‘FULL ON FISHING FOR ZAMBEZI AND CHOBE
PREDATORS. THESE LODGES ARE MAIN-STREAM FISHING CAMPS FOR THE AVID ANGLER
Africa-Angler.com is proud to introduce our fishing and safari trip at Sekoma and Ilombe Island Lodges. On the banks of the Zambezi, close to the confluence with the Chobe, lie Sekoma and Ilombe Island Lodges. A "Robinson Crusoe" island, it teems with indigenous fauna and abundant flora and boasts more than 70 different fish species. The waters surrounding Sekoma Island are only navigable by mokoro (dugout boat) except the northern point area which has been converted into the Lodge's harbour and clients, therefore, have total exclusivity. This is a real getaway trip for the hardcore angler. At Sekoma there are 8 twin and 2 four sleeper tented suites. Ilombe has 5 twin tents and each can be easily converted in to one queen-size double or two singles. All ‘Safari-style’ tents have twin beds, en-suite bathroom facilities and are raised on wooden decking, each with their own breathtaking view of the Zambezi River. At Sekoma, there is a main Boma (Place of Fire), where sometimes guests dine under the stars alongside the river. At night whilst eating dinner or having a drink around the fire, the atmosphere is echoed by owls calling and hippos doing their grunting and snorting. The Boma also has a fully stocked bar and there is a second fireplace close to the communal area where guests can sit around in the winter, warming their hands while waiting to start the day’s fishing. Ilombe has a spacious communal/dining area, lounge and wooden deck with built-in fire place, that extends out to Zambezi River. In the communal area we have a fully stocked bar and wicker sofas to relax on. Breakfasts are served from 5.30am onwards, but a packed breakfast can be arranged to take with you on the boats. Lunch and dinner are served in the communal area or around the Boma/Braai pit in the evenings
THE FISHING Each boat will have its own guide and a cooler box stocked with cold drinks. Boats normally leave the lodge around 5.30-6.00am, but you can arrange specific times with your guide to suit your needs. The hottest hours of the day are between midday and 2pm-3pm, so anglers are encouraged to rest at that time, especially during the sweltering months of September and October. Boats will leave again from 3pm onwards and stay on the water until sun down. From the lodges there is a mouth-watering choice of fishing in the Zambezi and Chobe rivers as well as the Kasai channel, providing a range of fishing opportunities. Sekoma Lodge operates from the Zambian side of the Mambova Rapids on a stretch of river that experiences an annual flood. This flood brings growth and replenishment to the system. Every year the Chobe and Zambezi floods onto its many floodplains, creating self-sustaining stocking. It is an ideal venue for the adventurous angler, whether a conventional lure or fly angler. Tiger fish, large tilapia, colourful bream species, catfish and African pike can be caught here. The hard-fighting tiger fish, which is world renowned for its fierce, acrobatic fight, has earned the reputation of being one of the worldâ€™s toughest freshwater fish. Techniques vary, with fly and lure fishing being the predominant methods used. The largemouth bream and tilapia species, namely the Nembwe, Thinface largemouth, Humpback largemouth as well as Three Spot and Redbreast tilapia take artificials and flies readily. Anglers can also probe the lesser visited backwaters and lily-padded lagoons in search of the many vegetarian species of bream, like Greenhead tilapia and Pink happies. Sharptooth Catfish can also surprise the lure and fly fisherman! Tigers are caught mainly by fly and lure fishing, but in April when the river is higher and often coloured, bait fishing with circle hooks and fish baits work really well. Fishing on the main river is with either fibre-glass bass boats or spacious aluminium boats. Sekoma and Ilombe have eight boats in their fleet which are powered by 55hp motors. Boats can take two fly anglers or three or four lure anglers at any time. In the low water season, from mid-September onwards through to December, anglers are able to access the untouched rapids and riffles around the island with canoes as well as the main river - a definite must.
