EXPLORE Gariep (Gariep Dam)

Previously referred to as the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, The Gariep Dam lies on the border of the Eastern Cape and Free State. Centrally located within South Africa, The Gariep Dam and its surrounding area offers much in the way of accommodation for all occasions.

Originally named the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam, after the then Prime Minister in 1971, it was later changed to the Gariep Dam on October 4th 1996. Located 48 km’s noth-east from the town of Colsberg, and 208 km’s from Bloemfontein, the dam is the largest storage reservoir in South Africa.


The places to stay in Gariep are varied, ranging from guest houses and lodges to backpackers for those that are stopping over for a short visit before heading back out onto the open, South African road. 

The area, being located on the N1 just over The Orange River, provides a much needed rest stop for those travelling the long expanse south from Bloemfontein, or heading up North towards Lesotho or Johannesburg

A well-known spot for those wishing to engage in all manner of water sports as well as land based activities, Gariep Dam provides a great atmosphere for both. From horse riding and game drives through expansive nature reserves, to angling, boat cruises and yachting, the dam sees plenty of activity all year round. 

The guest houses in the area provide both comfort and privacy while the self-catering options on the Gariep Dam allow for those wanting for a more rustic and camp like feel. There are also numerous options when it comes to dining in Gariep. From family restaurants such as the Forever Resorts Restaurant, to authentic African cuisine at Tjailatyd Family Restaurant, Gariep has got much in the way of dining options: All with a view that is not easily beaten, overlooking the beautiful expanse of the Gariep.

Most would see the Gariep Dam as a place for Summer fun, and you would not be wrong. However, looking at the accommodation options in the area, Gariep lends itself to a much more intimate winter setting. Picture warm, roaring fires and candle lit dinners in comfort, while, outside, the mercury can drop as low as 3 degrees. 

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