If you’re looking for a quiet escape into nature, Wolwespruit Nature Reserve might just be what you need. Situated on the Vaal River, approximately 130 kilometres upstream from the Bloemhof Dam and 22 km south of Leeudoringstad, this North West province gem might not be the largest reserve around, but it sure is one of the most scenic.
Wolwespruit covers an area of only 2330 hectares, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in biodiversity or attraction. In fact, it is one of the least known parks in the North West province, possibly due to its size, which makes it perfect for bird watchers and anglers alike. The reserve boasts a myriad of birding opportunities, including the chance to spot thrush, starling, and shrike species. Anglers, on the other hand, flock here for the opportunity to catch yellowfish in the rapids of the Vaal River.
If hiking is your thing, you’ll be pleased to know that Wolwespruit has a number of scenic trails that showcase the riverine bush and grassy plains. The reserve’s dam conserves riverine vegetation in natural surroundings, providing a peaceful and picturesque backdrop for hikers. And while you’re exploring the trails, keep an eye out for the reserve’s antelope residents, including black wildebeest, kudu, and zebra.
Popular Activities and Tourist Destinations at Wolwespruit Nature Reserve
Apart from bird watching, fishing, and hiking, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in and around Wolwespruit Nature Reserve.
Wolwespruit is home to a variety of wildlife, including black wildebeest, kudu, zebra, and springbok. Visitors can embark on a game drive or guided walk to get a closer look at these magnificent creatures.
The natural beauty of Wolwespruit is a photographer’s dream. From the colorful birdlife to the stunning riverine bush and scenic trails, there are endless photo opportunities to capture.
The reserve has a number of campsites, both in the bush and on the banks of the Vaal River. Whether you’re in a tent or caravan, camping at Wolwespruit is a great way to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy a peaceful getaway.
In addition to fishing, visitors can also enjoy boating, canoeing, and tubing on the Vaal River. The rapids provide a thrilling experience for those looking for an adrenaline rush, while the calmer stretches of water are perfect for a relaxing paddle.
If you’re looking to explore beyond the reserve, there are several nearby attractions worth visiting. Leeudoringstad, the town named after a type of thorn bush, is just 22 km away and offers a glimpse into the area’s history and culture. The Bloemhof Dam, located 130 km upstream, is a popular spot for water sports, fishing, and picnicking.
With minimal light pollution, Wolwespruit is an ideal location for star gazing. The night sky is an awe-inspiring sight, and visitors can enjoy the celestial display from the comfort of their campsite or while on a night-time game drive.
Wolwespruit Nature Reserve offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in nature, an adrenaline-fueled adventure, or a cultural experience, this hidden gem in the North West province has something for everyone.
Barberspan Bird Sanctuary
While visiting the Wolwespruit Nature Reserve, there are plenty of other activities and attractions to enjoy in the area. One of the must-visit places is the Barberspan Bird Sanctuary, which is roughly a two-hour drive from the reserve. This RAMSAR Convention-accredited sanctuary covers 2000 hectares and is one of the largest waterfowl sanctuaries in Southern Africa.
Located in the fossil bed of the Harts River, Barberspan is the largest of a series of pans that provide food and shelter for a vast array of birdlife. More than 365 bird species have been recorded here, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers. Bird species include flamingos, pelicans, grebes, terns, herons, cranes, ibis, and bitterns. Sought-after specials like maccoa duck, chestnut-banded plover, and black-necked grebe are often spotted in the sanctuary.
Visitors can enjoy angling along the shoreline, and several regional and national angling competitions are held here. Power boats are not allowed in the pans, but visitors can explore the southern section of the sanctuary by canoe or rowing boat, which provides a unique birding experience. The sanctuary is also a great place for hiking, and there are walking trails available for visitors to enjoy.
For those who want to spend the night, the angling shoreline has a camping area where visitors can pitch their tents and enjoy the serene atmosphere of the sanctuary. The Barberspan Sanctuary is open daily from 06h00 to 18h00 and is well sign-posted from the N14, which links the small towns of Delareyville and Sannieshof.
