Fishing Safari on the Zambezi

World class fishing safaris on the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

No trip to the Chobe is complete without trying your hand at a fishing safari. A stay on one of the three Chobe Princesses or at the tented Ichingo Chobe River Lodge means you’ll be able to experience some of the best fishing Africa has to offer. Hook a tiger fish, or one of the many bream species, African pike, tilapia, catfish or upper Zambezi yellowfish as you explore mile upon mile of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers.

Thanks to our unique location, we offer excellent fishing safaris all year round – from the annual floods starting in March to the feeding frenzies in the winter months. Our highly knowledgeable guides, the tackle and bait we supply as well as well stocked cooler boxes make fishing in Chobe and Zambezi rivers an experience to remember.

We offer both conventional equipment as well as flyfishing equipment for our fishing safaris, because we know that the area is renowned worldwide for its flyfishing. We supply rods, flies, lures, lines, leaders and reels, and all equipment is included in our rate.

Fishing calendar

October – December | Species: Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream | Technique: Flyfishing, spinning and drift fishing.

The end of October sees heavy rainfall in the main catchment area of the Zambezi River in western Zambia. During this time, the river rises slowly and fishing remains productive in the shallow, clear waters of Ichingo and flyfishing in the Chobe rapids will also yield great results. The local November rains increase oxygen levels in the water system, ensuring high fishing productivity with flyfishing and drift-bait fishing being really productive in the fast-flowing water. Brief afternoon December thundershowers provide relief from the hot, sunny climate and the river will begin to rise towards month end, overflowing into the low-lying floodplains and providing a fertile breeding ground for various smaller baitfish. With drift-baiting in the main channel’s stronger currents will reward you with excellent tigerfish opportunities.

January – May | Spicies: Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream. | Technique: Flyfishing, spinning, Drift fishing and Trolling.

In January, frequent thundershowers will increase water levels, while strong flows from Angola and northern Zambia begin to flood the Impalila area. Rivers become somewhat murky during this period, however, fishing with weighted jugs and spinner-baits in the clearer reed beds result in plenty of summer bream catches. Fishing opportunities abound in February, as water levels continue to rise significantly as waterways such as the Kasai become deeper, faster and have been known to change the direction of their flow. During March, while local rains begin to decrease, plenty of fishing opportunities remain in the higher water areas that were previously too shallow and rocky to navigate. Main channels are flowing fast, while back eddies and rapids provide thrilling results. As autumn sets in during April, temperatures begin to decline and the smaller channels and rapids still provide great fishing opportunities with the winter bream species, such Nembwe and Humpback largemouth bream, become more active in the deeper floodplain areas. The end of the rainy season arrives in May and the river begins to recede with baitfish emerging from the floodplains and head for the main channels where hunting tigerfish await in the deep, fast-flowing water adds to the feeding frenzy, while fly fishing and spinning promise impressive yields.

June – September | Species: Tigerfish, Catfish, Bream | Technique: Flyfishing and spinning

Beautiful weather makes June the perfect time to be out and about on the water as baitfish continue to stream into the main channels as the floodplains recede and predator fish stalk the waters to great effect with flyfishing and spinning yielding fantastic results. The river level continues to drop in July, revealing new areas of floodplain, however, the water remains deep with strong currents, and fishing conditions are still excellent, one needs to keep an eye out for sudden feeding frenzies. In August, the water level is significantly lower causing the floodplain to the west of Impalila Island to dry up and a multitude of minnows and barbus species are flushed into the Kasai channel providing a feast for hordes of catfish and this makes for fantastic fishing opportunities. Tigerfishing is also very productive in this time due to the feeding frenzies created by large numbers of barbel in the water. In September, flyfishing is at an all-time high as shallow, rocky areas with highly oxygenated waters near the Chobe rapids and lower Mambova channels are teeming with Tigerfish, catfish and bream species.

Note: All tiger fishing done with the Zambezi Queen Collection is strictly on a catch and release basis only.

Accommodation Choose to stay on board one of the Chobe Princesses houseboats or at Ichingo Chobe River Lodge, both of which offer smaller “tender” boats and greater flexibility when it comes to your itinerary. If you choose to stay on Zambezi Queen, we’ll do our best to accommodate a fishing trip wherever possible.

Contact Zambezi Queen Collection to experience this unique magic of a world class African fishing safari on the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers.

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related Articles