Destination Reviews

Hidden Gem of the Month: Jozini

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Jozini, a small town in North Eastern KwaZulu Natal on the main route to Mozambique, is synonymous with the dam of the same name – the Jozini or Pongolapoort Dam – and offers a huge array of attractions and activities.

This vast dam, on the Pongola River, provides a rather dramatic doorway into Maputaland, and the river supports a massive population of fish, hippos and crocodiles as well as the people who live in the area. The Jozini Dam, or Lake Jozini as it is popularly called, lies between the majestic Ubombo and Lebombo Mountains on the Elephant Coast and covers over 16 000 ha.

Although the dam was originally designed to irrigate over 80 000 ha of farmland supporting products such as sugarcane, rice, coffee and various subtropical fruits, Lake Jozini immediately became a popular destination for South Africa’s fishing fraternity.

Many have compared it to Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe and it is fast becoming the mecca of not only fishermen but many wild game seekers, as farmers convert vast tracts of land around the dam back to their virgin bush in the bid to realise a dream to return this area to its former wildlife prosperity. The resemblance to Kariba is furthered by the dam wall which, at 89 metres high and 515 metres long, is quite an impressive sight.




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