The area previously known as the Vaal Triangle, now Sedibeng, stretches from southern Gauteng into the Free State, and is marked by a series of industrial towns and townships, agricultural lands and mining enterprises, and the Vaal River, which makes its way through four provinces from Gauteng through to the Northern Cape.
Not only is this gently flowing river Gauteng’s major water source, it’s also a chief venue for rest and recreation. Fishing, renting houseboats and all types of water sports take place on this large body of water, which is well-supplied with accommodation, conference and team-building facilities.
The Vaal Dam near Vereeniging is a focal point on the river, one of the biggest in the country with 800km of shoreline, dotted with small towns. The dam nudges the borders of three provinces – Free State, Mpumalanga and Gauteng – the later being the most active in terms of water sports. Boating, water skiing, canoeing and yachting are favoured, and the dam attracts a number of competitive events, such as the annual Round the Island yacht race, the Keelboat Week, the Bayshore 200km jetski race and the Bayshore Marina Vaal Dam treasure hunt.
An additional attraction in the area is a motoring route dubbed the Vaal Meander, a co-operative effort by local arts and crafters, hospitality and other service providers. This countryside amble features craft markets, eateries, wineries and micro-breweries, country inns, nature walks and adventure centres.
The diverse attractions of the Vaal include a casino, a vintage car museum, grasslands and wetlands, a birding route, tours of the Sharpeville precinct with its freedom struggle history and the Vredefort Dome, site of a cataclysmic meteorite impact billions of years ago.
Sedibeng Tourism: www.sedibeng.gov.za
Vaal Meander: www.vaalmeander.co.za