The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Gariep Dam

Afrikaans name: Gariepdam

View over Gariep Dam

Gariep Dam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Free State

Gariep Dam is located on the Orange River and it is the largest dam in South Africa. It was commissioned in 1971 and was originally called the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam.

The dam wall is 88 metres high and holds back over 5 million megalites. It was constructed from 1.73 million cubic metres of concrete. The wall is 914 metres in length.

Gariep Dam is mainly used as a reservoir and for irigation projects in the surrounding area. It is a very popular tourist destination and is used for a variety of water sports.

There are a number of other attractions in the area including the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve.

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Dam wall

Gariep Dam wall

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Beautiful scene over the dam

Picturesque scene over the dam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Gorge at the dam wall

The Orange River below the dam wall

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Country Life - Issue 260 - Author: - Published: 2018 - Page: 56

Getaway - Vol 32 No 07 - Author: - Published: 2021 - Page: 78

go! - Issue 109 - Author: - Published: 2015 - Page: 52

go! - Issue 138 - Author: - Published: 2017 - Page: 89

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 201

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 347

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 227


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