Easter Weekend in Vanderkloof

What is your plans for Easter? Why not make a trip to Vanderkloof. Great weather is predicted to accompany the 2 day fishing competition starting on the 18th of April. There is no better place to be than at South Africa’s most beautiful dam!

Photo by FraNê Photography

Photo by FraNê Photography



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Boothengel kompetisie @ Vanderkloofdam

Boothengel kompetisie Vanderkloofdam 18 en 19 April 2014

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Try something different

The average weekend away usually involves packing the car and going to some chalets or campsite and spending the weekend there. You still have electricity, you still see other people. This is good, but is it great?

Consider this experience for your next break from city life…

After a few weeks of planning we left Vanderkloof on 2 boats (please see at end our conclusions after doing this trip). We were only 4 people, so 2 per boat, rest of the boat pretty much fully packed with camping gear, food, loads of water, loads of snacks and 2 sausage dogs. Neither boat was very big so space was quite limited.

We drove about 35km from Vanderkloof towards the Gariep Dam where we set up camp. Camp consisted of 2 tents. gasbraai, chairs, table and plenty cooler boxes. That night we had a braai with a camp fire with wood collected from dead trees around our camp site. Our camp site had white river sand as far as you would be willing to walk, with a bit of imagination you could even imagine you are camping on the beach. The next morning breakfast was made on the gasbraai.

We set our aims on the destination Another 42 km further away from Vanderkloof, just after where the dam becomes river. It’s known around Vanderkloof as “Watervalle”. It only flows after some decent rains however the trip to Watervalle is worth it even if the destination isn’t flowing. Gorges, endless green mountains and cliffs. 75km from town, no cellphone signal, nobody other than you and your close friends in one of the best places in the country!

Very close to Watervalle is a lapa that was built years ago. Its not ‘maintained’ but in very good condition considering its location. We were greeted by a big pofadder who stood his ground and we eventually decided to go make potjie somewhere else. Fortunately the pofadder didn’t see us as too much of a threat and we didn’t have any nasty incidents.

On our way back we found some nice shade and made potjie on the gas braai, after which we drove back to our camp site. The next day was spent relaxing around the boats, water, campfire. Floating around the dam in a life jacket can be just as relaxing experience as one can possibly imagine, seeing nature from the water while slowly making your way around the cliffs is something one can not describe even in pictures!

We drove back and had sun-downers at the Vanderkloof Dam wall before taking the boats out the water and heading home. Best trip imaginable. Try it yourself!

A few things that certainly should be mentioned:

  • Once you go past Grootwater you have absolutely no cellphone signal. Make sure you take anything you may need with you to help you in any kind of emergency. Nobody is going to “come along”. We did not see 1 boat or any other person, other than our own on our entire trip.
  • Our entire trip was 143km on the water measured by GPS. Being 70km away from town with only water and mountains and rocks between you and the town, can be a life and death situation if you have no support with you.
  • Do not try this with only 1 boat. After the first night one of our boats had a flat battery due to its radio being forgotten in its standby mode overnight. If you had only 1 boat you would have a serious problem. Even a boat with 2 motors should not do this alone. You are looking for trouble!
  • Take water, plenty of water. We froze about 8 bottles of water before the trip. This gave us cold water for our entire trip as well as helping to keep our food and drinks cold at the same time.
  • Take enough food for at least 1 extra day. You don’t know what might happen and you may stay an extra day. You do not want to run out of food. Fishing is only fun if your life doesn’t depend on it. :)
  • Make sure your first aid kit has things you can use. Snakes and spiders are common around the dam and Orange River. We came across a pofadder at our furthest point of our trip. If you were bitten by a pofadder while you are 70km from a town that has no anti-venom, you have a huge problem.
  • Don’t play with snakes while you are on the trip. Maybe you have handled snakes before, but the chance of you surviving a snake bite out there is slim to none. So don’t take the chance.
  • Have fun and relax. There are some stunning views that no photo can ever describe. You just have to see it first hand!
  • Take a camera, with loads of batteries. and take plenty photos.


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RSG berig oor Grootbek Geelvis van Jeremy Grace

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Monstergeelvis laat wêreld gons

Jeremy Grace met die monster-grootbekgeelvis wat hy die naweek in die Vanderkloofdam met ’n vlieghengelstok uitgetrek het. Die vis is 1 meter lank en weeg 11,5 kg. Foto: Erich Pienaar

Jeremy Grace met die monster-grootbekgeelvis wat hy die naweek in die Vanderkloofdam met ’n vlieghengelstok uitgetrek het. Die vis is 1 meter lank en weeg 11,5 kg. Foto: Erich Pienaar

’n GROOT vis wat in die Vanderkloofdam uitgetrek is, het hengelaars oor die wêreld heen behoorlik aan die praat.

