ID #1094

Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve, Harrismith, Eastern Free State.

This18000-Ha reserve on the banks of the Sterkfontein Dam, on the Nuwejaar River (New Year’s River) is a must for nature lovers. The steep rugged krantzes of the Drakensberg form a spectacular backdrop to the deep blue water of the dam.  The northern part consists on undulating grassy slopes. Tree ferns, yellowwood, wild peach, koko tree, silky bark, black bark, bush guarri and protea abound in the deep gorges of the south.  The wild grape twined into the treetop forms a dense leafy canopy that protects the carpet of ferns and mosses on the forest floor, as well as the fungi and lichens on both living and dead tree trunks.  A vulture restaurant permits close views of the endangered bearded (lammergeyer) as well as Cape vultures.  Other large birds such as black and martial eagles and secretary birds are equally at home in this mountainous area. Game includes black wildebeest, reedbuck, oribi, mountain reedbuck and grey rhebok. Temminck’s hairy bat, Schreiber’s long-fingered bats and Geoffroy’s horseshoe bat can be seen flying along rocky slopes and marshy areas in the evening. Bald ibis and blue korhaan are conspicuous on the grassy slopes, while buff-streaked chat, ground woodpecker and sentinel and Cape rock thrush can be seen on rocky outcrops. An angling mecca for largemouth and smallmouth yellowfish.  


•    Seventeen fully equipped self-catering chalets
•    350 camping sites
•    Caravan park with 63 sites, with modern ablution and laundry facilities and power points.
•    Slipway and boathouses for boating enthusiasts
•    Recreation hall with bar and kitchen can be hired.


•    Sailing
•    Waterskiing
•    Windsurfing
•    Paragliding
•    Camping
•    Angling, both bait and fly fishing
•    Game viewing
•    Mountain biking (cycling)
•    Birding and vulture restaurant

The weather is extremely variable and visitors should be prepared for unexpected cold spells.

Sterkfontein Dam is on the R74 southwest of Harrismith, which is at the intersection of the N3 with the N5. Travel west from Harrismith on the N5. Turn south onto the R74, the dam is on the right. AASterk

Contct:            Tourism Officer
Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve
Box 24 Harrismith 9880
+27 (58) 622 3520 telephone
+27 (58) 622 1772 fax

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Last update: 2014-03-06 15:17
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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