Nooitgedacht Dam Nature Reserve, Mpumalanga
Nooitgedacht Dam Nature Reserve, renowned for its access to great fishing opportunities and the annual Morula Fishing festival, lies just 10 kilometres from Carolina on the Komati River, not even two hours from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
This part of Mpumalanga is known as the grass and wetlands region, and the Nooitgedacht dam is but one way to experience the myriad water spots, lakes and streams that contribute to making this area a place of natural beauty and abundant water. It is not surprising to learn that an entire wetland complex lies within the Nooitgedacht Dam Nature Reserve in which a number of important ecosystems, and the wildlife it supports, are protected. The wetlands also support a host of birds - over 200 species have been spotted in the nature reserve - including rare and endemic species that attract visitors from around the world. The picturesque reserve is also home to an impressive mountain bike trail known as the Nooitgedacht Dam ride that follows the plateau along the dam and through the surrounding reserve, a 43 kilometre circuit that is not difficult.
The Komati Gorge, a gorgeous sweep of cliffs and krantzes through which the Komati River winds that lies between Carolina and Machadodorp, lies within easy reach of the Nooitgedacht Dam Nature Reserve, and is almost a prerequisite when in the area. The lovely area provides ample opportunities for picnicking, swimming, hiking, boating and swimming; although, given the views, you would be forgiven for simply sitting and doing nothing, to soak up the atmosphere.