Theewaterskloof dam is mainly known for being the largest man-made dam in the Western Cape, and the water-based activities that are available at this large body of water might seem like the only attraction. But there is much more to do than just swimming and sailing.
We’ve put together a getaway guide to this beautiful slice of paradise in the Overberg; we’ve got you covered on where to stay, where to eat and drink, and what to get up to:
Where to stay
There are all kinds of accommodation available around the Theewaterskloof dam, catering to different needs and requirements.
Theewater Sports Club
A popular option is camping at the Theewater Sports Club which gives you immediate access to the dam. Theewater Sports Club has 26 electrified camp sites close to a well maintained ablution. Each site has access to a tap and is protected from the prevailing south easter. There are also numerous non-electrical sites available each with breathtaking views across the dam. Each site is large enough for a caravan with awning and tent and boasts stunning views across the dam of the setting sun over the Franschhoek mountains.
They also have a quaint Club Pod for visitors who prefer a bit more comfort during their stay. Their modern Club Pod is close to all amenities and the water’s edge. This cosy pod offers a comfortable stay for two adults and two children with and open plan kitchen and living area and a bedroom with a double bunk in the back room.
For more comfortable and convenient living, Dennehof Plaas has got your back. Besides being a beautiful wedding venue, it has two fully equipped self-catering cottages on the farm, offering a relaxed environment for the perfect weekend getaway.
The Rosy Glow Cottage sleeps two guests in one bedroom with an en-suite bathroom while the Sundowner Cottage sleeps four guests in two bedrooms with an en-suite bathroom. Both cottages has a fully equipped kitchen with indoor braai area, spacious lounge and ‘stoep’ including outdoor braai facilities.
Guest houses and holiday homes
The nearby dorpie of Villiersdorp offers a few guest houses and self-catering options. Berg en Dal Guesthouse and the De Villiers Country Lodge are both situated conveniently close to the town’s amenities and all the attractions that this beautiful Overberg area has to offer.
Or if you’re planning a whole family getaway, opt for a holiday home right on the green Theewaterskloof golf course. There are two great options for accommodation in the Theewaterskloof Country Estate, which will give you direct, private access to the golf course and the estate’s private beach areas. Relax at the 3 Sisters house, or have a fun time with friends and family at the ‘Dam fine house‘, both within walking distance of each other on the estate.
Where to eat and drink
True to the small-town vibes of this beautiful part of the Overberg, the restaurant scene around Theewaterskloof is small but intimate. However the options are varied enough that all tastes and requirements are seen to.
Kelkiewyn Tasting Room
In the charming town of Villiersdorp is the charming eatery and tasting room Kelkiewyn, home of Villiersdorp Winery and Bundu Brands. An ideal spot for both a romantic meal and a family outing, this restaurant has it all: good food, good views, good vibes. The menu is simple but it covers all the basics, such as an impressive all-day breakfast selection, sandwiches, pizzas and a delicious beef burger. Their drinks menu also includes something for all ages and all occasions, from coffee and milkshakes, to cocktails and wine.
They have weekly blackboard specials and on Tuesdays they have a two-for-one burger special for those who like to save a buck.
Child-friendly features also make this a good choice for families. The menu includes enough options for the pickly little eaters, and children can entertain themselves in the play area outside while you keep an eye on them from the outdoor seating.
The best yet? They are fully operational during loadshedding!
Duroc’s Pub and Grill
Located in Villiersdorp’s industrial area, Duroc’s Pub and Grill is the place to go to for a lekker time. Their menu is extensive and reasonably-priced. There are options for the not-so-hungry, like salads, toasties, light meals to share, and there are options for the oh-so-hungry, like pizza, pasta, burgers and steaks. Their bar is stocked with all the favourite go-to beers and drinks.
Open mostly in the evenings from Monday to Saturday, this is a good spot for an afterwork dop or a place to relax after a long day of activities at the dam.
Set on the languid and picturesque banks of Theewaterskloof Dam, Aphrodisiac Shack’s main feature is the world-renowned charcuterie, which crafts hot- and cold-smoked meat products, as well as a variety of cheeses and other gourmet goodies. The Deli features all the smokehouse’s premium products, where you can purchase the hearty fare for a fraction of what it is usually sold for elsewhere – and have a bite to eat while you’re there.
They also offer scenic picnics with a basket chock-full of delicious snacks from their deli, freshly-baked bread from the kitchen and seasonal organic salad from the garden.
The reason why we love Aphrodisiac so much is because of how much they love their produce. The founding practice of their business is to “love” their product from start to finish. They ensure that their suppliers use only the most environmentally respectful farming methods, and any waste generated by the product is recycled back into the farming structure or the community. All of their meat products are also chemical-, hormone-, preservative- and additive-free, traditionally free range and 100% organic.
Theewaterskloof Golf Club
A favourite amongst golfers, the Theewaterskloof Golf Club offers modest and delicious meals with a fantastic view. In the relaxed environment of the club house, tuck into a tasty burger or pizza, or snack on a light toastie or wrap. They also have ice cold beers and wine to help cool you down after a day on the green or at the dam’s beach.
