A Limpopo man has died following an attack by a hippo, the provincial health department said on Tuesday.

"The man was fishing on Friday afternoon when the hippo attacked him," spokesperson Macks Lesufi said.

"When he was rescued, he was badly injured."

Dashi Makhuvele fought tooth and nail with the large animal when it attacked him at Makuleke dam while fishing.

Following his ordeal, the 34-year-old man survived to tell the tale but due to the nature of his injuries he died in hospital on Sunday.

The Daily Sun reportedly spoke to him while in hospital and he told the paper that during his scuffle with the hippo it bit him on the hip and groin.

"I knew my life was in danger and I fought the hippo like a warrior. I beat the beast repeatedly in the eyes with my fists. It let go of me but it had ripped open some of the flesh on my hip and groin. Somehow I managed to get to dry ground," he said.

Makhuvele was spotted by a friend who called an ambulance and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

Source: South African Press Association