The town was established in 1864 on the farm Klipfontein, on the banks of the Vaal River. A certain John Barclay was so impressed by the flowers in the gardens of the settlement that he named the town Bloemhof (“Flower Court”). The town has a colourful history that included a brief diamond rush before maize and cattle farming took over as its primary economic activities.
Adventure And Sport
Angling: Bloemhof Dam is a popular angling venue. The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve hosts a number of annual fishing championships, including the Tri-Nations and the Bloemhof Bonanza.
Fauna And Flora
Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve: The Bloemhof Dam is fed by the Vaal River and, as one of the largest dams in South Africa, covers an area of some 7 800 ha. The Bloemhof Dam Nature Reserve (4 km east of the town) lies on the shores of the dam and is home to a rich array of game and bird life. The largest predator in the reserve is the black-backed jackal. There are also a number of reptiles and amphibians in the reserve and some 250 species of birds, including some rare waterfowl. Accommodation options include a group camp complex, self-catering chalets, dormitory rooms, a conference/function facility and a hunting camp. A system of irrigation canals from the dam has transformed the arid Hartswater Valley in Northern Cape into an intensively farmed area.
SA Lombard Nature Reserve: The SA Lombard Nature Reserve lies to the west of Bloemhof Dam and was one of the first conservation research centres in South Africa. The reserve has been credited with saving the black wildebeest from extinction. As a result of the research, wildebeest have now been successfully restored to wildlife reserves throughout South Africa. The reserve is an invaluable breeding centre for animals such as springbuck, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and zebra. Accommodation is available in the self-catering, three bedroomed guesthouse on the reserve.