TACKLE TALK We suggest the following gear for Sekoma and Ilombe Fishing/Safari trips: RODS AND REELS 2 x Medium-M/Heavy 6’6”-7’6” bait casting or spinning rods with bait casting or spinning reels with capacity of min. 120m of 50-60lb braid. These outfits will handle casting and using medium surface lures like Spooks and subsurface lures like minnowbaits, jerk baits and also for deep-jigging and deep-diving lures in the pools. 1 x Medium or Medium/Light 6’6”-7’6” spinning rod matched spinning reel with capacity for min.120m of 20-30lb braid. This much lighter outfit will give your arms and wrists a rest and will allow you to easily use jigs and smaller minnowbaits. For fly fishermen, 7-9 wt fly rods should be matched with good, smooth drag system reels and loaded with a tropical, fast-sinking 200-300 grain, a tropical intermediate and a tropical floating fly lines, all with at least 100m of 30lb backing. Leaders are 1.5m-2m of 20-30lb straight nylon tied to a short piano wire trace and directly to the fly line. We advise a good pair of stripping gloves unless you want another lifeline burnt into your palm!! *Always bring spare line and a multi-tool.
LURES FOR TIGER FISH AND OTHER ZAMBEZI PREDATORS 5-6 x medium Spooks, Skitter Walks and other small-medium cigar-shaped stick baits can used with a walk-the-dog, side to side, swishing action that ‘sways’ the lure like a snake across the water. This is a lure to be used when big Tigers are being really aggressive crashing on the surface. Change out the hooks with a 3/0 single wide-gap hook in the middle and a 6/0 one on a swivel and extra split ring on the back for better hook-ups. 2-3 x small Poppers can also work well and if used properly, they catch a good number of big fish. They should spit and gurgle and spray water in front, or pop. The best we have found is the Skitter Pop or the Chug Bug skimmed along the surface or quickly popped. 6-8 x small Minnow baits and crank baits will always work well in most situations and our choices are shallow running 4-6” Rapala X Raps, X Rap Sub Walk, Rattle Traps, Cotton Cordell Redfins and Yozuri Crystal minnows and Tobimarus. 4-5 x deeper diving lures like the small-medium Tail Dancers and X Raps can be cast out and worked in the deeper pools and drop-offs. Great lures for bigger fish in the depths, like below cascades and rapides. 4-5 x 16-22g Effzett single and double Copper Spoons and other bright spoons will sometimes catch more fish than plastic lures and flies. Work areas thoroughly with these lures at various depths until you find where they are. Great prospecting lures for all sizes of fish. 5-10 x ½ - 5/8oz bucktail jigs. Red/Black, Orange/Black, Firetiger and Red/Yellow are the best colours. These are works like a jerkbait, ripped and not jigged vertically up or down. Cast to all likely structure and fast water channels and sand bars and also to the margins for Nembwe and other predators. *Sometimes it’s worth changing out hooks to singles at it can improve hook-up rates. Tiger fish has such bony mouths and singles can often catch more fish.
FLIES Normally anglers will use 7-9 Wt fly rods with interchangeable reels of floating, intermediate and fast-sinking, 20-30lb straight mono leader, a thin 6” wire leader and a shiny streamer fly. Tigers are everywhere in the system but love fast water, cascades, ends of rapids etc. and the glides below. Cast to rocks and structure and fast strip your fly back to the boat. Tigers are angler-friendly in that they will not head straight for structure when hooked, but instead make blistering runs and jump all over the river in a real acrobatic show. Nembwe, tilapia, bream and sharptooth cats will attack smaller flies and lures also in many of the same situations you will find tigers in. Fly patterns for Tigers and other Zambezi predators, in general, are either tied in 3-5” long-profile streamer flies with lots of flash in Deceiver, Clousers and other streamer patterns, with and without weighted eyes or even popper-type surface flies that provide plenty of noise and action on the surface Usually a fast strip is used on streamer flies and a series of gentle, constant ‘spits’ for surface flies. Don’t waste too much time on too elaborate fly patterns as they will get destroyed quickly, especially by smaller fish!! Go simple!
Wildlife viewing and birding can be done from open while fishing. There is such an abundance of wildlife in the region and with Kudu, Water Buck, Buffalo, Elephant, Hippos, Gazelle, the list goes on and on …………..
