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 name to the Gariep Dam.  Gariep is the original name of the Orange River and means “river” in the Khoekhoe (Khoisan) language.
The Gariep Dam is the biggest dam in South Africa and has a total storage capacity of approximately 5,340,000 megalitres and a surface area of more than 370 square kilometers when full.  The wall is 88 meters high and along its crest is 914 meters long.  Truly a South African man made marvel.

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  1. Thanks for the info, something I did not not know and I have not been there. I think Kariba is bigger than this but then it is not in South Africa. Having had no computer for a month I have a lot to catch up on!! Take care Diane

  2. Gaelyn

    That a lot of water to hold back.