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The Hartbeespoort dam (official name Hartbeespoort Dam Reservoir) is a dam in South Africa in the Northwest Province about 35 kilometres west of Pretoria, which is located in the centre of the Hartbeespoort Nature Reserve. The barrier building was built on a narrow cul-de-sac through the Magalies Mountains, and the water of the Crocodile River and the Magalies River with a bend-thawing.
From 1912, on the construction of the Hartbeespoort Dam, the necessary land was acquired by the South African government. It was built between 1921 and 1923. In 1925 the reservoir was filled for the first time so that water flowed out of it. After its completion, the lake and the surrounding area developed into a popular holiday and weekend resort for the inhabitants of Johannesburg and Pretoria, which are still today. The lake is one of the few water sports areas in and around Gauteng together with the reservoir of the Vaal dam.
Due to the high tourist attraction attracted animal parks, sports facilities, numerous restaurants and hotels as well as a cable way, the Aerial Cable way Hartbeespoort. The dam was built for irrigation purposes. Today it irrigates 160 square kilometres in the area.
The reservoir is known for its very poor water quality. Large amounts of phosphates and nitrates from agriculture in the catchment area as well as from untreated sewage from the neighbouring areas of Gauteng are flooded into the lake. The resulting sophistication can be recognised by the frequently intense green colour of the water. The average water depth of the dam is 9.6 meters and the maximum water depth is 45.1 meters.
The dam was named after the Afrikaans name Hartbeespoort (German “Hartebeest-Pass”, Afrikaans Hartebeest, German “Kuhantilope”). This is the narrow breakthrough of the Magaliesberg, or the farm of General Hendrik Schoeman, which is flooded today. The area is accessible via the national road 4 South. The Hartbeespoort Dam and the Magaliesberg Mountains in the North-West Province of South Africa
This lake, built as early as 1923, lies directly on the border to Gauteng and since the beginning of the year has served exclusively to irrigate the fertile farmland. Today the Hartbeespoort Nature Reserve, in the middle of which is the artificial lake, is a popular recreational area of the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
On the weekends, the townspeople flocked to the region by the thousands, and on the north bank, many expensive but also affordable holiday resorts, with huts, weekend houses and hotel resorts, settled. Whites, sailboats, hikes and a braai, with boerewurst, meat and beer, are very popular with the people. In the summer, the artificial lake, due to the many algae, tumbles again and again and there is danger of increased bilharziosis.
Hartbeespoort Dam Aquarium
In the aquarium, the inhabitants, the inhabitants of the Gauteng, can learn some interesting about the sea-dwellers. Besides seals, tropical fish and pelicans, you will also find some crocodiles.
Hartbeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park
The small private zoo, with snakes and other reptiles in the foreground, also shows the predators of southern Africa. In a show program unique to South Africa, which is more like a European circus, trained predators are presented here.
Hot air ballooning
The flights over the Hartbeespoort reservoir and the adjacent Magalies mountain range are offered during good weather. For little money, you can afford the pleasure of taking you in a few meters over the landscapes and the reservoir.
From a summit of the Magaliesberg, which can be easily reached by cable car, you have an excellent view over the lake. From here, some beautiful hiking trails lead through the impressive mountain landscape and on the way there are always wonderful picnic spots on which you can linger. If you are lucky, you can see the skyscrapers at Johannesburg, 75 kilometres away.