Die grootbekgeelvis van 11,5 kg en 1 meter is die naweek deur ’n vlieghengelaar van ’n boot in dié dam in die Oranjerivier gevang.

Jeremy Grace van Johannesburg se vangs word as ’n nie-amptelike Suid-Afrikaanse rekord vir vlieghengel beskou.

Sover vasgestel kan word, was die swaarste grootbekgeelvis tot nog toe 22 kg, maar dié is van die oewer uitgetrek.

Die vorige grootste wat met ’n vlieghengelstok gevang is, is glo 9,2 kg.

Grace is lid van die Windknot-vlieghengelklub van Potchefstroom wat die naweek lyne in die dam natgemaak het.

Erich Pienaar, klublid wat langs Grace was, sê dié vis is waarna vlieghengelaars as ’n “vis uit miljoen gooislae” verwys.

“Dit was ’n belewenis. ’n Mens kan hom vir ’n jaar probeer vang en hom glad nie kry nie.”

Hulle reken die vis is tussen 30 en 40 jaar oud – dus heelwat ouer as die dam self.

“Toe die dam gebou is, was hy reeds in die rivier. Grootbek-geelvisse begin eers op agt jaar teel.”

Die Windknot-klub is daarop ingestel om die grootbekgeelvisse te bewaar. Hulle kom net in die Oranje- en Vaalrivier voor en word ernstig bedreig. Sulke grotes is baie skaars.

Hulle het egter meer grootbek- as kleinbekgeelvisse, wat meer algemeen is, uitgetrek.

Vanderkloof is ’n onontdekte vlieghengelparadys, reken die klub.

Hulle doen ’n dringende beroep op hengelaars om die visse terug te gooi en nie dood te maak nie.

“Dit is vir ons baie belangrik.”

Grace het die “muishond’’-kunsvliegie van Marius Rossouw (uitvinder) ingespan en langer as ’n uur in die water gehou.

Hulle was sowat 2 km van die damwal toe die monstervis toegeslaan het.

Pienaar sê daar was reeds navrae uit Amerika oor vlieghengel in Suid-Afrika nadat foto’s van die grote sedert Sondag op sosiale media rondgestuur word.


Soos berig in Die Volksblad. Oorspronklike artikel kan gevind word deur hier te click. 


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2400km Swim – Progress Update

On 12 January 2014, Rochè Schoeman departed at the source of the Orange River to swim 2400km to the sea, all this with no crew by his side for the majority of the trip. After about 2 months of swimming he took a few rest days at the Vanderkloof Dam. Going past the N12 bridge on the 15th of March, he is currently in Prieska and still going strong!

To follow his progress keep watching this site or follow him on Facebook


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Fishermen. Heres how to do it!

If you thought Vanderkloof Dam didn’t have big fish to catch think again! This one was caught on Saturday, 22 March, by Jeremy Grace. It was caught with a muishond fly, 9wt sage RPLXI, sci angler intermediate line. Was fought for an hour and a bit and safely released! As far as is known this is the unofficial SA record for a Largemouth Yellow on Fly in South Africa!

Vanderkloof Dam is a sanctuary for largemouth yellows, no other dam has nearly as many largies as this dam – for this reason it is best that bass should NOT be released in this dam and if one is caught it should be removed. There are more than enough dam’s with bass while there are no dam except for Vanderkloof with a healthy population of largies.

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Vanderkloofdam loop oor

As jy nog nie gesien het as Vanderkloofdam oorloop nie. Of jy wonder hoe dit lyk as Suid Arrika se hoogste damwal heeltemal oorloop maak ‘n plan en besoek Vanderkloof binne die volgende paar weke!

Het jy mooi fotos van Vanderkloof? Stuur dit vir ons info@vanderkloofdam.co.za


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Orania hou karnaval

Vanaf 2 tot 5 April 2014 hou Orania weer karnaval! Besoek gerus ons buurdorp vir ‘n lekker paar dae van vertonings en vuurwerke!

Vir meer inligting kontak gerus ontvangs@orania.co.za of 053 207 0062. Dit is ook die perfekte tyd om Vanderkloofdam te besoek terselle tyd. Orania is slegs 45km vanaf Vanderkloof so maak sommer ‘n langnaweek van dit en kom kyk bietjie hoe Suid Afrika se hoogste damwal oorloop ook!

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