Pretoria to Oviston
The town of Oviston was built to house the workers who worked on the Orangeriver (Now the Gariep River)to Fishriver tunnel. This tunnel transport water from the Gariep to the Fish river.
This is a semi-desert area so it can get very hot during the day, followed by cold nights. Due to the harsh, dry climate, the area is quite dusty which causes the extraordinary beautiful sunsets one can see here. The landscape consists of vast, open grassland with low kopjes and is truly part of South Africa's "Big Sky" areas.
The surrounding land next to the dam are being used as a Nature Reserve where several species of animals are protected. Affordable camping and self-catering accommodation is provided in the reserve.
There are plans afoot that will see the Reserve being enlarged by amalgamating with the Tussen-die-Riviere reserve on the Free State side of the Gariep and also the Gariep Dam Nature Reserve. This will result in the creation of a reserve the size of 85000 hectares.
Oviston is situated near the town of Venterstad and is also near the Gariep Dam holiday resort near the dam wall, creating the opportunity to visit restaurants and other activities offered by these places from the Reserve.
Accommodation at Oviston Nature Reserve is in Komweer Lodge, which is an old restored farmhouse. The lodge is self catering. It sleeps 12 people and is fully equipped, with bedding included. Apies Bay Cabin, a stone cabin with basic facilities, which include four beds, a gas refrigerator and stove, guarantees a great wilderness experience, being tucked away amongst big Sweet Thorn trees and is ideal during the hot summer months. Lake Gariep is a stone's throw away from the cabin. Camping at Ihodi Picnic Site's two wilderness camp sites, with a maximum of four persons per site
There are many eco-tourism activities available including game viewing by private vehicle, walking trails, fishing and bird-watching. The area is also very popular for most kinds of water related adventure tourism activities.
Oviston Nature Reserve serves as an interesting place to start a tour of the Eastern Cape Parks, providing a fine example of the natural conditions prevalent in the Karoo.
Our next stop will be at Commando Drift Nature Reserve, which was also formed as a result of the building of a dam by the authorities.
To read about our personal experience of Oviston, please look at the top left corner of the page.
Reservations: Head Office Tel: +27 (0)43 742 4450 Fax: +27 (0)43 742 5566 email: firstname.lastname@example.org