Mavungana Flyfishing: Pongola

SOUTH AFRICA

FRESHWATER

ACCOMMODATION

Shared accommodation in thatched-roof chalets with twin beds, an en-suite bathroom and a private verandah with amazing views  

SPECIES

Tigerfish

Mavungana Flyfishing: Pongola

Mavungana Flyfishing has been the leading flyfishing operation on the Pongolapoort Dam (Lake Jozini) for the last 2 decades. They have built up an extensive knowledge of a fishery that improves year on year, not only in the number of fish caught but also in the number of trophies landed. You will pursue Africa's fiercest freshwater fish, The Tigerfish, within the 6000-hectare Pongola Game Reserve. Host to a wide variety of wildlife including 4 of Africa's Big 5, over 350 bird species and African sunsets that will bring you back time and again. Booking Tip: Select dates during May/June and Aug/Sep in 2025 to see the limited availability  Here is a taste of what you can expect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn_x7HJcoE8   

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Pongolapoort Dam, also known as Lake Jozini, is fed by the Pongola River and is the southernmost location for Tigerfish in Southern Africa. This man-made lake spans 13,276 hectares and is part of the Pongola Game Reserve, which covers over 6,000 hectares. The reserve is home to diverse wildlife, including Black and White Rhino, Elephant, and Buffalo, as well as over 350 recorded bird species. The scenic setting provides opportunities for game viewing from a drifting boat, enhancing the fishing experience.

It can be argued that global warming is improving this fishery every season. Less and less rain means water clarity through the year is better, resulting in the tigerfish being able to feed more effectively through the seasons. Average water temperatures are gradually rising, which suits the warm water tigerfish. Over a recent period of drought in the area, the lake margins dropped resulting in a flush of vegetative growth on the lower water banks. These banks have now flooded and created an amazing habitat for bait fish and a natural filter that improves clarity – everything Tigerfish love!

 

Mavungana Flyfishing operates from a beautiful lakeside lodge located on one of Southern Africa’s hidden gems, Jozini Lake in the Pongola Game Reserve.

Each thatched-roof chalet has twin beds and an en-suite bathroom. There is air-conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and a private verandah with lake/river views

One of the highlights is the food, which showcases the rich flavours of South African cuisine. Enjoyed in the boma or the open-plan dining area, anglers can enjoy their meals while being treated to breathtaking views of the river.

Facilities on site

* Guest Lounge
* Bar
* Restuarant
* Swimming Pool
* Free Wi-Fi access in restaurant/bar

This is a great destination for non-fishing partners. There are a host of activities including relaxing by the heated and unheated swimming pools, looking for wildlife from the viewing deck and the multitude of activities including game drives, tracking rhino on foot, sunset cruises & spa treatments.

International anglers would target Johannesburg International – OR Tambo airport as their starting point. Provisions for transfer to Pongola will be handled on an ad hoc basis by Mavungana Flyfishing

Lake Jozini offers a prime environment for tigerfish, with ideal flyfishing conditions over a relatively short period in autumn and spring when the water is warm and clear. The lake hosts a very healthy population of tigerfish and guests can expect to catch good numbers of varying-sized tigerfish from large schools of juveniles and males, right through to trophy fish well over 10lbs!

Fishing sessions are divided into morning and afternoon outings, starting with a meeting at sunrise for coffee, biscuits and planning on the lodge’s viewing deck. Two anglers per boat, guided by experienced Mavungana Flyfishing guides, using boats equipped with trolling motors and other necessary gear. After a morning of fishing, anglers return to the lodge for a substantial brunch, followed by free time before the afternoon session and evening sundowners.

One of the highlights of the fishery is the wide variety of flyfishing techniques used. From sight casting to tailing tigerfish in the shallows, fishing weed banks, or casting around submerged trees and structures, makes this an extremely rewarding destination.

About Tigerfish
Tigerfish are a highly prized freshwater species known for their fierce predatory nature and remarkable strength. They are primarily found in African rivers and lakes. Recognized by their sharp, prominent teeth and striking, tiger-like stripes, these fish are not only visually impressive but also present a significant challenge to anglers. The ‘Take’ is explosive, leaving many an experienced angler with trembling hands after being hit by a Tiger.

Tigerfish are renowned for their powerful and aggressive fighting ability. When hooked, aerial displays and strong, fast runs, provide an exhilarating experience for fly anglers. Razor-sharp teeth and strong jaws can easily cut through strong leader material, hence the use of a 3-4 inch section of steel trace above the fly.

Fishing for tigerfish takes anglers to stunning and relatively untouched natural environments, such as Lake Jozini.

Tigerfish can grow to substantial sizes, with trophies exceeding 10 pounds.

7 weight rods up to 9 weights with the operator’s specific recommendation of matching lines and seasonally pre-tied proven flies.

Detailed pre-trip gear lists are provided before the trip and allow for the appropriate planning of gear and acquiring of the necessary flies. Should you have forgotten anything, there is a Satelite Store at the lodge to fill any gaps

Rate:

2024: Fully Booked

2025: $2590 per angler sharing

Terms:

What’s included:

  • 5 nights accommodation in spacious ensuite lakeside thatched chalets
  • 2 meals a day
  • Use of boats and all fuel included
  • 5 days of Guided fishing
  • There is an extremely well-stocked bar in the main lodge, and the operator also has a special dispensation to bring your own refreshments (to be consumed in your boat or your chalet only.)

ARRIVAL IS ON A SATURDAY AND DEPARTURE IS ON A THURSDAY

What’s not included:

  • Travel to the venue. (NOTE: The operator will be on hand to assist and advise local and international anglers on ensuring smooth transfers to Pongola) 
  • Fly packs & gear
  • Gratuities (The recommended tipping rate is an industry standard of 10% of your trip price)
  • Drinks purchased from the bar
  • Any items of a personal nature.

Terms and Conditions of the Operator:

A 50% deposit is required at the time of booking to confirm and hold places. Places will provisionally be held for 1 day from the invoicing date until a deposit is received. Thereafter, we may cancel bookings that are not confirmed by deposit. Deposits and other payments are not refundable unless the place is subsequently filled. If your place is filled your deposit will be refunded with the value of the new booking. There is a 10% cancellation fee for rebooking your place. Full payment is due 90 days prior to your arrival. Receipt of the deposit is an acknowledgement that the registrant has read and accepts the cancellation/ refund policy and risks associated with this trip. Mavungana Flyfishing Travel will not be held responsible for any currency fluctuations that may arise. All prices are subject to availability of bookings and change by service providers. At the time of quote all additional charges, flight charges, flights, transfers & government/conservation taxes & fishing licenses are correct but subject to change without prior notice. While out of our control we will do everything possible to ensure a trouble-free trip. Mavungana Flyfishing Travel cannot be held responsible for cancellation or poor performance of these service providers, bad weather any other Force Majeure or political unrest.

Global Rescue Travel insurance (or similar with Medivac) is a mandatory requirement. Please follow this link for travel insurance https://ss.globalrescue.com/#/signup/step1?rp=mavungana

 

 

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