Kwanza Lodge: An Angolan fishing paradise

As passionate anglers, most of us dream of waking up at some extraordinary fishing destination every day.

As passionate anglers, most of us dream of waking up at some extraordinary fishing destination every day. For me, that dream came true when I was offered a position to manage fishing charters at Kwanza Lodge in Angola. Since my first visit at Kwanza, I was addicted to the beauty, calmness and absolutely mind blowing fish. I have been at Kwanza for 2 years, managing charters, guiding and operating the newly opened fishing lodge.

Kwanza Lodge is situated 70km south of the capital city, Luanda. The main lodge consists of 18 wooden cabins, a 120 seater restaurant, a pool area, braai area, conference room and entertainment area for kids. The fishing lodge is made up of 7 sea-facing bungalows, a 5 bedroom house on the beach and 4 smaller low cost bungalows, also on the beach. There is a swimming pool and a small restaurant / bar area and Wi-Fi is available in all the rooms. Kwanza lodge has 5 fishing boats, a river cruise boat and pretty soon the entertainment boat will be ready to host events and parties.

Like any fishing destination, conditions determine the activity of various species, but I have been fortunate to learn about and experience the absolutely amazing fishing Angola has to offer. In the rainy summer months, the mighty river flows strongly into sea, creating the perfect feeding ground for big Atlantic Tarpon. These predators are perfectly adapted for lurking in the brown water, patiently waiting to ambush their pray. They are inquisitive by nature and like to swim up close to the boat. If you can get a bait out quick enough, this beast is often instantly there to take it.

On slower days, Tarpon fishing requires a little patience but other species like Barracudas, Crevalle jack and Tripple tail often also take advantage of a meal on display. Debris washed down the river are taken offshore by the currents which also provides a hiding place for smaller bait fish and a perfect hunting ground for offshore pelagics like the Atlantic Blue Marlin, Atlantic Sailfish and the feisty Dorado, also known as the chicken of the sea. A gigantic Marlin in strike mode stealing a Dorado being reeled in by an angler is not a rare sight.

As the seasons change and the river flow decreases, the summer species move on to new feeding grounds and the winter fish take their place. Giant African Threadfin come into the river, scanning the river beds for mullet, prawns and other baitfish. They are easily fooled by a paddle tail or other plastic bait bounced of the bottom. They are aggressive feeders and definitely put up a worthy fight but they seem to have a canny ability to outsmart fishermen too. The Jacks and Barracudas also enter the river mouth and rarely swim past a surface lure on display. The Barracudas are known to put up a majestic show when they jump completely out of the water and the Jacks will often leave their opponents quite surprised by their strength. The veracious Cubera Snapper also patrols the river banks, always on alert. These beasts put up a decent fight and like to attack their bait with pure brutality.

On the inshore reefs the Indian Mirror Fish, Corvina and Pungo also lay in wait. Neither one of these will hesitate to attack a lure and prove their stamina. At the deeper offshore canyons, Amberjack and other deep-water reef species can be targeted by vertical jigging and will definitely put an anglers endurance to the test.

I hope to share this amazing experience with many enthusiastic sport fishermen in future. Kwanza has helped me tick off many bucket list fish and I am definitely looking forward to exploring other destinations to tick off the rest of my list. Hopefully the illusive White musselcracker and famous Rooster fish will one-day be part of my memories.

Share this article

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

Related Articles