The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve, in the North West province, has the large Bloemhof Dam as its principle attraction. The extent of the dam within the reserve is around 13 000-hectares and, depending on the water levels, offers outstanding angling to complement the reserve’s bird and game viewing.

Did you know?

At full capacity, Bloemhof is one of the country's largest man-made dams.

The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve centres on the Bloemhof Dam, one of the largest dams in South Africa. Situated on the lower region of the Vaal River, the dam not only supplies industry and agriculture, but is also an important recreational resource for the North West and Free State provinces.

Despite wildlife populations that include black and white rhinoceros, large herds of eland, oryx, springbuck, black wildebeest and small predators, angling is by far this North West nature reserve’s most popular activity, followed by bird watching.

Comprising a mix of Kalahari scrub and thornveld, and some wetland on the shores of the dam, the terrain of the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve is open and flat.

The reserve has over 250 species of bird, and is especially good for spotting herons, storks, geese, ducks and cormorants. Seasonal migrants include flamingos, terns and teal.

The reserve's birds are accustomed to vehicle traffic, thus making it easy (except in the wet season) for bird-watchers to drive up close to the dam and view large populations of waterfowl from the comfort of their cars.

Exceptional sports fishing, by boat or from the shore, is the reason the Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve draws anglers from as far as sub-Saharan Africa to test their line skills against the dam’s carp, grass carp and barbel. Also resident in the dam are indigenous yellow fish, which must be released if caught. Angling is also permitted on the Vaal River below the dam wall.

Few predators mean Bloemhof Dam’s fish are plentiful, reach an above average size, and put up a good fight all year-round, to the delight of the anglers competing in regional, national and international fishing competitions held here throughout the year.

Though the Bloemhof Dam is shallow compared to other dams, it’s still a prime summertime spot for boating, jet skiing, canoeing, and yachting, with boat launch facilities provided.

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