The facility is newly renovated and consists of:
* Group accommodation in our dormitory style bungalows (sleeps 250 persons on bunker beds)
(this is ideal for school camps, backpackers, etc), bring own bedding & makes use of the ablution block:
* Caravan & tent camp sites (electricity & water)
* Small group accommodation chalets (sleeps 15 persons on single beds) bedding supplied
* Overnight accommodation as well as Bed & Breakfast offering :
a beautiful Main en-suite bedroom with double bed (bedding supplied)
comfortable and clean Standard Rooms with single beds (bedding supplied)
* Swimming pool
* Star Gazing
* Volleyball court
* Canoeing / kayaking
* Bird Watching
* And so much more
The Oviston Nature Reserve at Lake Gariep.
The Nature Reserve offers a 16 000 ha unspoilt wild life area which hosts aardvark, aardwolf, African wild cat, bateared fox, black wildebeest, black-backed jackal, blesbuck, brown hyena, Burchell's Zebra, Cape Clawless Otter, Cape Fox, Cape Ground Squirrel , Cape Hare, Cape Porcupine, caracal, Chacma baboon, common duiker, eland, kudu, mountain reedbuck, gemsbuck, red hartebeest, rock dassie, scrub hare, small spotted cat , small spotted genet, Smith's red rock rabbit , South African hedgehog, spotted-necked otter, springbuck, steenbuck , suricate, vervet monkey, water Mongoose and yellow Mongoose.
The Orange River has offers the ideal setting for sunset cruises, the perfect end to a perfect day. The area surrounding the lake offers the mountain bike enthusiast plenty of open stretches with adventure rides into the Oviston Nature Reserve. The keen canoeist can enjoy endless trips on Lake Gariep situated inside Oviston Nature Reserve.
This is a bird lovers' paradise, with a wide variety found on the farm. Rarities include: Fish Eagle, Black Eagle, Blue Crane, Secretary Bird, Steppe Buzzard, Kingfishers and many more.
The Orange River has become a fly-fishing Mecca due to the abundance of both Yellowfish species. A true test for both amateur and experienced fishermen. Some of the species found: Largemouth Yellowfish, Smallmouth Yellowfish, Orange River Mudfish, Moggel, Sharptooth Catfish, Chubbthead Barb, Carp and many more.
Gariep area is blessed with an abundance of adventure, from our picturesque lake to our beautiful Nature Reserves. The waterways are what makes this province one of the best for outdoor enthusiasts of every kind.
Providing game viewing trails in the nature reserve with quad bikes for groups of 14 people or less. Game viewing from a boat is also an excellent option, for those who wish to enjoy the nature reserve and the animals from another angle. Families wanting explore the reserve in their vehicle; will enjoy the variety of game the reserves has to offer.
More energetic groups can make use of our mountain bikes to explore all the adventure avenues the reserves have available.
For the fishing enthusiasts there is no better place than Lake Gariep to partake in the pleasure this sport has to offer. Fishing can be arranged with a trip out on the dam making use of our boat.
Game drives in Oviston Nature Reserve are amply rewarded by sights of large numbers of Springbuck, Ostriches, Gemsbuck, Zebras and Hartebeest.
In Room Facilities:
* Most of the rooms are equipped with fans & heaters.
* The Olive Tree chalet has a fireplace in for cold winter nights.
* Main en-suite has a hair dryer.
* Both chalets have satellite TV.
* Location of Oviston Nature Reserve
Oviston Nature Reserve is situated in the north eastern part of the Eastern Cape Province along the southern shoreline of the mighty Gariep Dam (formerly known as the Hendrik Verwoerd Dam). It covers an area of approximately 16,000 hectare and stretches from the dam wall on the west, to the Bethulie railroad bridge in the east. Oviston and Venterstad are both situated 7km from the reserve entrance.
* About Lake Gariep
Lake Gariep, which spans the borders of the Free State, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape Provinces, lies approximately two hours south of Bloemfontein. The dam is more than 100km long and 15km wide with a surface area of about 360km² and a storage capacity of 5,673,8 million cubic meters. The dam wall is 914m long and 88m high.
* The Town of Oviston
Oviston is a small town overlooking Lake Gariep on the Eastern Cape side. It was originally built to house the workers who built the dam which was completed in 1971.
* Surrounding Area
Lake Gariep is surrounded by three provincial nature reserves namely the Oviston Nature Reserve, the Tussen-die-Riviere Nature Reserve and the Gariep Nature Reserve. The Gariep Dam Nature Reserve is situated between the dam and Bethulie on the Free State side. The Tussen-die-Riviere Nature Reserve is situated in the Free State. Oviston Nature Reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape Province on the southern side of Lake Gariep.
The land was originally bought by the State for the construction of the dam. In 1968, the Department of Agricultural Credit and Land Tenure and Water Affairs ceded control of the property to the provincial authorities. A Memorandum has been drafted by the MECs of the three provinces, to effectively join the three reserves and create a conservation area in excess of 85,000 hectares.
* The Climate
This is a semi-desert area so it can get blindingly hot during the day, followed by nights in which the temperature plummets. Due to this climate, the area is quite dusty which helps to give the extraordinary sunsets experienced here. The landscape consists of vast, open grassland with low "koppies" (small mountains) and is truly part of South Africa's "Big Sky" country.
Rain falls generally as thundershowers between October and March, the rainfall season peaks from February to March. Temperatures are mild for most of the year, with very cold snaps from June to August and periods of intense heat from January to March. During winter, frost is common.