Adventure on the mighty Vaal River awaits, and residents of Gauteng and the Free State are lucky to have this great river right on their doorstep! There are plenty of exciting ways to enjoy the Vaal, whether it be making the most of a day off, escaping the rat race for a long weekend or going on the annual family holiday. The Vaal River is a fun, convenient and relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of big city life.
The Vaal River stretches east to west across South Africa for 1120km originating at Klipkapstel in Mpumalanga. It then joins South Africa’s longest waterway, the Orange River, in the Northern Cape near Douglas and the waters of the Vaal and Orange meet the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay. The Vaal is an important watercourse for South Africa and a vital source of water for agriculture and industry in Gauteng, the Free State and the Northern Cape. Parts of the river are also home to a number of endemic mammal and reptile species.
An interesting feature of the Vaal is that it runs through the largest meteorite impact crater on Earth, the Vredefort Dome, where a multitude of islands create an oasis for vervet monkeys, water birds, otters and porcupines.
Discover the enormous Vaal Dam in the Upper Vaal region 1.5 hours drive south of Johannesburg. The Vaal Dam is an adventurer’s paradise and one of the Vaal’s recreational hotspots, offering visitors a massive 320sqkm of area and 800km of shoreline for water sport enthusiasts to play to their hearts content. The dam hosts a number of world class water sports events and fishing, canoeing and kayaking as well as hot air balooning and houseboat charters are also favourite adventure activities.
The Vaal River around Parys and Vischgat is renowned for exciting river rafting with a range of class 1-4 rapids intermingled with some calm water stretches making a great day out for the entire family. This section of the Vaal is also a haven for fly fishing and conventional angling with the highly prized yellowfish being a sought after catch!
A great way to appreciate the magnitude of the Vaal River is from the above. If you have always wanted to try hot air ballooning, now is the time! Launching from Parys, this incredible airborne adventure over the Vaal River and surrounding countryside may leave you a little lost for words. Skydiving will also give thrill-seekers a birds-eye perspective of the Vaal.