Lake Jozini, officially known as the Pongolapoort Dam, is located in KwaZulu Natal province, South Africa. This 16000-hectare expanse of water is surrounded by untamed African bushveld in the form of several game reserves. The surrounding reserve is the oldest conservation area in Africa, having been proclaimed by Paul Kruger in 1894. Here you can sit on the deck of a houseboat, sipping a drink and enjoying the delightful sight of elephants coming to the water’s edge to drink and play. Or you can try your luck at catching one of the enormous tiger fish for which Lake Jozini is famed. Buffalos, hippos, elephants, crocodiles, and a plethora of bird species are just some of the wildlife you can expect to see here. The bushveld surrounding the lake is gorgeously framed by the Lebombo Mountains, creating a stunning landscape and ensuring breathtaking sunsets. Just 6 hours from Johannesburg and 4 from Durban, Lake Jozini is the ideal destination to take that much-needed break from the city.

Why we like it

This vast lake, which is actually a dam, provides a beautiful, tranquil setting that is ideal for a nature getaway. Unique activities can be experienced here, including tiger-fishing and houseboat safaris.

Facts & Figures

Park / Reserve Size: 16 000 Ha
Reserve Type: Dam surrounded by game reserves
Big 5: No
Specialist Specie: Tiger Fish
Malaria Area: Yes
Nearest Town: Pongola

Accommodation in Lake Jozini

Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa

Situated in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty, Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is the perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature. Incredibly positioned along the banks of the picturesque Lake Jozini, and backed by the splendour of the Lebombo Mountain range, the Lodge boasts superb facilities. These include a Mangwanani…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.

Shayamanzi Houseboats, Lake Jozini

Shayamanzi River Tours operates two houseboats on South Africa’s fourth largest dam – Lake Jozini. The houseboats have six and ten double rooms respectively, all with huge windows with impressive views on to the water. All rooms are en-suite (however, the toilets and shower areas are relatively small). The smaller boat has electric fans in all rooms, and the larger,…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: Less than $150 p.p.p.d.

Shayamoya Tiger Fishing and Game Lodge

Shayamoya is a pleasant family-run lodge with magnificent hill-top views over South Africa’s fourth largest lake, Lake Jozini. The distinctive wood cabins are nestled along a ridge and offer great views, comfortable accommodation and suitable furnishings. The main lodge has a charming atmosphere and there is a decent selection of books and photo albums detailing the lodge's history, with great…

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Accomodation Type: Full Board
Budget: Less than $150 p.p.p.d.

Tours and Activities in Lake Jozini

Eastern Aspects of Southern Africa

The eastern part of South Africa offers some of the most diverse landscapes imaginable. Pristine tropical beaches, undeveloped and vast, stretch the coastline. The Big 5 roam the savannahs and the forests are enchanting. The lakes and rivers contain a myriad bird, aquatic, and tree life. This trip offers a diverse range of experiences, from snorkeling to Big 5 safaris,…

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Duration: 10 nights, 11 days
Budget: $300 - $500 p.p.p.d.

Lookout for


Key Species


Pel's Fishing owl
African Finfoot
Narina Trogon


Tree Wisteria
Buffalo Thorn

Surrounding Bushveld

Wildlife Ratings

Big 5: 4
Mammals: 7
Birds: 8
Reptiles: 7
Trees: 6
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