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SSouth African waterskiing is as good as it gets. Feel the warm sun on your back as you glide above the water at one of the country's many large dams, which are surrounded by great scenery.
With a warm climate and vast number of large dams, South Africa lends itself superbly to waterskiing and related activities like wakeboarding. These activities are popular across the country, and venues are easy to find.
You can hire a boat and equipment at most of these venues; otherwise contact the local tourism information centre to find out about waterski tour operators and instructors in the area in which you are staying.
The Gauteng province may be landlocked, but it still offers some world-class water sports. The Vaal Dam, 90-minutes' drive south of Johannesburg, is one of South Africa's most popular waterski venues, while Bronkhorstspruit Dam, 90-minutes' drive north-east of Johannesburg, hosts a large number of waterski competitions every year. Another popular watersports venue is the Hartbeespoort Dam, which is also about an hour outside Johannesburg.
In the sunny province of KwaZulu-Natal, waterskiing is a year-round activity and there are a number of dams to choose from. Within a 2-hour drive from Durban you have options such as Inanda Dam, Albert Falls Nature Reserve, Midmar Dam and Wagendrift Nature Reserve.
In the Western Cape, Rondevlei Nature Reserve, Zandvlei Nature Reserve and Blue Rock Cable Waterski are just a few of the choices available within easy driving distance of Cape Town.
In the Free State, Sterkfontein Dam near Harrismith is one of the more popular waterski destinations.
The Garden Route between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth is well worth a road trip, although waterski travellers need to allow themselves a little more time to stop off at various points along the way. Sedgefield, Knysna, Jeffreys Bay and Wilderness are all worth a visit for waterski enthusiasts.
In the Limpopo province, Bela-Bela and Ebenezer Dam are 2 of the better options.
TTravel tips & planning info
Best time to visit
South African watersports are performed the whole year round.
Having your own vehicle will allow you to travel more freely.
What to pack
Sunscreen is essential during the summer months from November to April. For west coast adventures ask your tour operator about hiring a wetsuit. Bring your opwn snorkel if you own one.
Where to stay
There are numerous beach resorts, hotels and lodges inland where one can enjoy watersports.
What will it cost?
Rates vary according to how much equipment you need to hire. You should be able to enjoy a waterski session for around R300 at many venues.