KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsLake Phobane
KwaZulu-Natal is abuzz with incredible natural sights and attractions, offering visitors from all over the world an amazing variety of things to do and see. Just outside Eshowe (the oldest European town in Zululand) is the magnificent Lake Phobane. This used to be known as the Goedertrouw Dam, and is acclaimed for its massive scale. In fact, it is the second-largest lake in the province, and is fed by seven rivers.
Having been constructed almost 30 years ago, Lake Phobane is 14 kilometres long and accommodates about 300 million cubic metres of water. It is idyllically situated in the Umhlatuze Valley, surrounded by the breath-taking Mabelebele Mountain Range, which both make for stunning backdrops. The local vegetation ranges from acacia trees and mountain flora to riverine forest and mixed woodlands, ensuring absolutely beautiful vistas and unforgettable photo opportunities.
The varied vegetation also means that Lake Phobane and its surrounds are ideal habitats for a number of different animal species. Birding enthusiasts will be astounded at the sheer magnitude of the local bird population. These include the long-tailed paradise whydah, green-winged pytilia, blue-cheeked bee-eater, southern boubou, brown-crowned tchagra, yellow-breasted apalis, red-fronted tinkerbird, red-billed firefinch, and kurrichane thrush. Seven different kingfisher species can also be found here; as well as owls, ducks and ospreys. Taking a boat out on the dam with a good pair of binoculars is a fantastic and rewarding way for avian fans to spend an afternoon.
The southern portion of the dam is known as the Umhlatuze Community Conservation Area and is home to impala, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and even the shy leopard.
With this abundance, Lake Phobane is the perfect retreat for hikers, canoeists, cyclists and those who simply love the splendour of the African countryside and its wildlife. Those wanting to experience the Zulu culture in a more hands-on way will likely enjoy visiting the nearby Shakaland Cultural Village.