Lake !Gariep Route
Gariepdam, Venterstad, Oviston & Bethulie

1. Bethulie

Sheltered beneath a ridge of hills on the northern bank of the Gariep Dam, on the Orange River is the little olde-worlde town of Bethulie. The town was originally a station of the London Missionary Society which, in 1833, handed it over to the French Missionary Society. They named it Bethulie, meaning "Chosen by God". In 1862 this quiet, God fearing settlement became a village. The original mission buildings still stand, including the oldest European-built house in the Free State named Pellissier House, after the first french missionary, the Rev. Jean Pellissier and which now houses the museum. Contact details Some of the historical sites in Bethulie are difficult to find, others are on…

2. Gariepdam

Gariepdam is a stunning stop-over for tourists and travellers, with accommodation facilities flourishing during the holiday seasons. In 2010 it was voted tourist town of the year and the number of visitors are increasing every year. It has a tranquil safe environment with crisp clean air and offers one of the best rural lifestyles and climates in the country for those wishing to retire or own a holiday home away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is not short of leisure pursuits with activities such as bird watching, boating and other water sports, bowls, fishing, game viewing, nature hikes, sailing, tennis and more. Gariepdam is host to a number of national and international…

3. Khayamnandi

Khayamnandi township borders the town of Venterstad. It houses the workers of the area.

4. Norvalspont

Norvalspont is a small village situated just off the Johannesburg - Cape Town - Port Elizabeth routes, located at the very centre of the country where the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces meet the Free State, and as the word “pont” (ferry or boat) in the towns name suggests, Norvalspont lies on the southern banks of the Orange River. This is a pretty little town surrounded by hills with its closest neighbour, Colesburg, approximately 40 km away. Norvalspont lies on a particularly beautiful section of the Orange River with the Bethulie hills as a backdrop. The little village offers spectacular sunsets and beautiful clear night skies. This is the spot to enjoy authentic Karoo lamb…

5. Oviston Nature Reserve

The small village of Oviston sits perched on the edge of the 100 km long Gariep Dam, within the 16 000 hectare Oviston Nature Reserve; one of three nature reseves that surround the dam. The little town is almost unnoticed with little else than brilliant blue skies, little koppies and corn coloured grass. Downside is the blistering hot days with a fair amount of dust. Upside is the cool evenings with incredible sunsets. If you're looking for peace with nothing else to bother you, with open space and beautiful views over the dam, in the middle of nowhere, then this is the place to be. If you enjoy shops, cinemas and restaurants, then this is not the place to be. Oviston's houses are for the…

6. Venterstad

Venterstad is a small establishment 43 km south-east of Norvalspont and 65 km west of Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape. The town lies south west of the Oviston Nature Reserve which has more than 48 animal species, and nearly 150 bird species have been identified in the area. The Reserve is traversed by over 50 kms of game viewing roads and has as a guided overnight wilderness trail. Another one of the most appealing attractions of Venterstad is the Gariep Dam. The country's largest dam is a magnet to water sports enthusiasts and there is excellent fishing. Venterstad is more of a town you stumble upon. This is “big sky country” where the horizon is shared with windmills and the odd…