Welcome to Phongolo

Situated in Northern Zululand, one of Phongolo Nature Reserve’s primary attractions is the popular sport of fishing, with an increasing number of visitors drawn here to put their skills against the legendary tiger fish. The reserve was originally proclaimed by Paul Kruger to prohibit hunting in the area, as there were concerns that the game populations were being decimated through uncontrolled hunting.

A large percentage of the area originally proclaimed, is now under water since the construction of the Phongolopoort Dam, which is the fourth largest dam in the South Africa. The reserve is 10 485 ha in extent.

Phongolo Accommodation

  • Nkonkoni Bush Camp (self-catering)

    The self-contained camp consists of four 2 bedded large safari tents, with en-suite shower, washbasin and toilet. A lounge, dining room, with a modern, well-equipped kitchen adjoining the complex.

    Book Direct - Tel: +27 (0) 33 845 1394


  • Kitchenette
  • Ironing board
  • Catering services
  • DSTV (limited)
  • Hotspots
  • Exhibition/convention floor
  • Restaurant
  • Room service - full menu
  • Courtyard
  • Lounges/bars
  • firewood
  • Airport Shuttle Service
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Valet cleaning
  • Car hire


Free! WiFi is available in all areas and is free of charge.


Private parking is possible at a location nearby (reservation is not needed) and costs USD 28.80 per day.

Acivities in Phongolo

  • The dam and the Phongola River form the southernmost limit for tiger fish, and it has become a prime tiger fishing destination in South Africa. It is the fifth largest dam in South Africa after the Gariep, Vanderkloof, Sterkfontein and Vaal Dams. This listing is based on the potential capacity of the dam, not surface area.

  • Over 300 species of birds have been identified in the reserve, making Phongolo Nature Reserve an ideal spot for bird watching. The reserve forms the southernmost limit of some significant species such as Burchell’s starling and Magpie shrike. There are also many species of water bird to be found in and along the shoreline of the dam. There is a resident colony of White-backed vultures, Lappet-faced and White-headed vultures in the reserve as well, making this a very special birding spot. Cape vultures can also be seen from time to time.

  • Game is plentiful and includes many species of plains game such as giraffe, kudu, impala, blue wildebeest and zebra. White rhino and black rhino also occur in the reserve.

  • The following facilities and activities are available in the reserve, an eight bed bush camp, camping and caravanning, picnicking (at the campsites), game viewing (own vehicle), angling and boating (own boat), hunting (in the controlled hunting area).

  • Phongolo Useful Information

  • Gate entry times:

  • Summer (1 October - 31 March) 05:00 - 19:00
    Winter (1 April - 30 September) 06:00 - 18:00

  • The closest shops and petrol station are in the town of Phongola, which is about 43 km from the camp, so it is important to arrive with all the necessary provisions.

  • No pets are permitted in the reserve.

  • It is advisable to bring binoculars, a first aid kit, a torch, insect repellent, a hat and suntan lotion.

  • No firewood may be collected in the reserve.

  • Visitors are urged to take precautions against malaria before, during and after a visit.

  • Visitor facilities including accommodation are not fenced. Please exercise caution.

  • Please do not walk beyond the vicinity of your own campsite after sunset unless it is essential.

  • These times are strictly enforced.

  • Petrol can also be obtained from Swaziland, with passports being required to enter this country.

  • A concreted launch site is available at the camping ground.

  • The communal kitchen has a refrigerator, deepfreeze, stove, cutlery, crockery and all cooking utensils.

  • The services of a camp attendant are available.

  • Phongolo Contacts

    Phongolo: +27 (0) 34 435 1012.
    For bookings Telephone: +27 (0) 33 845 1394 E-mail: Karuna.Bridgemohun@kznwildlife.com

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