Westdene Dam In Johannesburg

Westdene Dam is part of a series of connected streams flowing through Johannesburg. The dam was designed to reduce the impact of flood peaks and erosion potential of nearby spruits. It is also a park and a facility that supports plant and animal life. Explore this article using the table of contents below.

Table of Contents
Where Is westdene Dam?
Where Is Westdene?
A visit to Westdene Dam
The Geese & The Ducks
The Playground & Outdoor Gym
Restrictions At The Dam
Permissions At The Dam
Bus Disaster Memorial
The Park
Awards won
Dam Video
Entrance Fee
Sky outline of Westdene Dam in Johannesburg
Westdene Dam overlooking the University of Johannesburg. Photograph: Akindele Olunloyo

Where is the Westdene Dam?

The Dam is located near the South African Post Office (on Thornton street), the University of Johannesburg (Auckland Park, Kingsway Campus), and UJ sports fields. Entrance to the dam is free and it operates daily (weekdays and weekends) from 6 am – 6 pm.

Tree overlooking the Westdene Dam
A tree in the Dam during Autumn of 2020. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

Where is Westdene?

Westdene is predominantly a residential area located between Melville and Triomf in Johannesburg. It is close to Johannesburg City Business District and it is a place of choice for student accommodation.

The skywalk for pedestrians and cyclists at Westdene Dam
Pedestrian bridge (Skywalk) at the Dam. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

My visit to Westdene Dam

Although I live around Westdene, I drove and hiked past the Westdene Dam for more than two months before my first visit to the dam. I remember staring at the dam’s beautiful free-ranging team of waterfowls through its ClearVu security fence. Hiking over the cycle and pedestrian skywalker gave me an impressive view of the dam. But, I was always shocked to find this interesting place often deserted. This piqued my curiosity and I wanted to find out what the dam was all about and to share my experience.

Ducks, geese and the kids playground at Westdene Dam
Varieties of ducks at the Dam. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

The Ducks And Geese At Westdene Dam

I eventually found time to visit on a Saturday. Entering through the Lewes road access gate, my first encounter was with a raft of ducks I had been admiring from across the road. Neatly organised in two groups, they scrambled through trash left behind probably by visitors. The ducks are easy-going and beautiful. The team of waterfowl I came across were made up of different breeds ranging from the yellow-billed duck, white-faced duck, Egyptian geese, snow goose and the Toulouse geese. They mind their business and pose no threat to visitors.

A view of Westdene Dam from the skywalk
Closer shot of the Dam. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

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The Playground And Outdoor Gym At The Dam

The Westdene Dam is an interesting community recreation area that offers great views, amazing relaxation spots, functional outdoor full body gym equipment, and a well-managed children’s playground.

The children's playground at the Westdene Dam
The Dam’s kids playground. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

The outdoor gym equipment at the dam is great for members of the community to keep fit, for free. All the equipment comes with instruction labels which make them public-friendly. The kids’ section is also packed with different outdoor recreational equipment that is safe, structured, and modern.

The outdoor gym facilities at the Westdene Dam
Outdoor physical fitness equipment at the Dam. Photo by Akindele Olunloyo

Restrictions At The Westdene Dam

A number of rules are on display on the public boards around the dam. Some of the prohibitions include:

  • The littering and dumping of refuse.
  • Setting up any sort of a fireplace, braai, or bush burning.
  • The riding of motorcycles is disallowed in the park but bicycles are acceptable.
  • Alcohol and drug use is highly forbidden
  • Camping is not allowed
  • Loud music is forbidden
  • Guns and any forms of dangerous weapons are forbidden
  • Sleeping at the park is not allowed
  • Feeding of the ducks and geese is prohibited
  • Trading within the park is forbidden
  • Swimming in the dam is not allowed
  • Fishing is not allowed
  • Boat riding is also forbidden
Westdene Dam Rules and Restrictions by Johannesburg City Parks
A signpost at the dam with rules. Photo Credit: Akindele Olunloyo

Permissions At The Westdene Dam

Meanwhile, the following activities are allowed on The Westdene dam:

  • Cameras
  • The use of the playing ground by kids however, adult supervision is advised for children below the age of 10.
  • Bicycle riding
  • Pets are allowed
A tree next to the Westdene Dam water body
Autumn at the Dam. Photo: Akindele Olunloyo

Westdene Dam Bus Disaster Memorial

A memorial for school students stands on the dam’s northwest bank which is at a corner close to the Westdene Dam wall. The memorial stone which was built in 2009 represents the remembrance of 41 school children who lost their lives after their double decker school bus lost control, ramped through the road barricades on the bridge and drowned in the Westdene Dam on the 27th of March 1985. It remains one of the darkest moments for the Westdene community.

The Park At Westdene Dam

The dam has a park with open grass fields, an appealing landscape and giant trees. Taking a seat on one of the concrete benches (near a curvy footpath) is a great way to observe the tranquility of nature. You will notice the intermittent quacks of the marching ducks and geese scavenging the park and marvel as they suddenly nose dives into the water. The sweet chirping and singing of the birds also add to the tranquility of the dam. The Westdene Dam is a pleasant and therapeutic distraction from the seriousness and busyness of life in the City of Johannesburg.

A sideview of the Westdene dam
A cross-section of the Dam

The Award-winning Dam

The Westdene Dam is a great initiative of Johannesburg City Parks and Joburg Zoo. It has won a number of awards, including the South African Landscapers Institute (SALI) Gold Award for Specialised Landscape Design as well as the SALI Silver Award for Environmental and Water Wise Landscaping in 2017. In the spirit of maintaining the award-winning scenery, Joburg City Parks should consider providing more trash bins and constructing public toilets.

Video of The Dam

A short video clip of the Dam

Entry Into Westdene Dam Is FREE

The Westdene Dam is a free, safe and pleasant place for quality quiet time during the day. It offers a host of opportunities for personal and family recreation.

Please feel free to share your comments or experience of the Westdene Dam.

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Akindele Olunloyo


I love travelling. I cherish my Lagos. And I adore my new home in Johannesburg. Lagostojozi Blog is my passion project which strives to promote cooperation, healthy relations and social cohesion between the people of these two great African megacities of Lagos and Johannesburg.

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