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Location: South Africa » Kwazulu Natal » Pongola

The beautiful town of Pongola is located in northern Zululand, on the border with Swaziland. Pongola was established during 1954. After the Second World War soldiers from Natal were given the opportunity by the State to establish sugar cane farms in order to assist them in re-establishing themselves. Allocations were done upon merit and the plots were approximately 20 ha in size. A sugar mill was later built. The companies involved were Reynolds Brothers, CG Smith and Illovo Sugar Mill. During the same time a cotton mill was also established to assist the farmers in distributing their cotton. Later, citrus was also established and a proper export factory was established by Mr Rouillard, who is still the owner. A number of cattle farmers also established themselves in the Pongola area. The town’s name is derived from the Pongola River, whih is the life line of the area. Pongola, which means ‘river of troughts’, is indicative of the deep pools and steep banks characteristic of the Pongola River. In view of the region’s limited rainfall and the irregular flow of the Pongola River, a unique water channel system was built during the 1930’s to supply the surrounding farms with water. The uniqueness of this scheme is that there are no hydro schemes in place to control the flow thus providing a ‘free flow’ system. The region boasts spectacular scenery consisting of the northern Kwazulu Natal area with it’s lush, undulating cane fields, and the ruggedly breathtaking beauty of the Lebombo Mountains. Nature enthusiasts have an extensive choice of facilities offering some of the best game viewing in South Africa, abundant and varied birdlife and beautiful walks and trails, allowing the uninitiated a first hand experience of Africa. Some of Africa’s oldest and most renowned reserves and parks are located within 100 km of Pongola. Sports enthusiasts are well catered for. Hunters are also tempted by the hunting prospects in the region. Historically the region is rich in Anglo, Zulu and Boer history, one can follow the footsteps of Shaka and his impis through the valley of Pongola, Magundu and Maputaland. The culture of the Zulu people is brilliantly represented in the variety of traditional baskets and other crafts made throughout the area. Cultural highlights such as handmade pottery, weaving of mats and wooden carving.

GENERAL INFORMATION

How to get there

Kosi Bay 220 km, Richards Bay 220 km, Sodwana Bay 180 km, St Lucia 178 km, Piet Retief 103 km

Average Temperatures – Summer Day 24°c – 40°c, Night 18°c – 24°c, Winter Day 20°c, Night 15°c

Banks - Absa (ATM), Boland (ATM), Fnb (ATM), Standard (ATM)

Dams – Paris, Pongola Poort (the 4th largest dam in the southern Africa)

Mountains – Lebombo, Ngotshe, Webershoogte

Rivers – Ncotshane, Pongola, Rietspruit, Sithilo

NATURE

Sodwana Bay National Park

14 km from Mbazwana and approximately 400 km from Durban. Widely regarded as one of the top five uner water diving spots in the world. Take note, no generators allowed, bring own braai units, malaria area.

Accommodation - Caravan Stands – 400, Tent Stands – 400, Rondavels – 20

Facilities in Park

Public telephone, community centre (can be hired for functions), trampoline, electricity, braai facilities, showers, toilets, washing up facilities, washing facilities, gas gacilkities.

Outdoors - Angling, boating, bird watching, hiking, scuba diving

ATTRACTIONS

Annual Events

Rooi Ivoor Skietbyeenkoms’ – May / June

Pongola Trade Show – (Participation of Quads and Offroad racing) – August

Annual Tiger Fishing Competition – October

Bill Fish 15 000 (Sodwana) – November

The ‘Main Manne’ Tournament (Sodwana) – November

 

ACTIVITIES

Fishing

The Pongolapoort Dam provides a challenging venue for fisherman, with the annual tiger fishing competition attracting anglers from all over the country. According to those in the know, this is the best venue for tiger fishing in South Africa.

Hunting (April – August)

Magudu is known as a mecca for hunters and there are many private game farms throughout the area.

Outdoors

Bird Watching, Boating, Game Viewing, Hand Gliding, Quandro Vehicles, Scuba Diving.

WHERE TO STAY

Pakamisa Paradise Hotel

Pakamisa Paradise Hotel, located in the centre of the Pondoro Game Reserve, is an intimate luxury retreat, with all the charm of a bygone era. Beautiful colonial Italo-Spanish inspired décor ensures utmost luxury in all suites. Each with deluxe bathroom, lounge, mini bar and veranda. The El Prado restaurant represents perfection in entertainment and fine dining. Swimming pool, game drives, horse riding, guided walks, clay pigeon shooting, bird watching etc. German, Spanish, Portuguese and French spoken


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