Soetdoring Dam Nature Reserve, Free State
Soetdoring Nature Reserve has two entrances. The eastern entrance is at the Modder River on the Bloemfontein / Bultfontein road (R700). Here visitors enjoy angling, pic-nicing and game viewing. Braai (BBQ) facilities are located along the river and the dam.
The Modder River entrance is at the eastern boundary and runs through the 7 500 ha reserve before entering the Krugersdrift Dam which forms the western boundary. Gemsbok have found sanctuary here, along with eland, springbok, blesbok, black wildebeest, zebra and red hartebeest that roam the open plains of the Soetdoring nature reserve, while impala and kudu may be encountered in the riverine bush. Steenbok, duiker and mountain reedbuck have been here since the days this was farmland.
Otter, water mongoose, small spotted genet and African wild cat inhabit alongside the hills. The dam attracts many waterbirds. The martial and fish eagles breed here. The canopies of many sweet thorn trees growing along the Modder River provide protection to game, small mammals, birds and smaller trees and shrubs alike, while beautifying the banks of the River.
This is mainly an area for water sports. Visitors tend to be anglers, boating enthusiasts or water-skiers. However, being close to Bloemfontein, it is an ideal venue for a day in the outdoors or for having a party or a meeting. The one-day hiking trails which follow the Modder River, are suitable for families with young children. Night excursions give visitors an intimate look into the night life of the many nocturnal creatures that inhabit the reserve. However, these excursons must be booked in advance. There is a lion park where lions can be observed at close quarters.
Did you know?
Over two hundred and fifty species of birds have been recorded in the Soetdoring Dam Nature Reserve.