Did you know?
Groot Eiland has a golf course and a suspension bridge to the mainland.
The Vaal River, South Africa's longest river after the Orange, is a key water source for the country.
Its source is at Klipkapstel in Mpumalanga from where it flows to Douglas in the Northern Cape. Here it meets the mighty Orange River, which flows west into the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay.
The Vaal River, meaning 'drab' or 'dull' in Dutch because of its brown-grey colour, is divided into 3 catchment areas: the Upper Vaal, Middle Vaal and the Lower Vaal.
The Vaal Dam, near Vereeniging, has an 880km shoreline spanning 3 provinces, and is a favourite water sports playground offering canoeing, paddle-boating, power-boating, jet- skiing, and fishing, among other water sports.
The Upper Vaal is the Vaal River’s recreational hub. Centred on the towns of Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, expensive real estate and riverfront guesthouses line its banks, and you can enjoy everything from dining to fly fishing and Vaal River cruises.
This stretch of the river is exceptionally popular as a leisure destination, not least because the river is scenic and raftable all year round, except when it floods.
There are several hundred islands along the river, which help to create its white-water rapids. The biggest and trickiest section of rapids is between Parys and Christiana, where rapids with names like 'Big Daddy' assure adrenalin-packed white-water rafting.
The Middle Vaal, mainly an agricultural region, covers parts of the Free State and North West provinces, and the Lower Vaal comprises the area between the Bloemhof Dam and the confluence of the Vaal and Orange rivers at Douglas in the Northern Cape.
Here, too, a tributary of the Vaal, the Harts River, runs through the Mokala National Park, a haven for rhinos and rare roan antelope – proof that despite its name, from source to end, the Vaal River is never dull.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Vaal Meander Information Office:
Tel:+27 (0)16 424 1121 / +27 (0)78 705 7040
Fax:+27 (0)086 274 47096
Tel: +27 (0)56 811 4000
Fezile Dabi Tourism
Tel:+27 (0)16 970 8600
Fax:+27 (0)16 973 3903
Kimberley Diamond Fields Region
Tel: +27 (0)53 832 7298
Fax: +27 (0)53 832 7211