The Oliviershoek Pass is situated in the mighty Drakensberg Mountain Range, bordering the Free State and boasting spectacular views of KwaZulu-Natal. The route takes travellers past the mammoth Sterkfontein Dam (the largest earth-wall damn in the country), as well as the Driekloof Dam, Woodstock Dam and Kilburn Dam.
In addition to the incredibly beautiful vistas that this pass takes one through, there are also plenty of fabulous holiday activities in this area. Of course, because of the natural abundance and splendour all around, most of these activities are focused on the outdoors. Here are some ideas…
Go fishing in the various dams around the pass. The Sterkfontein Dam Resort is a fabulous choice as its waters are home to an abundance of fish, and the views are spectacular, even when the fishing line is on the quiet side. There is an entrance fee to the dam resort of R50 per vehicle.
The Sterkfontein Dam is also ideal for boating, since its waters are clear and the fishing opportunities promising. There is an entrance fee of R40 for a boat.
There are a number of hiking trails through the mountainous terrain surrounding Oliviershoek Pass. These range in intensity and some are suitable for families with children, while others are only appropriate for the fit and experienced hiker.
Thandanani is a local craft producer co-op and has a huge variety of South African arts and crafts. These include jewellery, beads, baskets, wooden carved goods, and traditional keepsakes. Whether a gift for yourself or someone else, these make for fabulous reminders of your time in Oliviershoek Pass.
All Out Adventures is situated near Royal Natal and promises adrenalin junkies a real thrill. Activities on offer include foefie sliding (or ziplining), flying trapeze, paintballing, quad-biking or braving the King Swing.
Retief’s Klip and the Kaalvoet Vrou Monument (Afrikaans for “barefoot woman monument”) both offer an intriguing look into the history of this area and the hardships faced by its first settlers. The Voortrekkers braved threatening mountain passes flanked by sheer drops and imposing rocky cliff faces. They had to travel on cumbersome wagons in any sort of adverse weather conditions. Seeing these two attractions gives visitors a very small insight into their struggles in South Africa.
The Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve is ideal for individuals, couples and families that love nature and want a close-up encounter with South Africa’s beautiful fauna and flora.