Within the river itself, there are numerous pods of hippos seemingly around every bend and there are crocodiles to add to the unending display of profuse wildlife that this region offers. In the dry season (June to November), many elephant can be viewed at the water’s edge.
The birdlife is incredible and it’s a birder’s and photographer’s dream world here.
CLOTHES We recommend clients follow the list of items below to keep it simple and as lightweight as possible. Laundry is done daily, so only one or two changes of clothes are needed at camp. Clothes here in general are shorts or long pants, a shirt, a fleece in cooler weather and a hat!! One change of clothes can be used for travelling. For travelling: 1 x pair lightweight shoes, socks, underwear, light jacket, 1 x light shirt and long cargo pants with pockets for documents, money, passport etc. This outfit can also serve as fishing clothes to save on additional weight.
For fishing and safari: 1 x wide brimmed hat or fishing cap with neck cape, 2 x lightweight shorts or long pants (zip-offâ€™s are a good idea and can also be used as travel pants), 2 x lightweight, long or short-sleeved shirts with pockets (can also be used as travel shirt), 1 x pair of either CROCS, sandals or similar comfortable boat shoes, 1 x fleece, 1 x lightweight rain suit/jacket and 2 x pairs of polarised sunglasses (in case you lose one pair), 1 x pair light safari/trekking shoes.
OTHER RECOMMENDED GEAR It gets hot out there in the full sun, often over 90áľ’C, so come well protected with good-quality sun-block with at least 50-75 SPF. Lip cream is essential. We fish in areas that have mosquito and other insect activity, so bring a high DEET content insect repellent just in case. Bring any personal medications and allow for headaches, stomach upsets, fevers, infections, allergies etc. And also personal toiletries, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, shaving gear etc. A small amount of talcum powder is a good asset in the jungle for those hidden, sweaty areas! Binoculars Reading books/magazines/Kindle, pen and paper for notes. Small torch/headlight and spare batteries Camera(s), interchangeable lenses, batteries etc. Multi-tool Boga Grip or similar fish holding/weighing device. Remember, theyâ€™ve all got teeth!!!!
TRANSFERS, SCHEDULES AND COSTS Day 1: Arrive at your accommodation at approx. 1/2pm in the afternoon. Depart for an afternoon activity, either fishing for the evening or go on a game cruise on the river. Day 2 Onwards: Fishing every day, starting from 5.30/6am each morning. Arrange times with your private guides throughout the day and choose which parts of the river you wish to fish. Final Day: Depart lodge in the morning by boat to the Zambian or Botswana land borders. Transfer to your departure airport or next onward destination. SEKOME LODGE $285 pppn, (children under 12 $143 pppn) ILOMBE LODGE $275 pppn (children under 12 $138 pppn) RETURN TRANSFER FROM KASANE AIRPORT $40 pp RETURN TRANSFER FROM LIVINGSTONE AIRPORT $80 pp EXAMPLE TRIP: SEKOME LODGE 6 nights 5+ days fishing ……. $1710 pp ILOMBE LODGE 6 nights 5+ days fishing ……. $1650 pp * All costs above will be increased by Zambian law by 16% VAT (Value Added Tax). **All prices based on min. 2 persons sharing and are the same rates charged all year round. They are stated as a guide and may be subject to currency changes. Please inquire for dates you are interested in. Included: Accommodation, all meals and bottled water, return boat transfers between immigration posts/airports, all activities such as game viewing by boat, guided walks on the island, birding, fishing and park fees. Not included: Soft drinks, local beers, and house wines (Cash bar available), international airfares to and from Kasane or Livingstone Airports, tipping, passports, visas, meals other than in camp, costs associated with medical advice and medications for your trip, lures, fishing tackle etc. (tackle can be hired). A 50% deposit is required to reserve places when booking. The remaining 50% payment is due 90 days before arrival in Botswana/Zambia. Please note: yellow fever injections - recently it has become a requirement for people entering zambia to have a valid yellow fever certicate. This must be obtained before departing for zambia or you will not be allowed to board the plane. The innoculation is valid for 10 years
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