The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Pioneer Dam

Afrikaans name: Pionierdam

Pioneer Dam

Pioneer Dam

Photo © Steven Herbert


Anyone who has stayed in, or visited, Mopani Camp in Kruger National Park will be familiar with Pioneer Dam. Mopani Camp is located on a hill overlooking this beautiful dam.

The surrounding bushveld is dominated by Mopani Trees and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. You may see Hippo, Waterbuck, Elephant and a variety of birdlife. There are Lions, Spotted Hyenas and Leopards in the area but they are not always easy to find.

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Pioneer Dam is not a natual dam. It was constructed on the Tsende River during the 1980's and provides water to an area that would otherwise have been pretty dry. During its construction workers called game ranger Kobus Botha to come and get rid of a lioness that was in the diggings. She attacked the ranger and had to be shot and killed by Ranger William Ndobe. Botha was airlifted to hospital and recovered while Ndobe received a bravery award for saving his life.

The dam can be visited by taking the S142 Shongololo loop which also takes you passed the Shipandani Hide on the Tsendze River below the dam wall.

Seen anything special at Pioneer Dam?

Pioneer Dam

Above - Pioneer Dam

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading


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