Ultimate South African Road Trip

Tiger Fishing on Jozini Dam with Shayamanzi

Welcome to the beautiful Jozini Dam on the northern border of Kwazulu-Natal.

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The Shayamanzi on Jozini Dam

We’ve just spent the last 2 nights on the Shayamanzi II which is a live-aboard house boat that operates on the Jozini Dam.

The good people from Shayamanzi contacted me a few days ago and asked if I would be keen to learn how to Tiger Fish. I haven’t been Tiger Fishing, or any fishing for that matter for as long as I can remember, so I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. But hey? Lets give it a shot right?

Shayamanzi houseboat on Jozini Dam
The Shayamanzi Houseboat on Jozini Dam

Fishing on the Jozini Dam

For me fishing is normally associated with long days in the sun, inevitably spilling bait all over yourself, smelling like a fish for the rest of the weekend (and beyond) and then, if you’re lucky, you get to come home with something more than just sun-stroke.

I can honestly say, this has been the total opposite of that. It’s been fishing luxury if I’m honest. The guys here look after you really well. They take you to all the right spots, they help hook up your rod, they put bait on for you, they help you cast – pretty much everything other than put the fish on the end of the line. It’s been really easy, really fun and nothing like I expected.

The group I came with are semi-serious fishermen and they’ve been absolutely nailing it! As seems to always be the case, the kid in the group almost landed the biggest fish of the trip: a 4kg Tiger Fish. That may as well be a Tiger Shark as far as I’m concerned!

In the end I didn’t get to land anything, but to be honest, I just really enjoyed the ride. This area is so incredibly beautiful it’s hard not to.

Bevan tiger fishing on Jozini Dam
Bevan tiger fishing on Jozini Dam

Jozini Dam and the Pongola Game Reserve

Jozini Dam is basically fringed by the Pongola Game Reserve so there is a lot of wildlife in this region. One morning we took a game-cruise further north towards the Swaziland border. There were some big animals on the banks including crocodiles, hippos and rhino, as well as a number of birds which made for excellent game viewing.

In the mornings I would wake up to the sound of dozens of birds on the banks of the dam, as well as hippos calling from the next bay so that sense of being immersed in the surrounding wilderness has been really amazing.

Rhinos on Pongola Game Reserve Jozini Dam
Rhinos on Pongola Game Reserve Jozini Dam
Zebra on the banks of the Jozini Dam with the Lebombo Mountains in the distance
Zebra on the banks of the Jozini Dam with the Lebombo Mountains in the distance.

If, like me, fishing is not your thing, there is still so much to do out here that it’s well worth the trip. Staying on a boathouse is an incredible experience and one you can do with your family and friends whether they fish or not.

Thanks again to the team at Shayamanzi for having us on board. We hope to see you again soon!

Catching tigerfish on Jozini Dam
Catching tigerfish on Jozini Dam

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