South Africa (Limpopo)
Tzaneen Dam is set in the tropical area of South Africa, surrounded by tea, banana and fruit plantations. Only an hour’s driving away from the Kruger National Park, this wilderness area incorporates the dam basin and a peninsula, with plenty of angling and fishing opportunities.
Previously known as Fanie Botha Dam, the lake is fed by the Letaba River, just outside the town of Tzaneen. To access the lake, a drive along several kilometres of tracks through dense mature eucalyptus forests is required. When you emerge from the forest, it was well worth the trip as the dam is fantastic to look at and just oozes big fish!
Stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass, the dam is a fixture on the tournament circuit being the venue for several competitions, including the annual Tzaneen Bass Classic held in June of each year.
This is also a favorite birding area with more than 350 bird species. Stay overnight at a picnic site or a caravan park and nature will treat you to magnificent copper bronze skies at sunset.
The surface area covers about 12 km2 at an elevation of 728 m. Boating is permitted in most areas, and there is an official slipway at the Aquatic Club.
The lake is home to some hippos and at least one fairly large crocodile, so swimming in shallow backwaters is not recommended. The hippos are not too aggressive but should still be avoided as they might just be having a bad day. Remember, in Africa, hippos have right of way.
Although access is restricted in many parts, bank angling is possible in many areas, a float tube or canoe would make some of the standing timber accessible. Watch out for hippos and crocs!
Location (23° 47′ 51″ S, 30° 9′ 55″ E)
View Tzaneen & Ebenezer Dams in a larger map
Stay overnight at Tzaneen Wildlife Camp where a picnic site or a caravan park and nature will treat you to magnificent copper bronze skies at sunset. Visitor’s facilities consist of caravan and camping sites with ablution facilities: 28 Stands, Barbeque Area, Parking.
Fairview Hotel & Village boasts various types of accommodation, hotel style units, suites and selfcatering chalets. These 40 units can sleep 80 people and are tastefully decorated in an Afro-colonial style. All rooms are supplied with all necessary amenities in bathrooms as well as a coffee and tea tray. DSTV is in all rooms and wireless internet can be accessed in public areas.
Located on a country farm near Tzaneen, at the foot of the Wolkberg mountains, Mashutti Country Lodge is surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of tropical gardens, abundance of fruit and nut trees, and lush vegetation. The great location of this Lodge offers ample opportunities to explore the nature reserves, hike in the mountains, visit local museums, or tour the coffee, tea, and cotton plantations. View the artefacts of pottery, beads, and pole carvings found at the nearby Tzaneen Dam, go fly fishing on a local river, and feed a crocodile at the Agatha Crocodile Ranch. This Country Lodge offers 40 standard double rooms along with 4 suites, all finished with hand crafted mahogany. Two swimming pools located in the midst of lush, tropical gardens where you can float in paradise while admiring a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains. A warm and inviting lounge area is ideal for reading a book, relaxing with a drink from the bar, or playing a board game. Watch some television in the TV lounge before heading over to the restaurant for an a la carte meal in the dining room with magnificent views.