The Vaal Dam, built during the Great Depression some 77 years ago, over the decades has ebbed and flowed as a popular destination for holiday-makers, conference delegates and pleasure-seekers. Much has changed the landscape of her beautiful river banks – hotels have been built or revamped, real estate has exploded, and function and leisure venues abound – a trendsetting fusion of design and lifestyle.
And who knew there was so much to do in Vereeniging? Just 45 minutes from Johannesburg, the area has so much to offer, from sports to culture and the arts. You can enjoy boat cruises, challenging rounds of golf, pampering at a spa, tuck into a long, lazy lunch, take a tour, sip on your favourite merlot, master a watersport or try something you have never done before. And there are some lovely hotels and guesthouses to relax at when you return from a busy day of doing it all!
Craig Swart, General Manager of BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, comments, “With the guest experience always front of mind, we are continually seeking ways to offer more. Over and above the extensive facilities at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal which include golf, tennis, water sports and a spa, it is wonderful to be able to offer our guests other activities in the area, most of which they are not even aware of.”
The area is steeped in history and a selection of tours on offer will take you back in time to remind you of our heritage and transformation. And just for fun there is always a tour of a chocolate factory to satisfy your sweet tooth. Adrenaline junkies can sky-dive, scuba-dive, bungee jump, paraglide or learn something new and challenging.
“Sedibeng and the Vaal area in particular is Gauteng’s hidden jewel. It is the golden province’s own coastline – a haven for watersports enthusiasts and the entire family. The serene and tranquil environment makes it a must-visit area and a preferred weekend and short break destination, adding variety to Gauteng’s tourism mix,” adds Barba Gaoganediwe, spokesperson for Gauteng Tourism.
Still not convinced? Well, here are 8 reasons to stop by:
- Vaal River Meander Wine Route
Six weeks of weekend wine tasting during July and August
- BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal
In her hey-day this hotel was the place to be! Under new management and with a few minor refurbishments under the belt she is back to her former glory
- Sharpeville Tour
Take a day to visit the Sharpeville Memorial which features a dramatic wall at the entrance containing the names of the people who are buried in the nearby Sharpeville Cemetery
- The Vredefort Dome Route
Experience and learn about the geology, history, bird life, flora and fauna of this World Heritage Site
- Pont de Vaal Riverside Bistro
A taste of the French countryside located within the Cote de Vaal River Lifestyle Estate
- Barnyard Theatre
Take in a show jam-packed with song and dance
- Petit Verdot Riverboat at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal
Sip your favourite cocktail as the sun sets over the river aboard this lovely riverboat
- Soweto Golf and Shebeen Tour
Enjoy 18 holes at the Soweto Golf course and visit several shebeens and historical sites within this vibrant area.
Famous people who have hailed from this small town nestled alongside the banks of the Vaal River include politicians, athletes, singers and actors. Events throughout the year bring families, conference delegates, sportsmen and athletes, music- and wine-lovers, bikers and artists:
- Spring Beer Festival
- COMPAK Sporting World Championship
- Carols by Candlelight
- Rhino Rally
- Vaal Trail Run
- Whiskey Festival
- Raft Fishing Safaris
- Vaal River Carnival
- Formula One Powerboat Racing
You would be surprised at just how much the area has to offer and if you have not “been there, done that and gotten the t-shirt”, there is no time like the present!