Their mounted TV screens also makes this an ideal spot to watch sports with friends and locals.
Keep an eye out for Vlooi, the Theewaterskloof Country Estate’s resident springbok who loves to pop in and say hi.
The Galley at Theewater Sports Club
Open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, The Galley is Theewater Sports Club‘s own on-site restaurant with a menu that makes you look forward to the weekends even more. Breakfast, toasties, salads, burgers, fish, chicken, beef – you name it, they have it. And better yet, they also have several meat-free options for vegetarians.
They have a sustainable approach to their food, and sourced fresh produce directly from farmers and trusted suppliers. Rest assured that every bite of food at The Galley is safe and ethical.
What to do:
The main event at Theewaterskloof Dam that is not to be missed during a visit: watersports! Theewaterskloof Dam is the ideal place to enjoy your watersport of choice or to introduce your family to a variety of watersports, and most watersports are accommodated at the Theewater Sports Club.
Besides swimming in the largest man-made dam in Western Cape, aquaphiliacs can also enjoy dinghy sailing, keelboat sailing, boating, bank fishing, bass fishing, paddling and water skiing, amongst others.
The sports club also hosts the Theewater Sailing Academy, a ‘Learn to sail’ and ‘Learn to Race’ sail training facility with dinghy, multihull and keelboat endorsements. This includes teaching children to sail, too.
Another main attraction is the beautiful Theewaterskloof golf course situated on the Theewaterskloof Country Estate. Widely acclaimed as one of the best nine-hole courses in South Africa, the Theewaterskloof Golf Course has double the fun with 18 different tees that showcase wonderful scenic views of the Theewaterskloof dam and surrounding valley.
The course boasts a wide variety of wild- and birdlife: regularly spot a mongoose, bushbuck, springbok and a variety of birdlife including fish eagles, hawks and seabirds.
After a successful round on the green, enjoy a drink on the clubhouse veranda overlooking the Theewaterskloof dam with spectacular sunsets everchanging with the seasons.
Get your fill of nature
There are numerous private and public nature reserves around Theewaterskloof Dam. Between the Theewaterskloof Nature Reserve, Riviersonderend Nature Reserve, Witdraai Private Nature Reserve, Diepklowe Private Nature Reserve and the Klein Ezeljagt Private Nature Reserve, you’ll have your fair share of hiking, biking and birdwatching.
Wine tasting at Stettyn Family Vineyards
Stettyn Family Vineyards is a farm just outside small-town Villiersdorp in the Overberg region. This is a family-owned business, as the name suggests, is rich in history and tradition, and offers incredible wines and hospitality.
Stettyn Family Vineyards have lovely wine tasting on offer at their tasting room and very friendly staff to take care of you during your visit.
The tasting room itself is extremely spacious, with indoor and outdoor seating options available for any types of weather conditions. They are fully dog-friendly, so bring the fur kids along on the trip.
Stettyn offers two tasting options: a White Wine Tasting and a Red Wine Tasting, both including five wines for only R30 per tasting option. Their Signature wines are also availabe for an additional tasting at R10 per wine, except for their flagship Shackleton wine, which is not part of the tasting due to the limited stock available.
Surrounding areas and neighbouring towns
If you decide to explore further than the Theewaterskloof Dam, there is much to see and do in the surrounding area. Take a short trip to the following towns to enrich the experience of your visit further:
Famous for its hot springs, flower garden and birdlife, the small town of Caledon is set against the backdrop of the Swartberg mountain range in South Africa’s Overberg region. You’ll also find a museum, historical sites and hiking trails that traverse the foothills of the nearby mountains.
- Distance: About 30km, or a 30-minute drive, from Theewaterskloof Dam
Recently dubbed one of the world’s greatest places in 2022 by Time Magazine, the beautiful Franschhoek valley is just around the corner. World renowned for its spectacular beauty, superb Cape wines and world class restaurants, our beautiful village of Franschhoek is a definite must-visit destination on any trip to the Western Cape of South Africa.
- Distance: About 35km, or a 30 minute drive, from Theewaterskloof Dam, along the stunning, windy Lambrechts Road
Worcester is a town in the Breede River Valley. The town is located amidst the rugged Du Toitskloof Mountains on the banks of the Breede River, and is known as the ‘Capital’ of the Breede River Valley. This is where you can go for a grocery run or buy any essentials you might need.
- Distance: About 60km, or a 40-minute drive, from Theewaterskloof Dam
Known as one of the most beautiful villages in the Cape, Greyton nestles in a hollow in the majestic Riviersonderend Mountain range, at the end of the R406 tar road, off the N2 in the Overberg. Hiking or walking in Greyton is an absolute must! There are many paths, some of them in the nature reserve, others along the rivers and no least, the historic walk in the village.
- Distance: About 65km, or a 50-minute drive, from Theewaterskloof Dam along the N2. A much shorter route is also available to those whose cars can handle a dirt road.
Picture: @rohancoreejes / Instagram