Katse, the highest dam in Africa, is also one of the world’s ten largest concrete arch dams in terms of volume, with a capacity of nearly 2 billion cubic metres and a surface area of 38.5 square kilometres.Katse dam’s wall is 185 metres high.
It is the transfer reservoir for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and supplies water to Gauteng via a 32km long tunnel to the Ash river just outside Clarens. The Lesotho Highlands water scheme is a major revenue earner for Lesotho, and the dam also provides electricity for Lesotho.
There is an info centre and daily tours of the dam wall starting at 9am or 2pm on weekdays and there is an extra tour at 11am on weekends. (Visitors from Clarens wanting to go on these tours usually spend the night at the Orion Katse Lodge.)
Katse Botanical Gardens:
The gardens specialise in growing indigenous medicinal plants and environmental education is one of their core activities. The gardens offer “wild flower walks” with one of their knowledgable guides and one is also able to buy plants at their nursery.