Hartbeespoort Dam is the favourite weekend getaway for folks from Pretoria or Johannesburg. But the locals are not the only ones that can find entertainment in this beautiful area surrounded by the majestic Magaliesberg. Any visitor will find that Hartbeespoort Dam is not just a beautiful place a stone's throw from two of South Africa's busiest cities, but also a wonderland of activity.
The Hartbeespoort Dam was originally built in 1923 to serve as irrigation for surrounding farms and is still an important water source for nearby commercial farms. Over time it has become a favourite holiday destination for people who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Today Hartbeespoort Dam offers visitors a variety of activities in scenic surroundings a little less than an hour's drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
|The dam offers a variety of activities in a beautiful setting
Surrounding the Hartbeespoort Dam are small towns that sprung up to accommodate the growing demand for accommodation and entertainment in the area. The town of Hartbeespoort is built next to the dam wall, but the towns of Kosmos, Melodie, Ifafi and Meerhof all offer their own unique small town charm to the area.
The area around the Hartbeespoort Dam is warm and temperate, even in winter, nestled as it is in the arms of the Magaliesberg. This makes it the perfect destination all year round. The major attractions of the Hartbeespoort Dam are the numerous water sports that are on offer. These include para sailing, windsurfing, water skiing and jet skiing to name but a few. Other activities for the more adventurous include hang gliding, paragliding and hot air balloon rides that offer you a spectacular view of the area.
For those visitors who want to get away from the water for a while, the Hartbeespoort Dam area has other attractions. There are many hiking trails, some simple and some taxing, that guide hikers through the beautiful surroundings. For those with a more relaxed bent, the Hartbeespoort Dam area also has some rambles that meander through the towns. The most famous is the Crocodile Ramble. The route passes by a number of interesting arts and crafts locations. The route also has accommodation for day and overnight visitors.
In the Hartbeespoort Dam area visitors will also find a snake park and an aquarium. The snake park offers visitors the chance to see some of South Africa's deadliest reptiles - safely behind glass. Live shows exhibit the skills of the park's snake handlers, and teach visitors valuable lessons about venomous snakes. The aquarium is the newest pride and joy of the Hartbeespoort Dam area. Here visitors can see a large variety of freshwater and tropical fish; indigenous African crocodiles like the Nile, dwarf and slender snout; pelicans and penguins; and seals. The aquarium also holds live shows showcasing the talents of some of these interesting animals.
The Hartbeespoort Dam area is also a fine place to visit for the gourmands. Restaurants of all sorts are available in the towns surrounding the dam. From traditional South African fare at the famous Tan' Malie se Winkel, to more modern and experimental dishes, Hartbeepoort Dam offer all sorts of different delicacies.
Hartbeespoort Dam offers visitors a cornucopia of possibilities. Whether looking for a relaxing weekend away in the beauty of nature or an action-packed adventure on the waters of the dam, there is more than enough to keep anyone busy for a while.
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