Two years ago we camped at the Forever Resorts’ Gariep Dam Resort and had a marvelous time in the sun and next to the pool. Afterwards I did this post on the dam. Last week we headed for Gauteng for Chaos Boy to compete in the SA Trampoline Championships and stopped at the Gariep Dam on the way up to stretch our legs and have a breakfast picnic.
The Gariep Dam was commissioned in 1971 and was originally called the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam. After the end of apartheid the name was considered unsuitable and changed to Gariep Dam in 1996. The word gariep comes from the Khoi San language and means “Great water”. It is also the original name of the Orange River which flows into the dam and acts as the border between the provinces of the Eastern Cape and Free State.
The road crosses the 88 m high and 914 m long wall and you can actually get out and walk back onto it for views both over the dam on the one side and into the gorge on the other. Tours of the dam wall is also possible, but as we did it last time around, we didn’t bother again. Plus we still had two hours to go before our overnight spot in Bloemfontein.
This is the view back towards the dam wall
We also had a quick “do you remember…” stop above the resort, just for memory sake before moving onto the boring drive through the “flat lands” of the Free State.