Steynsburg ia a town 65 km’s south-west of Burgersdorp and 48 km north of Hofmeyr. It developed around the Dutch Reformed Church established in 1872 and has been administered by a village management board since 1874. Named after Douwe Gerbrandt Steyn, grandfather of President Paul Kruger. Steynsburg is located on the intersection of the R56 and R390.
The small Eastern Karoo town of Steynsburg lies deep within the Eastern Cape sheep farming territory.
The Bamboesberg mountain range is located south-east of Steynsburg and north-east of Hofmeyr; an extension westward of the Stormberg Range
Oviston Nature Reserve is located 75 km’s on the R390 from Steynsburg. The 16 000ha Oviston Nature Reserve is one of the Eastern Cape’s best kept secrets. It is a secluded, peaceful reserve situated on the southern shores of the Gariep Dam – South Africa’s largest standing body of fresh water (370km2 when full). Visit the quiet waterside village of Oviston in the little Karoo, spend afternoons fishing and boating on the dam, and be sure to enjoy a self game drive through this awesome reserve.
The reserve can be accessed on the R58 via Burgersdorp or the R390 via Steynsberg. Alternatively, it can be accessed from the R701 in the north via Bethulie (turning south onto the R390), or on the R58 from Colesburg. The road condition is fair, so sedans or 2x4s are sufficient.
The Karoo climate is characterised by blazing hot days, followed by cool evenings and extraordinary sunsets. It is a beautiful landscape of wide open grasslands, little ‘koppies’ and deep blue skies – a photographer’s paradise.
Oviston Nature Reserve was initially established to preserve False Upper Karoo vegetation and to support a breeding programme for buck. Click here for more information and contact details for Oviston Nature Reserve
Self-guided game drives are the best way to explore the Reserve, which is home to buffalo, kudu, springbok, gemsbok, zebra, hartebeest, black wildebeest, aardvark, bat-eared fox, porcupine, mongoose and clawless otter, to name a few. Birders can expect to see Verreaux’s eagles, fish eagles, blue cranes, secretary birds, steppe buzzards, African hoopoe and greater flamingo, among other species.
Gariep Dam is perfect for watersports, boating and swimming and is an excellent fishing destination – anglers can hope to land largemouth yellowfish, Orange River mudfish, moggel and sharptooth catfish. The highlight of any day at the Reserve is a sunset cruise on the peaceful dam. Other activities include hiking, mountain biking and admiring the wonderful San rock art on offer. Places of interest include the Gariep Dam wall (which is 914m long and 88m high), the Oviston tunnel and the Bethulie railway bridge.
Komweer Lodge is a beautiful old farmhouse that accommodates nine.
Apies Bay Cabin is a rustic stone cabin with a thatched roof, in close proximity to the Gariep Dam. It accommodates four.
Ihodi Campsite is available for those who travel with tents and caravans. The name is derived from the Xhosa word ihodi, meaning aardvark, referring to the tenacious creatures that can be found in the area.
Reserve Office: 051 655 0000/051 655 0199
Office Mobile: 087 285 7390
Reserve Manager: 082 416 1913/063 801 8344