About Tzaneen Dam Nature Reserve

Fishing fundis describe Tzaneen Dam as 'quite simply the best place for carp fishing in Africa'. It is also well stocked with Florida strain largemouth bass,and you can bank on landing one in the three to four kilogram range. Smallmouth bass are also caught on occasion.

Did you know? The Tzaneen Dam forms part of the annual bass angling competition circuit, including the Tzaneen Bass Classic.

The dam, which used to be known as the Fanie Botha Dam, lies just outside the town of Tzaneen on the Groot Letaba River, surrounded by nature reserve. To reach some of the banks for fishing, you may find yourself venturing through fruit plantations, as the tropical weather is ideal for mangos, bananas and other fruit.

The dam is not just for anglers. Bird watchers, people who love water sports and being on the banks of a body of water for the day, make the dam a regular part of their leisure time. Birding around the dam is also virtually unequalled. Over 350 different bird species have been recorded on and around the water.

The area below the dam wall in particular is a good place for birds because of the interesting mix of habitats within a small area. Expect to see yellow warbler, red-collared widowbird and yellow bishops in the grassland, whilst the small bridge across the Letaba River below the sluice gates will give rise to African pied, red-faced cisticola black saw-wing and half-collared kingfisher.

In terms of wildlife, it is worth mentioning that there are hippos in the dam, and crocodiles are thought to swim in the shallow waters.

The best time of year to visit Tzaneen is in Spring, because of the amazing display of indigenous Wild Pear trees with thousands of angel-like white blossoms that dot all the roads around Tzaneen.

Need to Know

WhereTzaneen Dam Nature Reserve, Tzaneen, Capricorn Region, Limpopo, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Tzaneen Accommodation, Limpopo


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