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Mihanzi Estate
On the Banks of the Vaal Dam


An unforgettable experience:

Mihanzi is a campsite for fishing On the banks of the Vaal Dam. It is situated on the Wilger River inflow to the Vaal dam. This is a amazing natural camping site that everybody at any age can enjoy. Mihanzi Estate is the best place for the family to enjoy time away from busy lives, or just to enjoy a vacation away from traffic and the busy city life.

We have animals roaming for the kids to see & enjoy wild life. Not one for camping out? We have housing available as well.
Mihanzi Estate, for fisherman that love the peace of the outdoors.

Going fishing?
Here are some tips from our team:

Learn how to cast

It is important to learn how to cast a spinning rod and bait caster. When using plastic baits do not pull too soon as you need to first determine between a snag and bite.

The best way to determine this would be to hold the rod steady with some tension and if there is a pulsation then pull the rod as a fish has taken the bait.

Choose the correct bait

Live bait is by far the best choice. Worms, minnows, soft-shell crayfish, and leeches will offer the best results.
If you prefer artificial bait, spinners and crankbaits are your best options.

Check the water temperature

When it comes to freshwater species the majority of them have specific temperatures and weather that they prefer. If the weather is hot outside you will need to fish deeper as fish like cool temperatures and therefore will move deeper down into shady parts of the water.

You will need to research what time of fish you looking to catch and what are the best times and water depths to catch them.

Keep your hands clean

When fishing ensure your hands are clean, when applying the bait and lure this can have an impact as fish have a great sense of smell and any foreign smell can lure them away.

Sharp hooks and strong lines

It is useful to use hooks that are sharp when fishing and it's advisable to sharpen the hooks after every snag and hookups. Ensure that your fishing line is free of any nicks, wear, and tears.

Use an effective fishing rig

A fishing rig is a way in which you tie your tackle to your fishing line in order to attract the fish. For beginners, novice anglers are the basic bobber rig to start of with.

Choose the best time of day.

It would be advisable to fish in the early morning and at dusk, as the fish are more active during the cooler hours of the day. If you do fish during mid-day make sure you look for areas of shade as fish will tend to be in shady areas to keep cool.

A bit of Vaal Dam

The construction of Vaal Dam started during the depression of the early thirties and the dam was completed in 1938 with a wall height of 54.2 metres (178 ft) above lowest foundation and a full supply capacity of 994,000,000 cubic metres (3.51×1010 cu ft). The dam is a concrete gravity structure with an earthfill section on the right flank. It was built as a joint venture by Rand Water and the Department of Irrigation (now known as the Department of Water Affairs).

The dam was subsequently raised in the early fifties to a height of 60.3 metres (198 ft) which increased the capacity to 2,188,000,000 cubic metres (7.73×1010 cu ft). A second raising took place in 1985 when the wall was raised by a further 3.05 metres (10.0 ft) to 63.4 metres (208 ft) above lowest foundation. The capacity of the dam is currently 2,609,799,000 cubic metres (9.21642×1010 cu ft) and a further 663,000,000 cubic metres (2.34×1010 cu ft) or 26% can be stored temporarily for flood attenuation.

The flood attenuation properties of the dam were severely tested in February 1996 when the largest flood ever recorded at the Vaal Dam site was experienced. An inflow of over 4,700 cubic metres per second (170,000 cu ft/s) was measured into the Vaal Dam which was already at full capacity due to good rains and it was only through the expert management of the Hydrology staff at DWAF that the maximum flood released from the dam was limited to 2,300 cubic metres per second (81,000 cu ft/s). Flows above 2,300 cubic metres per second (81,000 cu ft/s) would have caused serious damage downstream of Vaal Dam and the situation during the 1996 flood became extremely tense as the storage in the reservoir peaked at 118.5% of Full Supply Capacity on 19 February 1996 i.e. only 194,000,000 cubic metres (6.9×109 cu ft) of flood absorption capacity remained before the full inflow would have been released causing massive damage.

The Lesotho Highlands Water Project feeds water into the system by gravity contributing to a stable supply of water to the people and industrial complex of Gauteng. This water is piped from Lesotho into the Liebenbergsvlei and Wilge Rivers.

The Sterkfontein Dam forms part of the Tugela-Vaal water transfer scheme for the interbasin transfer of water from the Thukela River in KwaZulu-Natal to boost the levels in the Vaal River System. Water from the Sterkfontein Dam is released once the Vaal Dam drops to below 16%.

The dam has its own island some 5 km (3 mi) long. The island was used as a secret meeting place by the apartheid government but now hosts the annual Round the Island Yacht race, a Guinness Book of World Records title of the largest inland yacht race.

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