.




The Vredefort 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.


The 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.


The Sudbury structure is some 200 km in diameter and is estimated to be 1.85 billion years old.


Many activities can be enjoyed in the area. From river rafting, river tubing, abseiling, horse riding, mountain biking, archery or walking.

 Or 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.



The Sandveld 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 undiscovered.


Sandveld 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.


 Sandveld 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.
Find the reserve on the R34 between Hoopstad and Bloemhof.



Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve

Covering an area of about 25 000 ha, this dam is one of the largest in South Africa.


Located approximately 320 km from Johannesburg, this dam is fed by the Vaal River and is great for all water sports.

The reserve itself is about 12 000 ha and is one of the most popular angling sites in South Africa.

The weather here is mild to hot during summer, however it can become quite cold during winter months.

Over 250 bird species can be found here, including rare waterfowl.


It is also home to a wide variety of game including springbok, wildebeest and eland.


Margaret Fourie
Tel: 083 463 2029

Sias Meyer
Tel:  083 228 1593

House number 12
Die Hoek
Bloemhof  2660