Free State Tourist AttractionsKoppies Dam Nature Reserve
Where? The Dam lies 55 km north of Kroonstad, off the N1 between Kroonstad and Sasolburg.
How? Call +27 (0)56 777-2034
Just outside the little town of Koppies, 70 km northeast of Kroonstad, lies the 3 400 hectare Koppies Dam Nature Reserve.
It is a popular reserve amongst fishermen, who come to the dam to catch yellowfish, mudfish, carp and barbell. The water is clear and fishing does not entail much exertion as fish bite all year round, and fishermen can cast their lines from the bank as carp swims in the shallows. The nature reserve side of the dam is considered the better side for fishing.
When the wind is up the dam is awash with windsurfers, particularly over weekends and during the festive season when the banks of the dam can get rather busy.
The mixed grassland and dense acacia thickets and willow trees along the banks of the river provide a haven for about 250 bird species. The dam is home to a number of different ducks, cormorants, herons, glossy ibis, African spoonbill and blue korhaan, whilst the grasslands may reveal the odd secretary bird, larks, pipits and cisticolas.
Look out for African red-eyed bulbuls, mousebirds, Kalahari scrub robins and bokmakieries in the acacia thickets.
The dam has been here since 1911 when it was built to dam the Rhenoster River for irrigation of neighbouring farms and in the little town. In late 2012 the reserve opened 10 wooden guest chalets.
There are also campsites near the dam, but ablutions are rudimentary and there are no electrical points. Take your own drinking water.