Home » Pongola Nature Reserve

The three hundred and ten square kilometer Pongola Nature Reserve is situated along the northern and eastern banks of the Pongolapoort Dam in KwaZulu Natal. The area was proclaimed as a nature reserve in 1894 by old president Paul Kruger. The area has had a turbulent history, with the Anglo boer war leaving much devastation, as well as the boers killing most of the game in the area, in an attempt to eradicate The disease carrying Tsetse fly. In 1970 a dam was built on the Pongal river, to provide irrigation for the areas sugarcane plantations. An estimated area of seventeen thousand hectares were flooded in the construction of the dam. A part of the original reserve was declared as a nature conservation area in 1979.

The reserve consists mainly of acacia bushveld which slopes gently towards the dam, and river. Pongola nature reserve is home to a variety of wildlife which includes white rhino, impala, nyala, wildebees, kudu, both burchell and mountain zebras, buffalo, elephant and a noticeably large giraffe population. The reserve's various habitats support an estimated twenty five indigenous fish species, about sixty species of mammals and roughly a hundred various species of reptiles and amphibia. Rare or endangered animals inhabiting the Pongola Nature Reserve include the honey badger and wild dog. The water is home to many hippos and crocodile. This area is also a top notch birdwatching destination, displaying an impressive total of over three hundred and fifty various species. Guests are also allowed the brilliant opportunity to track Rhino on foot through the reserve, or participate in the well known Elephant tracking programme.

The Dam itself has gained an excellent reputation as possibly the best Tiger-fishing Destination in South Africa, attracting eager fishermen from all over the country. The Tigerfish, also sometimes referred to as the "striped water dog", is a freshwater fish which is indigenous to many rivers and lakes of central Africa, as well as the northern regions of South Africa. These fish have very strong jaws, and extremely sharp teeth, and are persistent fighters on the end of a line. Most of the Tiger-fishing takes place between September and October, and almost exclusively from boats due to the danger of crocodiles and hippos along the water's edge.

Lodging Near Pongola Nature Reserve