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Jozini Dam
The Jozini Dam (previously known as the Pongolapoort Dam) is built on the Pongola River was completed in 1974 and covers an area of 17 000 hectares. The dam wall is 70m high and is built across the Pongola River gorge at the town of Jozini. The dam was originally built to supply water to local farmers on the Makatini flats for the cultivation of crops such as sugar cane, maize and cotton.
Jozini Dam is situated in a beautiful part of Northern KwaZulu-Natal on the western side of the Lebombo mountain range in an area characterized by KZN bushveld, wildlife and subtropical weather. The Jozini Dam is surrounded by private and provincial game reserves which have healthy populations of animals and birds. Jozini is now a protected breeding area for a host of water birds, mammals and fish such as the Tiger Fish.
There are 27 species of fish in the Jozini Dam, the most prevalent being the Tiger Fish, Tilapia Mossambicus (kurper), Barbel, Yellowfish and Carp. Only the carp is exotic. The Jozini Dam is at the most southern range of the African Tiger Fish, and with so much space, food and warm water, the tiger fish populations have grown to the point where Jozini is now one of the most popular fishing destinations in South Africa, with catches of tiger fish comparable to places such as Lake Kariba and the Zambezi River.