The Bivane Dam is located on the R69 between Pongola and Vryheid. Built on the Bivane River, the dam covers an area of 700 hectares.
Well known for its variety of outdoor activities and water sports, the area has hosted several angling events each year, as well as the annual Ithala Challenge Canoe Marathon. For canoeing enthusiats, the turbulent waters on the river below the dam is perfect. Quad biking, 4 x 4 trailing, hiking, mountain biking and bird watching are becoming increasingly popular as well.
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Four By Four Trails
Louwsburg (29.2 km from Bivane)
Ithala Game Reserve 4x4 Trails is not well-known for 4x4ing but unknown to many, they offer two trails. The Bivane Trail offers more of a challenge and requires a low range vehicle. This trail has easy stream crossings. The Nce Nce Trail is a more scenic route with a bit more emphasis on game viewing. A 4x2 vehicle can be used on this trail. High clearance vehicles are required for both. The trails are 18 km and 34 km and take about 4 to 6 hours to complete. The difficulty grading is from 2 to 4. Please call for further information.
Louwsburg (31 km from Bivane)
Offering four of the Big Five, prolific birdlife and spectacular mountain scenery, Ithala Game Reserve is definitely worth a visit. The park is run by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and features self-guided walking and auto trails, picnic sites, braai facilities, a shop and the award-winning Ntshondwe Camp.
Elephant, giraffe, buffalo, white and black rhino can easily be seen in Ithala. Other wildlife to spot includes zebra, mountain reedbuck, blue wildebeest, tsessebe, eland, red hartebeest and smaller antelope. A fantastic way to see the birds, plants and animals is to go on a self-guided walk on any of the routes through the wooded mountainside above Ntshondwe Camp.
Ithala is also renowned as the setting for many historic events, including the reign of Shaka, his successive Zulu kings and early gold mining enterprises. Stone Age spears and axe heads dating back 20 000 years have been found here. There is also evidence of a thriving iron industry dating back a few hundred years with numerous smelting sites situated adjacent to deposits of banded ironstone.
Four By Four Trails
Vryheid (61.2 km from Bivane)
Thangami 4x4 Trail is located within the rocky and mountainous area in between Vryheid, Nongoma and Ulundi. The trails are from 8 to 20 km long and graded between 2 and 3. There is no time limit on these trails. 4x4 And 2x4 vehicles can be used, as well as being able to self-drive or have a guide show you the routes. Low range is required and high clearance. The trails can be attempted all year round.
Phongolo Game Reserve (92 km from Bivane)
Stretching from the Lebombo Mountains down across the Phongolopoort Dam, Phongolo Game Reserve has much to offer visitors.
From a conservation perspective, the reserve contains a large number of special ecosystems and habitats with the unique Golela veld providing an important breeding habitat for rare Suni antelope. Other habitats are the species-rich Lobombo Mountain forests and the Themeda grassveld scattered with knobthorn and maroela trees.
Phongolo Game Reserve is home to over 300 bird species and a range of plains game including white rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala, nyala, warthog, waterbuck, common and mountain reedbuck and zebra.
The dam has large families of hippos, crocodiles as well as numerous fish species. One of these is the tiger fish, a highly desirable catch at fishing competitions taking place here throughout the year. Facilities offer two boat launch sites, a campsite with cold showers, flush toilets and an adjacent picnic site for day trippers.
Phongolo Game Reserve lies within a malaria area and visitors are advised to take precautions. Swimming is prohibited in the dam because of crocodiles and hippos.
+27 (0) 34 435 1012
Gate Entry Times:
Summer 05:00 – 19:00
Winter 06:00 – 18:00.