Stock image. Photo credit: Tom Pottiger

4 Dams to camp at in Mpumalanga

Although Mpumalanga is a landlocked province it does not mean that you cannot enjoy a holiday or weekend next to water like your coastal neighbours. What can be more fun than enjoying all kinds of water sport, fishing, swimming, hiking or simply sitting in the shade enjoying the scenery with your favourite book and drink. Mpumalanga has a few dams that is quite worthwhile visiting for a well-earned break away from city life. The following is recommended:

Loskop Dam

Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, is one of Mpumalanga's most beautiful reserves, and is situated around the enormous Loskop Dam on the Olifants River, 55 kilometres north of Middelburg. It has a total area of 23 612 acres. The dam was built in 1939 and combines a gravity and an arch design. The gorgeous valley has been repopulated with species that were originally native to the area, and the dam has created a natural floodplain. Eland and other antelope species, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, and White Rhino are some of these. The Olifants River Gorge Dam Wall was constructed in the 1930s and raised once again in the 1970s.

The dam, which is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere at about 30 km, provides water to a huge irrigation system in the communities of Loskop, Groblersdal, and Marble Hall. Numerous facilities on the dam's banks provide boat-based wildlife watching, and the dam has grown to be a favourite among fishermen and water sports lovers. The dam, which is regarded as one of the best coarse angling locations in South Africa, is well stocked with Yellow fish, Carp, Bream, and Catfish.

Self-guided game drives, fishing, boat tours, 4×4 excursions, picnics, walking trails, braai facilities, camping, and water sports are among the local pastimes. The Loskop Dam Forever Resort is the most well-known of the nearby camping options.

Primkop Dam

The White River Valley Conservancy oversees Primkop, a long and slender dam that spills over into Manchester Dam, another tiny body of water. The dam is located 13 kilometres from White River and close to the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. It lies in a basin surrounded by agriculture and classic Lowveld granite outcrops. The facilities and reservations are handled by the Lowveld Angling & Boating Association. The newly renovated unisex, semi-outdoor bathrooms have a rustic yet stylish industrial design thanks to the corrugated iron and wood construction. The camping spots is located next to the dam, with views of orchards encircling granite slopes across the water.

Along the dam’s shore, the 41 campsites are apart from one another. There are taps, trash cans, and power outlets nearby, and most of them feature thick trees where you can set up your tent. Take note that there is a piece of grass between the camping area and the river where anglers frequently leave their vehicles parked. Loud music, jet skis, and motorcycles are prohibited, and boats are only allowed to have eight horsepower. As a result, the area is serene. There is no store on-site, so stock up in a town along the way before picking camp.

Vygeboom Dam

Vygeboom Dam is conveniently situated close to Badplaas in a grassland and wetlands area. The dam is 22,11 km long and is fed by the Komati River that starts in the mountains close to Machadodorp. There is a number of places that offer accommodation in the area but if you want to go camping, your only option is OppiDam. OppiDam has 23 waterfront campsites available with electricity and braai facilities. In addition, it has 6 caravans available for hire. Each caravan is fully equipped for self-catering and one caravan sleeps 3 people while the other 5 caravans sleep 4 people.

Oppidam also offers 6 tents that can each sleep 3 persons each. The tented camp has its own ablution facilities, kitchen and boma. On the premises is a small shop that is stocked with items that will be needed on a daily basis, or you can drive into Badplaas. It also has a Restaurant and bar with specials offered on Wednesdays.

Kwena Dam

On the Crocodile River, not far from Lydenburg, you’ll find the combined gravity and arch type dam known as the Kwena Dam. It was established in 1984, and its primary function is to provide irrigation for surrounding areas. The Kwena Dam Resort & Caravan Park is an excellent location for a vacation or weekend break away with the kids. The weather is perfect for either fishing or simply kicking back and relaxing. The park is equipped with sinks, flush toilets, and separate shower and changing rooms, as well as outdoor showers.

The front of the dam does not have any electricity facilities, but the main building has a hall that is 2,000 square meters and has a roof over it. The hall also has a braai area and a small restaurant that serves takeout. The park features a trail for hiking and bicycling, permits may be obtained for riding four-wheelers
and bicycles, there is access to water for activities such as parasailing, tubing, and skiing, and of course there is fishing.

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