Watch the river bottom slip seamlessly by as you glide downstream the Pongola River. With water as clear and smooth as molten glass, giant Sycamore Figs and white sandbanks, one feels like an early explorer paddling down unchartered waters. Whether it's the reel screeching take of a Tiger on fly, or that glimpse of a shy African Finfoot that you after – a canoe safari down the Pongola River holds much promise.
Our Canoe Safari's start from where the Pongola River exits Lake Jozini and can be offered as a half or full daytrip, or a novel transfer option to get to our secluded river camp. Groups can paddle for up to four days – venturing down to a remote pan, which will set birders a-twitch.
All canoe trips are expertly guided by our river and flyfishing guide. Furthermore, if you wish to free your hands to cast a line or have your bino's close at hand, then we'll arrange for paddlers to keep you in those eddies or headed downstream, whilst you get to do the things that interest you most!
TRAIL - AT A GLANCE
|Trip Duration||Half & Full Day Daytrips OR 2 - 4 Day Safaris|
|Daily Distances||7 -12km: for daytrips|
Up to 30km on multiday trips
|Physical Fitness||Grade 1-2: no previous canoe experience required but moderate fitness required.|
|Technicality||Grade 1: some riffle water but no serious rapids|
|Trail Location & Terrain||Our tented camp is situated approximately 12km downstream the Pongola River after it exits Jozini dam. Just 60km south of the Mozambique border in northern Kwazulu-Natal (Maputaland) - the area has a distinctly tropical feel. Nearest town is Jozini.|
|Accommodation||Tented river camp which is charmingly 'rustic'. Nestled under the canopy of giant Sycamore's, the camp consists of 10 mobile tents - sleeping 1 or 2 persons each. Camping stretchers & mattresses are provided and hot water bucket showers are prepared for you. Meals are served under the stars or on the sandbank in front of camp. This is camping the old fashioned way, but with friendly hands to take the 'schlep' out of it.
On the multi-day canoe safaris - a land vehicle will support the tour, setting up mobile tented camps on the riverbanks along the way.
|Logistic Support||Our standard canoe safaris are fully-catered, guided and vehicle supported. However, self-catered options can also be offered. The rivercraft provided are inflatable 2, 3 & 4 man crocs (very stable) and all equipment such as life-jackets and paddles are provided.||Tour Highlights||Prolific birdlife including a number of specials (Black Coucal, African Finfooot, Pels Fishing Owl,Narina Trogon & southern Banded Snake Eagle), catching a hard-fighting Tiger Fish on lightweight fly-fishing tackle, tying your own flies with the help of seasoned guide, green pigeons feeding on Sycamore figs, Menze's cheese and olive 'roosterbrood' (baked on coals), starry nights, lazing on a hammock reading a book. Nothing but the calls of a nightjar to disturb your sleep.|
|Other Activities||Flyfishing, fly-tying, interpretive game walks, excellent birding, wilderness experience.|
|Fauna & Flora||The Pongola River has lush riparian vegetation – Ancient Sycamore Figs, Acacias and Waterberries line the banks. Abundant bird and fish life (Tiger Fish & 50 other species of fish found in the Pongola River).|
|Climate||A warm tropical climate with sunshine almost every day of the year. During the hotter summer months (Nov – Mar), you can expect avg temps of around 30 deg C, and in the high twenties in the cooler months from May to September. The rainy season is from December to April, but rain usually occurs in the form of short brief downpours, after which the sun comes out again.|
|Seasonality & Best Time Year||Due to cooler daily temps and less rainfall, the best time to do this tour is between March and November, but it can done all year round.|
|Group Size||Minimum 2 people - preferred maximum 8-10 persons.|
|Price / PP||Dependent on tour option & group size, but indicative costing on a group of 4 persons:|
Half-day River Trip - incl snack & end-point transfer: R300/pp
Full-day River Trip - incl lunch & end-point transfer: R500/pp
Special Interest Packages:
Flyfishermen: R850/pp/day-night : includes accom, meals, & boats with paddler. Extra fees: Fishing Guide – R500/group/per day. Fishing Conservation Fee: R150/pp
Birders: R750/pp/day-night: incl acccom, meals & boats with paddler Specialist Bird Guide: R350/per day. Conservation Fee: R100/pp
Tented Camp – Accom Only:
Fully catered: R450/pp/pd :3 meals provided
Self-catered: R250/pp/pd: self-catering facilities provided
Compulsory Conservation Fee: R100/pp (regardless of no of days)