Darlington Dam

A few months ago we spent a weekend on a friend's farm near Darlington Dam and he took us for a quick drive to see what the dam looked like. Unfortunately we didn't get to go to the dam wall itself, so my picture is of the runoff below the wall. Darlington Dam, also referred to as Lake Mentz is located off the main road between Kirkwood and Jansenville and was completed in 1922. The primary reason for the dam being…

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Checking the Kouga Dam overflowing

A week or two three ago we spent the weekend at Tia Ghee Tented Camp in the Gamtoos Valley and heard that the Kouga Dam was still overflowing after good late winter and spring rains.  We immediately decided to take a drive up to the dam for a look and we definitely weren't disappointed. From the tar road, very close to where it becomes dirt going into the Baviaanskloof, there is a dirt road turnoff to the left and about 7…

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A very unusual beach

Can you guess where this beach is?.........Technically it's not a beach.  Not a coastal one anyway.  It is the sandveld on the banks of the Bloemhof Dam on the border between the North West Province and the Free State.Bloemhof Dam was built in the late 1960's and is located at the confluence of the Vaal River and the Vet River.  At 25 000 hectares the dam with it's 4 270 m long dam wall is one of the largest in South Africa.  The dam…

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The Gariep Dam – South Africa’s biggest dam

Returning from Gauteng on a recent road trip I decided to make a little detour via the Gariep Dam and take the Steynsburg and Hofmeyr road through the Karoo to Cradock.  I made a lunch and leg stretch stop at the lookout overlooking the Gariep Dam wall.  The Gariep Dam was opened in 1071 and initially called the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam after the first prime minister of the Republic of South Africa.  After the end of Apartheid it was decided to change the…

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Buffeljagsrivier farmstall dam

A sunny blue sky day. So typical of South Africa, specially in summer.  A grumbling tummy made me pull over at a farm stall at Buffeljagsrivier near Swellendam to look for a pie and something to drink.  Behind the farm stall was a big piece of grass with this farm dam and it is where I snapped this picture.  Green surroundings with a beautiful blue reflection and mountains in the background.  Makes one want to spend more time, but the road was calling.

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Groenvlei jetty

The lakes district between Knysna and Wilderness on the Garden Route is made up of a series of lakes, most of them visible from the N2 itself.  Out of all those lakes, Groenvlei - just east of Sedgefield - is the only one that is a fresh water lake and without an inlet or an outlet.  The lake is maintained by rainwater and springs alone.  There are very strict restrictions on boating on Groenvlei with only electric motors, and no outboard motors, allowed.  The lake…

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Irrigating the Gamtoos Valley

How often do you wonder where exactly the water in your tap and fruit and vegetables in your kitchen comes from?  We'll, if you live in Port Elizabeth its possible to answer both these questions for yourself by visiting the Gamtoos Valley.  The Gamtoos Valley is often referred to as the food basket of the Eastern Cape as it is one of South Africa's biggest citrus and vegetable producing areas.  The farms get their irrigation water from exactly the same…

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Frames Reservoir – Port Elizabeth’s oldest dam

Growing up I wanted to be an archaeologist.  Somebody like Indiana Jones who discovered lost cities, found ancient artefacts and went places that most can just dream of.  So now I work in tourism and love travelling with the explorer in me always waiting just below the surface.  Since I started Geocaching my explorer persona gets released on a regular basis.  I may not go in search of artefacts but looking for a cache feels like the same thing.  Don't think I can call the…

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Gariep Dam revisited

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…

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