Deneysville, Northern Free State

There is some debate as to which province Deneysville in fact belongs. Although regarded as lying on the Free State shore of the Vaal dam (the pretty little town literally lies next to the Vaal dam wall), Deneysville is also just 100 kilometres from the major metropolis of Johannesburg, and is subsequently regarded by many as part of the Vaal Triangle, Gauteng.

This aside, it is no surprise to learn that Deneysville is regarded as the gateway to the Vaal dam. Its ideal position, right on the banks of the large body of water that serves as one of the primary sources of fresh water for Gauteng, makes it a major centre for boating, sailing, fishing and other water sports.

Deneysville has earned the rather apt title of ‘inland water mecca of South Africa’ and is fast becoming a much sought after weekend recreation area for those wanting a quick getaway from Johannesburg and other Reef towns.

The Vaal dam may have been built during the depression and finally completed in 1938, but there is little to depress you about this part of the world - there is an emphasis on water - lots of it - and fun in the sun. Originally known as Lake Deneys, after Deneys Reitz who was the Minister of Agriculture at the time, it was the town on its shoreline, rather than the dam itself, that was to become his namesake.

St Peter’s Church, which lies on the waterfront of the dam and is now a popular wedding venue was the original stone cottage built by the Reitz family.

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