About Theewaterskloof Dam

On the Sonderend River close to the little town of Villiersdorp lies Theewaterskloof Dam. It is a large, sprawling, remarkably unround dam that lies on the R45 that links Villiersdorp to Franschhoek.

Did you know? The Theewaterskloof Dam is one of the features of Villiersdorp, and is significant for being the seventh-largest dam in the country. Apart from being spectacular in its aesthetic beauty, this dam is also a popular water sport site for dinghy sailing, canoeing, jet skiing, angling, kite surfing, water skiing and windsurfing.

Parts of the drive past the dam are almost surreal with the heads of drowned trees emerging above the water level, craggy rocks and mountains in the background. The dam is not obviously a water sports destination, although parts of it are used for such.

The dam is roughly an hour and a half's drive from Cape Town, a rather big dam that can hold as many as 480 million cubic metres of water when full. The surface area is 48 square kilometres that makes it something of an inland lake, rather than the image one has of an almost round, contained water catchment.

It is also part of the larger Riviersonderend-Berg River Project, a water scheme that received recognition from the South African Institute of Civil Engineers and is regarded as one of the solutions to the Cape's water problem, where the demand for water far outweights the supply. The project links the Riviersonderend and Berg River catchment areas, capturing surplus winter run-off in to the dam, delivered via gravity through a series of tunnels to where it is needed.

For those who like fishing, Theewaterskloof is a prime largemouth bass spot and fishermen have boasted catches over 4 kilograms. Luckily the bass continue to increase in numbers after a period during which their existence in the dam was threatened by a combination of pollution, uprooting of trees, and the illegal introduction of barbel and carp.

One can also camp on the eastern side of the dam in one of only seven campsites, each with access to electricity.

Need to Know

WhereTheewaterskloof Dam, Villiersdorp, Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

OvernightStay in Cape Winelands Accommodation, Western Cape

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