The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve

Afrikaans name: Vaalkopdam Natuurreservaat

Vaalkop Dam

Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve

Photo © Mickey Herd

North West

Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve is located near the small town of Beestekraal and is around 50 km north-west of Brits by road. The dam was constructed in 1972 and is fed by the Elands and Hex Rivers. The dam provides water for irrigation, platinum mining and supplies to local communities.

The dam has been described as a paradise for fishermen with carp and yellowfish being caught regularly. Boating and other watersports are also allowed on the dam.

The nature reserve is of most interest to bird-watchers and over 300 species have been recorded in the reserve. 800 ha of natural bush have been set aside as a protected areaa for birds but one has to book in advance to gain access to this area.

Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve is a popular destination for day visitors from Pretoria and Johannesburg but there is also a basic camping ground with limited facilities. There are also a number of other more comfortable accommodation options in the surrounding area.

What have you seen at the Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve?

Impala in the reserve

Above - A small herd of Impala

Photo © Mickey Herd

Vaalkop Dam

Above - Tranquil scene

Photo © Mickey Herd

References and further reading

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 1992 - Page: 144

The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng - Author: Etienne Marais and Faansie Peacock - Published: 2008 - Page: 129

The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng - Author: Etienne Marais and Faansie Peacock - Published: 2008 - Page: 126

Southern African Birdfinder - Author: Cohen, Spottiswoode and Rossouw - Published: 2006 - Page: 200

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 85

Go Birding in the Transvaal - Author: Brendan Ryan and John Isom - Published: 1990 - Page: 90

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 128

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1989 - Page: 66


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