Africa / See

Play – Hartbeespoort Dam

Now that I’ve finished writing about my latest overland trip, what’s next?? There’s so many untold tales that I want to share with you! I guess I could relive my last (ever) weekend in South Africa before I had to come back to Perth.

So out of the 9 provinces in South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape), the only 2 provinces that I hadn’t been to (on the numerous times I’ve been in the country) are the North West and the Northern Cape. Now, the Northern Cape is a bit far to get to from Gauteng so I settled for the North West. And because I wanted to go see what every South African is yapping on about this dam of theirs.

— 22 Apr 2012 —

So I borrowed *R’s car once again and headed upwards the North West Province one fine Sunday morning, on a mission to visit Hartbeespoort Dam, or otherwise known as Harties to the locals. Also I wanted to get of *M’s hair to give her sometime by herself. So I drove and drove. Dang it was far. But as I drove I noticed the air was cleaner, the horizon was more visible, but the grass was more brown. It was nice to get out of the city and into the bush. But I had to wait about an hour to get to the other side of the dam because there was just sooo many people there!! Most of the number plates were from GP so I guessed many people were up for their weekend break from Gauteng, same as myself. And I didn’t even get lost this time!

So Harties is a dam. It provides water, like most dams, for the farmlands to the north of the province. The most impressive thing about Harties is that it was constructed in 2 years flat! And the overflow was 2 years after that. Since then, like mentioned above, it has become a popular getaway for many Gauteng-ians, and you’ll see why. It’s absolutely stunning.

Upon strolling along and inspecting with the naked eye, I reiterate, Harties is an amazing structure. It got me thinking, seeing as I am a nerdy engineer, about the design and the construction method. How did they divert the water in the beginning stages of construction? How much concrete did they pour? How did they pour the concrete and get such a nice finish? Ah, so many thoughts!! And now, I want to be involved in the construction of a dam! Or the design. Either or will make me happy.

So anyways, to get on the water I needed to go through the Snake and Animal Park. There’s no other way because 90% of the Dam is privately owned. Who knew?! Rich bastards. I paid the entrance fee to get on the boat and enjoyed a lovely afternoon on the water, enjoy the view that the aforementioned rich bastards get to enjoy. I got to see a couple of animals in the park and the seals perform so I guess it was worth it.

All in all it was a great day out, especially when the weather is as beautiful as I remember it to be. Also I now understand why they’re yapping on about the dam. Or maybe it could be because they may actually be one of the rich bastards. Whatever.

Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park
Open Everyday
08h00 – 17h30 (Summer)
08h30 – 17h00 (Winter)
Adult: Approx. R60
Address: On the R511 just before the tunnel and dam wall
t: +27 (0)12 253 1162


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