When it comes to Lake Jozini, you want less Jozini and more lake. That’s where the lodges on the southern shore come in – they’re far from the urban cacophony of the eponymous town, but close enough to quieter Mkuze if you need to stock up. Jozini is actually a dam (official name Pongolapoort Dam) and the water level is low at the moment due to the countrywide drought. As a result, the houseboats and fishing boats have had to change their routine courses to avoid getting stuck in the mud.
But the tiger fish are still out there, says Jean Toucher from GHOST MOUNTAIN INN, adding that the best time to drop a line is during the warmer months from September onwards. There are several charter services. Jean’s advice is to check whether your chosen operator charges an hourly rate, and then to ask what this rate includes to avoid paying hidden costs. At Ghost Mountain Inn, a half-day tigerfishing package costs R685 per person (minimum four people); full day R915 per person. These rates include a boat with a skipper, fuel, bait, rods, tackle and drinking water. Bring any other drinks and food. Besides tigers, you can also expect to catch tilapia, catfish, mud fish and carp.
After a day spent on the water, you’re going to want to get into it. If you stay at UMZIKI CHALETS you can do just that: sliding and screaming down a 58m-high supertube. Watch the sunset from a deckchair on the jetty at Ghost Mountain Inn before heading around the corner to the MKUZE COUNTRY CLUB for a generous meal. Try the rump, egg, chips and onion rings (R100) or the bacon and feta pizza (R85). You’ll need a doggie bag.
GHOST MOUNTAIN INN – A decadent country hotel in the heart of Zulu land. Stay here if you feel like a break from dust and cold showers. There are a variety of rooms, a spa, lush gardens, swimming pools and a fine dining restaurant. Safaris and other outings can be arranged.
UMZIKI CHALETS – Warthogs roam between the self-catering chalets that sleep two to four. Chalets have basic kitchenettes, but there’s a well-stocked communal kitchen too, as well as a boma and that waterslide.
NKONKONI FISHING CAMP – Safari tents and self-catering chalets near the water’s edge, surrounded by bush. Watch animals and birds from the two on-site hides. Manager Lee Rodrigues can put you in touch with local fishing operators. Rates: Each safari tent sleeps up to seven and costs R300 per night plus R230 per person. Chalets from R500 per adult sharing; half-price for children under 12.