Bush Babes members had been asking for a day event for a long time. Being mostly working women with families, they have found it difficult to get away on regular weekend trips, and longer excursions are almost impossible. So we put together a day at the Vaal, and it turned out to be a lot of fun.
Text and photography: Leilani Basson
It had to be an action packed day: water fun, river fun, 4×4’ing and in general just a day for Gauteng Babes to get away from it all without having to drive too far, or sleep over. The area in and around the Vaal Dam and upper Vaal River has a lot to offer. It’s just over an hour’s drive from Johannesburg and – as a sometimes neglected or overlooked holiday venue – it could do with the exposure a Bush Babes event would offer. The event was fully booked two weeks after being advertised, and we had to turn a lot of Babes down with the promise that we would host similar fun days in 2013. True to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, here is our album reflecting the pleasure of a day out in true Bush Babes style.
Vaal Streams Eco Resort
Vaal Streams is one of the best budget-friendly breakaway spots on the upper Vaal River. This versatile resort is nestled in a beautiful secluded valley a few kilometres below the Vaal Dam – on the Free State side between Deneysville and Vereeniging, just off the R716.
Vaal Streams offers excellent river rafting conditions, with calm waters suitable for beginners as well as exciting rapids for more experienced rafters. It also offers tubing, fly- fishing, cross-bow shooting, quad biking and other family activities.
This part of the Vaal River is home to SA’s indigenous largemouth yellow fish and smallmouth yellow fish, as well as more common species including mudfish, moggel, barbel and carp.
For more information contact: 071 948-8814, [email protected] or log on to www. vaalstreams.co.za.
Weltevrede Lion Farm
Weltevrede Lion Farm is located near the town of Heilbron in the Free State. It is a great location about two hours from Johannesburg and provides an excellent opportunity for families to get a close look at big cats and other wildlife.
The restaurant prepares meals from farm- fresh ingredients and is fully licensed. There is an off-road trail for 4×4 enthusiasts. It’s not too difficult in the dry months, but the river beds offer a lot of muddy fun in the rainy season. For more information contact 082 823-1038 or log on to www.lionfarm.co.za.
Vaal Privé is one of the newer establishments on the Vaal Dam that boasts self-catering, villa- style, three-star accommodation in a pristine resort with a wide variety of water sports and other activities. Guests can choose from kayaking, sailing, motor boating, skiing, aqua tubing and barge boat trips on the dam.
The resort also offers boat storage and launching facilities. There is a gym, swimming pool, trampoline, clubhouse with indoor activities, flat screen DStv, braai and picnic facilities, waterfront access, scooters, dune buggies and bikes.
An interesting attraction is a fully equipped double-storey party boat.
Vaal Privé is ideal for a longer visit to the Vaal Dam and surrounding areas. One could easily stay there for a week or more without exhausting all the activities on offer.
For more information, contact 012 361-4792 or 083 297-7286 or log on to www.vallprive.co.za.