About Sterkfontein Dam
The Sterkfontein Dam, located just outside the town of Harrismith, in the Free State, is surrounded by rugged mountains and is an extremely large flat water spot. It is an extended nature conservation area and the dam is located in the foothills of the Drakensberg and has the most beautiful scenery.
Although it is a popular spot for kitesurfing, the wind tends to be very unpredictable. You cannot rely on a wind forcast site for this spot. It is best to plan a "fishing" trip to Sterkies and hope the wind blows while you're there. The wind can easily pick up to over 30 knots within minutes and is the windiest inland spot. The best wind directions are NW to W and SE which are good all year round and are consistent.
This spot offers perfect conditions for flat water riding and speed kiting. The best wind recommended for speed kiting is a westerly. Sterkfontein can get very crowded with kites, fisherman and boats over weekends. Kiting in mid winter is not recommended if you are learning as the water and air temperature get very low.
Traveling to Sterkfontein Dam
The closest airport to Sterkfontein is the King Shaka International which is approximately a 350km drive. Car Rentals are available at the airport.
Facilities At Sterkfontein Dam
There is ample space on the grass to rig up your gear, launching and landing, but as mentioned before, it does get crowded at times. There are a few ablutions available in the reserve but are often locked. Camping sites and self catering accommodation are available in the reserve. The Catepillar and Catfish is a highly recommended accommodation place and is a mere 10 minute drive from the Sterkfontein dam. There is also a restaurant at the Catepillar and Catfish. Visit www.speedkiting.org
to find out more about speed kiting at Sterkfontein Dam and contact Kitesports for kiting weekends and lessons at www.kitesports.co.za
There are a few hiking trails at the Sterkfontein Dam Reserve, besides the long walks and hikes, it is a great spot for water sports and fishing. It is the clearest water in the country and the dam is well known for bass fishing, you will find largemouth bass well over 4kg's.