What you can expect aboard Shayamanzi
Lake Jozini can only be truly appreciated from the vantage point of a house boat and the Shayamanzi rivals any first class hotel on the water.
The major benefit of being on the Lake is that you’re right on top of the best fishing spots, so literally within minutes your fly can be attracting the attention of the striped water dog. Our all too brief stint in September saw the WildFly team, landing bream, barbel and tiger on fly, with the biggest specimen being a respectable 7 pounder. Although the water temperature was under 20 C, it was a fair trade for water clarity, with the smaller bait fish patterns certainly snatching the majority of tiger fish. The drop offs and river channel proved to be the most productive areas, which were a cast away from our mooring and with the flat deck pontoon boats from which to throw, the fly fishing was remarkably comfortable. This is without a doubt the finest houseboat operation in South Africa that is ideally suited for fly fishing groups and their spouses. I can’t speak highly enough about the Zimbabwean skipper, Bramsom and his staff. Thanks Lindy for exposing us to the wonderful tiger fishing right on our doorstep, your hospitality was exceptional.
Lake Jozini, Home of Shayamanzi Houseboats
A Shayamanzi Houseboats cruise begins from the spectacular Jozini Tiger Lodge which is situated along the banks of the picturesque Jozini dam near Pongola in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Situated in the heart of the ‘Kingdom of the Zulu’ with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty, Lake Jozini is an exciting holiday destination offers a perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature.
The Pongola River enters in the Northern area of Lake Jozini and is the only water source feeding the Lake. This is a particularly good fishing spot with the extreme Northern tip creeping into Swaziland, with the rest of the Northern area and the entire Western and Southern banks being bordered by the Pongola Nature Reserve and the Pongola Game Reserve.
Day 1 (Yellow): Tiger Lodge to Hippo Bay.
Day 2 (White): Hippo Bay to Nkwazi Bay.
Day 3 (Blue): Nkwazi Bay to Tiger Lodge.
The Game Reserves surrounding Lake Jozini host many animal species which can be seen in herds from Shayamanzi’s decks: White and Black Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Zebra, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Common Reedbuck, Red Duiker, Grey Duiker, Waterbuck, Steenbuck, Suni Antelope, Black Backed Jackal, Hyena, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Cerval Cat, Warthog, Bushpig, Banded Mongoose, Legavaan, Terrapin and the occasional sighting of Leopard which roam the slopes of the Lebombo Mountain Range.
The muddy plains and reed banks provide excellent breeding grounds for the waterbirds which can be seen in thousands – Whistling Duck, Yellowbilled Storks, Spurwing and Egyptian Geese, Commorants, various Herons, Kingfishers, and several Fish Eagles.
Along the entire Western bank is the magnificent Lebombo Mountain Range. One of the evening anchorages may be a night in the Gorge. Here the Mountains rise either side of you, covered in indigenous cycads and ferns and where the glo-flies make a spectacular show along the shoreline.
Other overnight anchorages are in the River and at Mosquito Bay; both great fishing areas and very well positioned for game viewing.