Aside from the Barberspan Bird Sanctuary, there are other nearby attractions to explore. The Vaal River offers a variety of water activities such as fishing, kayaking, and swimming. Visitors can also take a scenic drive to the nearby town of Leeudoringstad, which is named after a type of thorn bush that was prevalent in the area in the 1920s. The town is home to several historic buildings and offers a glimpse into the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Orkney Golf Club
For those looking for a round of golf during their stay at Wolwespruit Nature Reserve, the Orkney Golf Club is a must-visit destination. This club, located on the banks of the Vaal River, just a short drive from the reserve, offers an 18-hole riverside parklands course that will challenge golfers of all levels.
Originally designed as a nine-hole course in 1939 by the renowned golf course architect Bob Grimsdell, the Orkney Golf Club has since expanded and matured into a beautiful course that has attracted its own share of home-grown golfing stars. Today, the course offers four tee options, with the championship length stretching over 6458m, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely round of golf or a more competitive game.
The course is known for its lush greenery, which remains well irrigated throughout the year, thanks to its proximity to the Vaal River. Wind in this area is not a factor, allowing golfers to enjoy the game without the added challenge of gusty conditions.
Orkney Golf Club features several water features and 31 bunkers throughout the course, making it a challenging and exciting round of golf. The Vaal River runs parallel to several holes, including the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th holes, offering stunning views and an added challenge for golfers.
In addition to the course itself, the Orkney Golf Club also features a clubhouse, bar, and practice facilities for golfers to enjoy. Visitors are welcome year-round, but it is recommended to book your tee time and accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment.
The Orkney Golf Club is a great place to spend a leisurely day playing a round of golf while enjoying the stunning scenery of the Vaal River. Whether you are a seasoned golfer or a beginner, this club has something for everyone.
The Klerksdorp Museum is a must-visit attraction for those interested in the history and culture of the region. It is located on the corner of Margarieta Prinsloo and Lombaard Street in Klerksdorp and is housed in several buildings, including a former prison built in 1891.
The main museum building is made of beautiful sandstone and features exhibits on archaeology, cultural history, and farm implements and animal-drawn vehicles. The adjacent Warden’s House has period exhibitions, and the museum also hosts regularly rotating temporary exhibitions throughout its various buildings.
Visitors to the museum can explore early town life and social history through the exhibits, which include local geological history. For those interested in purchasing a unique souvenir, the museum also offers Peach Mampoer & Witblits for sale.
Guided tours of the museum and other heritage sites in the city are available by appointment, making it a great activity for history buffs and those interested in learning more about the region’s past.
Accommodation Options Near Wolwespruit Nature Reserve
Wolwespruit Nature Reserve, located in the Southern Region of South Africa, has a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets. From guesthouses to self-catering log cabins, there is something for everyone.
One of the options available is Die Geel Huis Guesthouse, located in Wolmaransstad, which provides accommodation in 19 guest rooms. The guesthouse started out as a restaurant in September 2001 at the premises of the old Magistrate’s House. The relaxed atmosphere and ample outdoor space makes it an ideal choice for families with children.
Another option is Fish Eagle Log Cabin, situated on the banks of the Vaal River in Potchefstroom. This self-catering accommodation offers a tranquil setting away from the noise of passing traffic. It has two bedrooms and two private sleeping areas, making it suitable for up to 10 guests. The property is eco-friendly and generates power sustainably using solar and gas.
Peacock House, a guesthouse in Stilfontein, is another accommodation option in the area. The guesthouse offers luxury and comfort with South African hospitality. It has four guest rooms and three self-catering rooms, all of which are en suite with coffee and tea making facilities, bar fridges, Wi-Fi, TVs for media streaming, work stations and air conditioning. Breakfast and dinner can be arranged at an additional cost and served in your room.
Stilfontein, where Peacock House is located, is a mining town with a population of around 17,942. The town was established in 1949 as a residential centre for three large gold mines: Hartebeesfontein, Buffelsfontein and Stilfontein mines. The town has a rich history and offers a glimpse into the mining industry that played a significant role in the area’s development.
Whether you prefer the comfort of a guesthouse or the independence of a self-catering cabin, there are various accommodation options available near Wolwespruit Nature Reserve to suit different needs and preferences.
One of the best things about Wolwespruit is the solitude it offers. With its quiet and serene atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to get away from it all and reconnect with nature. So, pack your bags, grab your binoculars or fishing rod, and head over to Wolwespruit Nature Reserve for a peaceful and rejuvenating break.