Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve
Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve lies on the North West province side of the Bloemhof Dam, on the dam’s northern shores; the Sandveld Nature Reserve is on the other – a rather confusing division of nature reserve that surrounds the dam that also happens to fall right on the border between the two provinces.
The Bloemhof Dam, which lies roughly 320 kilometres from Johannesburg just outside the little town of Bloemhof, is regarded as one of the largest dams in South Africa covering an area of 25 000 hectares that lies at the confluence of the Vaal and Vet Rivers.
Bloemhof is one of the angling destinations in the country, extremely popular with fishermen of all shapes and sizes and the site of both major local and international angling competitions. Consisting of mostly Kalahari scrub and thornveld, the reserve’s open plains are also home to large herds of black wildebeest, eland, springbok and gemsbok and over 250 species of birdlife have been recorded here.
The dam supports more than 5000 waterbirds and one particular count registered over 10 000 individuals. Herons breed on the north-east side of the bridge over the Vaal River, whilst the thornveld that surrounds the dam supports several large raptors
The Bloemhof dam is possibly the main feature for weekend visits from locals who use the dam for any number of water sports and launch their power boats here. Approaching the reserve from Bloemhof village when the river is in full flood is supposed to be well worth the detour as the dam wall is pretty impressive when overflowing.