The Loskop Dam Nature Reserve covers an area of 148 square km and lies around the massive Loskop Dam on the Olifants River, 55km north of Middelburg in Mpumalanga. The Dam has created a natural floodplain and the scenic valley has been restocked with animals once indigenous to the area. These include the eland and other species of antelope, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest & white rhino. The dam wall was built in the 1930's across the Olifants River gorge, and was raised again in the 1970's. The dam is approximately 30km long, which makes it the longest dam in the Southern Hemisphere, and supplies water to a vast irrigation scheme in the areas of Loskop, Groblersdal and Marble Hall. The dam has become a favourite for anglers and watersports enthusiasts - and boat-based game watching is offered by a number of resorts on the banks of the dam.
FLORA AND FAUNA
Loskop Dam Nature Reserve is home to over 70 mammal species, including 3 of the Big Five (Buffalo, White Rhino and Leopard). In addition, there is hippo, warthog, giraffe, and plenty of antelope species. There is abundant birdlife, and the Reaserve is a favorite amongst 'twitchers'. A key feature of the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve is the boat-based game watching - a service provided by most of the lodges and reserts on the banks of the Dam.
The Loskop Dam Nature Reserve is located in a malaria-free area, With a lovely subtropical climate and summer rainfalls, providing wonderful weather all year round. It is a perfect place for families to visit. Besides the abundant wildlife, there are watersports and fishing - a major attraction in this reserve that draws many visitors. Carp, blue and red breasted bream, yellow fish, sharptooth catfish, eel and mudfish are abundant in the Loskop Dam. And while the anglers are out catching the 'big ones', the rest of the family can splash around and have fun at one of the resorts. You can also try hiking at one of the trails in the area, with multi-day hikes with overnight huts. For the more adventurous, there is horse riding, paintball and mountain biking. And if you want to get out and about, there are a number of quaint villages such as Kranskop, and tourism attractions, including the Botshabelo Mission Station and Historic Village nearby.