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Destination Overview

One of our goals at Kiene’s Fly Fishing Travel is to discover exotic fishing opportunities that have been overlooked by other travel websites.  Our research has been rewarded by our discovery of the Nkwazi Lodge located within the Pongola Game Reserve in South Africa. There you will fish for Tiger Fish which is the most prized freshwater game fish in Africa. 


The Tiger Fish looks like a cross between a Striped Bass and a Piranha.  Its lateral strips are almost indistinguishable from a Striper (they share a similar size range with a Striper) but its jaws are filled with long razor sharp teeth. They are extremely aggressive and have been known to capture birds in flight that venture too close to the water surface.  Often you will find them hunting in packs.


Located within the Pongola Game Reserve, few exclusive yet affordable private getaways combine the scenic variety of Bushveld, mountains, major water bodies and a range of leisure activities that make the best of the local environment. The Pongola Game Reserve is located 450 km (279 mi) from Johannesburg and extends over part of the original area that in 1894, was declared the Pongola Game Reserve. 


The lodge is owned by the Landman family whose ancestors arrived in the Cape in 1744. The Pongola River, broad and perennial, meanders through the center of the reserve before entering the man-made lake.  The area is home to many typical plains game species, including Elephant, Hippopotamus and Crocodile.  It is also a birding “hotspot” as over 350 species have so far been recorded there.


Your stay at the luxurious Nkwazi Lodge will provide you with the opportunity to fish for one of the worlds most exotic game fishes by day, and during your stay you will be able to experience several game drives, and attend an African style barbeque (Braaii).


At a Glance

Location: Pongola Game Park, KwaZulu, Natal, South Africa

Target Fish: Tiger Fish

Time of Year: Mid-October to mid-May

Lodge Capacity: 32

Airport: Johannesburg

Electricity: 220v plug adapters required

Documents Required: Passport

Fishing Program

You will spend 3 full days fishing mainly on Lake Jozini and on occasion up into some of the river mouths, environmental conditions permitting.

Lake Jozini is the third largest lake in South Africa and is the southernmost home of the Tiger Fish. The lake is approximately 30 km long and 5 km wide. The mountains form the eastern shore. The lake is surrounded by game reserves on all sides, and is abundant in wildlife, such as Elephants, Hippopotamus, Rhinoceros, Giraffe, Buffalo and various other game. In addition to Tiger Fish the lake is home to many other species such as Carp, Sharptooth Catfish, Redbreast Tilapia, Largemouth Bass and Silver Robber among several others.     


The Tiger Fish (Hydrocynus Vittatus) is a major freshwater angling game fish and can easily be recognized by the bluish sheen on its back, a series of parallel longitudinal black stripes, blood red fins and a series of 8 large protruding sharply pointed teeth in each jaw. They are ferocious and aggressive apex predators, and are a hard fighting freshwater game fish.  An awesome fish to catch on light tackle and fly fishing equipment.  Tiger Fish are indigenous to Africa.


Tiger Fish travel in schools of 7-15.  Generally the smaller the Tiger Fish, the bigger the school.  Thus it would be typical to have more than one rod bent as a shool passes by. On occasion, up to 3 fish, each over 4 kg, have been caught within five minutes of each other. The average Tiger Fish caught on lake Jozini is about 14 inches long and a little over 2 lbs.


When the water warms up to a temperature of 20 C (68 degrees F), coinciding with summer months, the Tiger Fish begin feeding and give a good fight.  The temperature starts dropping off in May when the winter chill sets in. In October when the breeding season starts, the fish migrate to their closed off breeding area upstream of the Railway Bridge. This provides a good opportunity to catch a large Tiger Fish.


Elevated on a cliff overlooking the shores of the Pongolapoort Dam (Lake Jozini), this secluded fully catered lodge offers guests commanding views of lake and savannah bush. The lodge accommodates 32 guests in 12 en-suite thatched chalets and 2 family chalets consisting of a living area, 2 bedrooms with twin beds and bathrooms.


All chalets are tastefully furnished and have air-conditioning, mini bar fridges, tea and coffee facilities and private verandas.  Because the lodge is built on a slope overlooking the dam, and because of the elevation of the lodge the property is not child friendly, however children are welcome with adult supervision.


On Site Amenities and Activities Include

Satellite TV

Wi-Fi/internet access



Gourmet Food

Non fly fishing activities

Getting There

International airlines from all over the world serve airport in Johannesburg, and Durban, South Africa. A transport service will meet you at the airport, and transport you to the lodge which will take about 3-5 hours.



7 night/3 days fishing (per person, double occupancy): $1,995.00

7 night/6 days non-fishing (per person, double occupancy): $1,795.00


Prices subject to change with exchange rate

Fishing Package Includes: 

Transportation to and from Durban Int Airport. (3.5 hr drive)

7 nights at the lodge, private accommodations, Brunch & Dinner.

Game Drives,

Sunset Cruise,

3 days fishing (2 anglers per boat and skipper)

Non-Fishing Package Includes: 

Transportation to and from Durban Int Airport. (3.5 hr drive)

7 nights at the lodge, private accommodations, Brunch & Dinner.

Game Drives,

Sunset Cruise,

Not Included: International flights, tackle, flies, gratuities and alcohol.

Other Activities include: 

Boat Safari,

Game Walk,

Rhino Tracking,

Outdoor Braai, (BBQ)

To book any of our trips give us a call to start the process
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