It lies on the upper reaches of the Fish River, 254 km south of Windhoek just off the main road to Keetmanshoop, and 24 km from the town of Mariental. It is open throughout the year, and yearly tickets are available to visitors who wish to use the facilities on a regular basis. With its vast surface area of 25 sq km, the Hardap Dam is a most impressive sight in the surrounding arid landscape. It is a paradise for water sport enthusiasts, and boathouses on the shore of the dam can be rented for added convenience.
Fishing in these waters is exceptionally good with barbel, yellow-fish, carp and bass abounding. Angling competitions are a regular feature and angling permits can be obtained from the camp office. With many inlets and small islands this man-made lake provides a safe breeding place for a large variety of birds, including flamingoes, fish eagles, goliath herons, reed cormorants and ospreys.
One of the three largest great white pelican breeding colonies in the country is found here, and more than 800 pelicans have been counted at one time. Boats are prohibited in certain areas of the dam, and it is here especially that one can marvel at the colourful variety of birds that enjoy the peaceful waters.
he rest camp itself is perched high above the northern shore of the dam. From here one has an unforgettable view of the wide expanse of water. There are both 5-bed and 2-bed bungalows with a fridge, hotplate (only in the larger bungalows), and hot water shower. In addition there are dormitories with 10 beds each, and these are close to convenient communal facilities and field kitchens. The resort also has a shady caravan park, a swimming pool and a playground. Pets are not allowed in the resort but there are kennels available at the gates. Owners are responsible for their care.
A licensed restaurant in the rest camp has a unique situation overlooking the dam. It is open seven days a week for all meals, and especially the fresh fish specialties are very popular. For the added convenience of visitors there is also a shop that stocks fresh produce, groceries, liquor, fire wood, souvenirs etc.