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Pongola is a small town situated in the lush and fertile region of northern KwaZulu-Natal, bordering the country of Swaziland. Travellers visiting Pongola pass through evergreen forests, rolling hills covered in sugar cane crops, vast manmade lakes and see the Lebombo Mountains ever present in the distance.
Pongola, or uPhongolo in Zulu, the word meaning Trough for the deep crevices cut by the river of the same name, is divided by the national highway running between the port city of Durban in the south and Mpumalanga Province to the north-west. The area was for centuries occupied by Bantu tribes until farmers moved into the area in the early 20th century. Irrigation systems were built, depressions filled to create enormous dams and sugar cane and fruit trees planted. Today, the area is the domain of the Zulu where their heritage, along with several game farms, have added to Pongola’s appeal.
Nature lovers, birders, anglers and those seeking excellent game viewing opportunities visit Pongola on a regular basis.
Top 6 reasons to visit Pongola
1. The Junk Shopping Centre in town is a unique all-in-one retail centre (30 shops in total) selling anything from fish bait to music and offering services such as photo processing and sending of faxes. One can even buy fresh bread and milk, be sure to stop in and marvel at their product range and endless stock.
2. Proclaimed way back in 1874, the Pongola Game Reserve hosts 4 of the Big 5 (leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) in thick bush overlooking the Pongola River. The reserve is also a popular birding site with over 300 species officially recorded here.
3. Hire a boat and fishing gear at Lake Jozini to try and land a tiger fish. This fearsome game fish is a fighter and has been known to soar into the air to escape a fisherman’s hook. While... Show more