Sandgat will see us again
They recently camped at Die Sandgat, right beneath Vanderkloof Dam, and he could tick a very important box in his bird-watching book, says Johan Lottering from Bloemfontein.
We are members of Bloemfontein’s 4x4 eco-club. We are an eco-friendly 4x4 club that enjoys visiting places that are not accessible in an ordinary vehicle. We are more than 50 members – family people who often hit the road together. It also so happens, without us planning it, that most of us now tow camping trailers or caravans. We recently gathered at Die Sandgat at Vanderkloof Dam and had an excellent time. We will definitely go there again.
Tell us more about Die Sandgat.
The campsite is approximately 7 km from Vanderkloof Dam, on the banks of the Orange River. You camp beneath the dam wall – in the late afternoon when they open the turbines you see the river’s water level rise. I tell you, the water rises with probably about a metre. At night the water level drops again when they close the turbines. There are about 50 stands with power (the standard domestic socket) and most of them are on grass. There are also large willows that provide enough shade.
What do the ablution facilities look like?
Very neat and clean. There is one big wooden building with separate facilities for men and women. It’s very cute, with old ceramic bowls used as basins and mirror frames. The cleaners come in the morning and late afternoon, and the place gleams.
What activities are there to keep people occupied?
One of our members, Pieter Marais, organised the weekend for us and he took us on a boat trip on the Orange River. You can also swim and fish, and for children there are jungle gyms, a swimming hole, an old Volksie Buggie that’s been converted into a play car, and more than enough room to run around and kick a ball. My wife, Johanna-Marie, and I are avid bird watchers and here we saw an osprey for the first time. To say an osprey is a huge item on a bird watcher’s list is an understatement. It really was an incredible highlight.
Is Die Sandgat pet-friendly?
Yes, it’s always nice to camp at a place where our four-legged children are also welcome. Quite a few of our members took their pets and enjoyed it very much. Hannes Klopper and his dog Floors are simply inseparable – the dog braaied with us, went along on the boat trip, and even ate with us.