Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

1 Guest Review
1 Customer Reviews


The vast expanse of water which is the Sterkfontein Dam lies a few kilometres from the edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment in the topmost reaches of the Vaal Dam catchment on the Nuwejaarspruit. The cool, fresh, deep waters are ideal for trout and other fish and it is a popular angling spot. It is the third largest dam in South Africa providing a perfect playground for sailing and other watersports. The surrounding landscape is scenically stunning - characterised by rugged mountains, lush ravines and rolling grasslands.

In this beautiful setting is the Sterkfontein Dam Reserve covering 18 000 hectares. Perfect for long walks, hiking (there is a two-day hiking trail) and biking, it also offers excellent game viewing and bird watching. You can tick off oribi, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, grey rhebuck, the blue and whitebellied korhaan, the bald ibis, the buffstreaked chat, the ground woodpecker, and the sentinel. Gaze up to the sky and you could spot Cape and bearded vultures, as well as black and martial eagles soaring. Secretary birds can also be spotted in treetops or stalking in the grasslands.

The precipitous ravines are populated with yellowwood, koko, wild peach, silky bark, and black bark trees as well as bush guarri. Wild grapes have grown up into the tops of the trees forming a dense canopy of leaves. Fungi and lichen sit against rotten and living tree trunks alike. The mountain slopes are adorned with wild myrtle, silver sugarbush ouhout, highveld protea, redwood, hush guarri, and the tree fern.


R74 on the Oliviershoek Pass from KZN and Harrismith. From Bloemfontein and Gauteng (via N1) it can be via the N5 or the N3.

Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve Map

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Customer Reviews

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Beauty and tranquillity - My family and I have twice travelled from KZN to Sterkfontein Dam, outside Harrismith. We have gone both times in mid winter, which is quite cold, yet we were surprised to see many families holidaying there! Firstly, as you drive on this partly dirt and tar road, you just see rolling hills, trees and no civilisation, wonderful, the colours of the landscape are beautiful reds, browns, camel and pale green. Then, you get a glimpse of a deep blue (like the ocean!) in the middle of literally nowhere! This is Sterkfontein Dam. It is the most awesome sight to behold - kilometers of deep blue water in the midst of hills, and no civilisation! And it is a vast expanse of water too. So, you travel on an absolutely quaint, rutted, gravelly dirt road, which feels like you taking an amazing trip into an ancient place! Then, you see this dam from different angles and is just breathtaking. Then you get to the resort we have stayed at, Qwantani. Oh, wow, this place is all rustic, yet modern, intimate and yet offering a host of activities and more breathtaking views of the dam, but also the mountains surrounding it. You are basically enveloped by blue beneath you and heights around you, it is awesome! Families playing together at mini golf, tennis, volleyball and dining too. Or you can cater for you and your family in self catering apartments. But these apartments are like small houses with their own view of the dam, fully equipped with all you need to live. Then there are boat cruises, horse rides and planned kids activities, that are fun, and board games and swingball you can hire for the night! Too cool, this place has thought of everything. And you can take hikes or bike trails around or up the mountain, or you can take a family walk (if you haven't exercised in a while, skip this!). I would recommend this place and this resort to anyone with a family or even a couple, quite a romantic getaway too! Definitely a 5 Star resort and dam.

Shakira Apelgren
South Africa

Accommodation near Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

from R1,000
1 night, 2 adults

Qwantani Private Rentals

Sleeps 312 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
5.49km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Qwantani is a unique resort located on the waters edge of Sterkfontein Dam in the Sterkfontein Natur...

from R300
1 night, 2 adults

Wild Horses Lodge

Sleeps 8 Harrismith Lodge in Harrismith
6.77km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Luxury Drakensberg mountain lodge. Superior sight fly fishing. Boat charters. Romantic getaway. ...

from R600
1 night, 2 adults

Where The River Runs...

Sleeps 10 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
8.04km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Where The River Runs... is a self-catering farm house situated just outside of Harrismith, en-route ...

from R950
1 night, 2 adults

Kruisvlei Retreat

Sleeps 8 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
9.62km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Just outside of Harrismith, Kruisvlei Retreat offers rustic farm-style accommodation with enough spa...

from R600
1 night, 2 adults

The Cottage at Baker's Kop

Sleeps 2 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
10.32km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Charming, self-catering cottage set on a farm ideally situated for stopovers or as a base for explor...

from R800
1 night, 2 adults

The Phatt Chef Restaurant @ The Border Post

Sleeps 12 Northern Drakensberg Self-catering in Northern Drakensberg
13.00km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

High on top of the Oliviershoek Pass with incredible views over the Drakensberg mountains range from...

from R1,200
1 night, 2 adults

Beauchef Farm House

Sleeps 11 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
13.75km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Beauchef Farm House is designed to accommodate groups of up to ten people sharing, and is situated w...

from R1,600
1 night, 2 adults

The Fishing Cottage

Sleeps 8 Harrismith Self-catering in Harrismith
13.98km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

The Fishing Cottage is a self-catering farmhouse 30 km outside of Harrismith at Kerkenberg, and is o...

from R700
1 night, 2 adults

Ingwe Cabin

Sleeps 6 Northern Drakensberg Self-catering in Northern Drakensberg
14.87km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Ingwe Cabin is situated halfway down the Oliviershoek Pass in the Northern Drakensberg, between Litt...

from R1,135
1 night, 2 adults

Little Switzerland Hotel

Sleeps 200 Bergville Hotel in Bergville
14.90km from Sterkfontein Dam and Nature Reserve

Little Switzerland Hotel is an unforgettable experience enhanced by the peace and tranquillity of th...

  • Dams and Vleis

Beauty and tranquillity…”  Read more

Shakira Apelgren - 08 August 2012