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Sterkfontein Dam Wind Report

Sterkfontein Dam Weather Forecast


This page includes the latest three day WindGuru wind report and current weather conditions and forecast for Sterkfontein Dam in South Africa. If you require a detailed 15 day weather forecast, please click the link below:

15 Day Sterkfontein Dam Weather Forecast (Harrismith)
 

Kitesurfing at Sterkfontein Dam, South Africa

Sterkfontein is a magical place.  An inland dam at the top of South Africa’s highest mountain range, with turquoise water, a "tidal change" to match and predictable winds that blow consistently throughout the year.  You could be forgiven thinking that you were at the coast especially when a scuba diver emerges from the water. 

Kitesurfing - Sterkfontein Dam

Sterkfontein Dam


To make it even more mysterious it is possible to "surf" here when the winds start to be beat out in excess of 40 knots and it is known to reach 50 knots.  Not surprising Sterkfontein Dam has become a venue for Speed Kiting.  Truly a kitesurfing paradise; with a unique landscape and options for very long downwinds, course racing, a definite freestyle heaven and big air boosting venue.  The unique setting provides for ample photo opportunities and is beginner friendly.  Outside of the sought after prevailing wind, the expanse of the dam also allows for kiteboarding on winds from other directions.  The tidal change is due to the hydro-electric scheme which the dam is part of, and which can be toured by prior arrangement.

The waves are wind driven and add an interesting element to the otherwise "peninsula" protected flat water.  The blue water is as a result of there being no rivers of significant gradient running into Sterkfontein Dam.  It is like a really big man made pool sitting on top of a "hill," the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg.  The anabatic mountain wind which is more commonly known to those further down the escarpment as the "Hot and Dry Berg Wind" finds its source up here in the flat Free State plains. 

Kiteboarding - Sterkfontein Dam

Peninsula & Speed Strip


The weather is extremely hot and dry in the summer and bitterly cold and dry in the winter.  Freak storms and mini twisters are common so do be aware of unstable weather conditions.  Spring (August – October) and Autumn (April -June) deliver great wind for kitesurfing, but those familiar with Sterkfontein and the local weather patterns will tell you that the wind blows regularly outside of the two peak seasons.  There is almost always wind before a big cold front and then it changes tack during and after the front which are all happily kiteable. 

Sterkfontein is an epic, with all forms of scenic adventures in and around the area, and one not to be missed out on, unique South African kiteboarding experience.


2 Comments

  1. Sterkies is the best dam for sailing in South Africa IMO and gets stronger wind than neighboring areas as it lies right at the edge of the escarpment.
    The plateau (highveld) usually has a dominant high pressure system during Winter, and all Sterkies needs is an approaching low or front to generate a tight pressure gradient.
    I’ve witnessed wind in exceed and 50 knots on several occasions, and we had up to 60 knots at the May 2009 Sterkies Speed Event (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-XYhB33Ro8).
    Hiking, mountain biking, cliff diving, sailing, boating, swimming, camping and wildlife viewing are just a few of the attractions there.

    It’s a place of stark contrasts and tremendous beauty, and well worth visiting regardless of the wind.

    • Wow Basil, that video is hectic! Thanks for sharing it and for the wealth of interesting information on this phenomenon we call Sterkies… ;-)

      Let us know when you have the next speed racing event planned.

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