Fishing in Zululand

The coastline of Zululand stretches northwards from the Dolphin Coast (at the mouth of the Thukela River), all the way to Richard’s Bay. It is laced by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and is a wonderland of prime opportunities for keen anglers and deep-sea fishermen. This part of KwaZulu-Natal is not only spectacularly beautiful, but is also a great getaway for outdoor enthusiasts.

What makes Zululand so unique in terms of its fishing is that it has a variety of different spots and styles – these range from tranquil lakes and lagoons to rushing rivers and the turbulent tossing of the deep sea.

Eshowe is the main area in which freshwater fishing is a hit. It comprises the Eshlazi Dam, the Rutledge Park Dam, and Lake Phobane.

Lake Phobane is excellent for bass fishing. Once known as Goedertrouw Dam, Phobane is the spot of choice for accomplished bass anglers and beginners alike. The large-mouth bass are usually over three kilograms and this is the only lake in the province with pure Florida-strain bass. Measuring an incredible 14 kilometres, this lake is also home to barbell and tilapia, which make for delicious eating; amongst dozens of other species.

The Amatikulu River is fabulous for catching a variety of shark and skate species, as well as shad (elf), river snapper, kob, grunter, gurnard, and perch. Importantly, the well-known tripletail can also be found in these waters. Beware of strong currents, even when wading in these waters. This is a quiet spot, surrounded by dunes – the perfect place to escape the maddening crowds of the big city.

Umlalazi Lagoon is within the Umlalazi Nature Reserve and is surrounded by mangrove forests and stunning hiking trails. The estuary is often teeming with juvenile fish and the mullet come to the surface, making for a great display. This is a fantastic spot for a family camping weekend. Water sports like stand-up paddling, kite-surfing, wind-surfing, swimming, canoeing and boating can all be enjoyed at this scenic destination.

The ocean is, of course, the site of the most exciting fishing. Deep-sea fishing takes this pastime to new heights as anglers head out on an ocean adventure, determined to land their big catch. The summer time extends officially from December to February in South Africa, but KwaZulu-Natal tends to stay warm far beyond these parameters. During the summer, fishermen can look forward to catching dorado, bonito, barracuda, yellowfin tuna (which put up quite a fight), kingfish, and queen fish in the deeper waters. The rock cod, grunter, snapper, and lantern fish are reef fish, and also make for awesome catches.

This is the only place in South Africa where tropical fish can be found in the wild. These lure some of the finest anglers in the country to put their skills to the test along this stretch of the coastline. Black and striped marlin are common, as are Pacific sailfish and king mackerel. Sometimes, anglers will even reel in a beautiful blue marlin. Other species here include dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, queen mackerel, and bonito.

KwaZulu-Natal and, particularly, Zululand are fantastic destinations for travellers and visitors that want to get out of the city, retreat from its vibe, and relax on the water.

Zululand Cultural Attractions

Zululand enjoys a rich history, punctuated by the legends of powerful Zulu kings and warriors, battling against the armed colonial and Boer settlers. Battlefields pepper the landscapes as testimony to the wars behind what is, today, a vibrant, cultural destination. Monuments stand tall in honour of those that fought so hard for this land, and cultural villages can be found throughout the borders of Zululand, inviting visitors to experience the true African spirit.

These attractions are just some of those that speak of the culture and heritage of KwaZulu-Natal and Zululand:


This route showcases a number of the little historical towns between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal that may otherwise have gone below the radar. Paulpietersberg was significant in the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars, and boasts many relics of yesteryear. Vryheid has three museums, battlefields, and plenty of Zulu arts and crafts. Ulundi is home to the Valley of the Kings, Cetshwayo’s kraal and Piet Retief’s grave. Melmoth was one of the towns of the gold rush, while Carolina was part of the wagon route between Johannesburg and the gold fields (Kaap Valley). These are just some of the little gems along the Rainbow Route, making it a really stunning cultural treat.


Immerse yourself in the customs, traditions and everyday life of the local Zulu folk when you visit the DumaZulu Traditional Village in Hluhluwe. A visit includes tasting traditional Zulu beer and a hearty lunch, watching song and dance performances, meeting the locals, and getting to see what an average day in an African village is all about. Curios, arts and crafts are on sale, which uplifts the local community as they can sell their creations to their visitors.


The artistic expression of the history and heritage of a place is intriguing. It is personal and completely subjective. This allows both the artist and the person enjoying the piece to see the culture being portrayed in their own unique light and perspective. The Empangeni Arts and Cultural History Museum combines the modern works of up-and-coming Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal artists with a collection of pieces that speak of the traditional and historical identity behind contemporary culture. The exhibitions are dynamic; a must for art enthusiasts.


This KwaZulu-Natal route is excellent for families and individuals that want to experience the wonder and magnitude of the wars amongst the British, Zulu and Boer people. This route includes 82 battlefields, forts, museums, and other places of remembrance; scattered throughout the KwaZulu Natal province. As an added bonus, these battlefields and related attractions are near to a host of game reserves, lodges, guesthouses, B&B’s, and towns.


This project focuses more on the modern culture of Zululand. It was started to give rural children that are affected by HIV / AIDS assistance. The aim is to give each child a sense of community, family, and a home; rather than to institutionalise them. It is based in Eshowe and a visit here can include a trip to the upliftment project to get a real taste of the positive work being done in these communities.

Zululand is a place of extraordinary variety and a deep sense of culture and heritage. It is fantastic to see with friends and family and is guaranteed to leave lasting memories.