Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve and Resort – 25km from Harrismith. Tel: 058 622 3520. Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve, located in the Free State province and boarders KwaZulu-Natal. The Sterkfontein dam falls in the Eagle route following the Free State’s southern border with Lesotho, the Eagle route runs from Ficksburg to Harrismith through some of the most picturesque landscape in the country.

The Sterkfontein Dam is part of the Tugela-Vaal Water Project. The dam is located on the Nuwejaarspruit, a tributary of the Wilge River in the upper catchment area of the Vaal River. The Sterkfontein Dam is a highly effective reservoir due to its depth which enables the storage of a large amount of water and little loss to evaporation. At full supply, it has a surface area of no more than 70 km2 and has a full storage capacity of 2 656 million m3.

Situated on the R74 on the Oliviershoek Pass from KZN and Harrismith. From Bloemfontein and Gauteng (via N1) it can be via the N5 or the N3. It is the third largest dam in South Africa providing a perfect playground for sailing and other watersports. The surrounding landscape is characterized by rugged mountains, lush ravines and rolling grasslands. In this beautiful setting is the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve covering 18 000 hectares. Perfect for long walks, hiking (there is a two-day hiking trail) and biking, it also offers excellent game viewing and bird watching. You can tick off oribi, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck, grey rhebuck, the bald ibis, the blue and whitebellied korhaan, the buffstreaked chat, the ground woodpecker and the sentinel. Gaze up to the sky and you could spot bearded and Cape vultures, as well as Verreaux’s (black) and martial eagles, soaring. Secretary birds can also be spotted in treetops or stalking in the grasslands. Has brilliant birds‘ species and windsurfing.

Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve Accommodation

The Wild Horses Guest Lodge

Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve - Wild Horses Guest Lodge

The Wild Horses Guest Lodge

City dwellers in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Durban have, at their doorstep, a gem of a hideaway mountain retreat. Occupying pride of place within the Sterkfontein Nature Reserve, Wild Horses Lodge is a Sandstone villa facing the breathtaking expanse of the Sterkfontein Dam and the Platberg Mountains.

Wild Horses Lodge
Sterkfontein Dam
South Africa

Telephone: +27 (0)58 622 7000

Qwantani Berg and Bush Resort

Qwantani Berg and Bush Resort

Situated on the banks of the Sterkfontein Dam, 43km from Harrismith, Qwantani Berg and Bush Resort has 53 luxury self-catering chalets. Onsite conferencing and wedding facilities are available and many clients return time and time again to make use of this superb venue. The Marshall Eagle Restaurant provides home-style meals, banqueting, sumptuous buffets and regular specials. There is a daily entertainment programme to amuse the whole family as well as fishing, horse riding, barge cruises, adventure golf and a swimming pool. Qwantani is perfect for those looking to relax amidst breathtaking scenery, isolated from the hustle and bustle of suburbia.

058 623 0882

Sterkfontein Dam

No of dam C801/10
WARMS Dam ID 5929
Name of the dam STERKFONTEIN
Water management area 5
Quaternary Drainage Area C81E
Latitude deg 28
Lat min 23
Lat sec 15
Longitude deg 29
Long min 1
Long sec 1
Town nearest HARRISMITH
Distance from Town 15.5
Name of farm STERKFONTEIN A1671
DWS Provincial Office / Region GAUTENG
Completion date 1980
Completion date raised 1986
River or Watercourse NUWEJAARSPRUIT
Wall height 97
Crest Length (m) 3060
Spillway Type NONE
Capacity (1000 cub m) 2616000
Surface area (ha) 6937
Catchment area (sq km)) 195
Designer STATE – DWAF
Contractor DWAF
Registration date 1987/01/06
Size Large
Hazard Potential High
Category 3
Classification date 1988/01/11
Sector W
Date Last DSE 2009/01/28
Number Last DSE 3
Target date next DSE 2017/03/31


Visit the registered dams page for more information on other dams in South Africa.

or visit the Free state tourism page.