â€˜FANTASTIC COMBINATION TIGER FISHING/WILDLIFE SAFARI ROLLED INTO ONE, WITH LUXURY AND COMFORT PAR EXCELLANCEâ€™ ............. Africa-Angler.com is proud to introduce our amazing fishing and safari trip at Ichingo Lodge and Ichobezi Houseboat. Located on the banks of Impalila Island and only accessible by boat, Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is a secluded, luxury hideaway that provides the perfect platform for those wanting to explore the Chobe/Victoria Falls region and to experience all of the activities that are available in this diverse corner of Africa. This beautiful tented lodge and houseboat trip guarantees a tailor-made holiday for every guest. Guests can choose between the Lodge, the houseboat or a mixture of the two for a really varied experience. Both operations are owner managed. The lodge is only accessible by boat and provides excellent levels of service as well as the added value of your own private guide and tender boat for the duration of your stay. This allows you the freedom to explore the rivers and waterways on your own and it means that whichever activity you choose for the day will be done at your own pace. Accommodation at the lodge is provided in 8 well-appointed Meru safari tents with private balconies and en-suite bathrooms and the lodge is built beneath a riverine forest alive with a large amount of bird species. There is also a small pool for those sweltering days. There is a large dining area and lounge for anglers to relax in when they are not on the water. The Braai area on the sand is ideal for an evening get together at dinner. Our Ichobezi Houseboat can travel miles in a day to provide the angler and game-viewer with as much or as little activity as required! Chill out in our sauna, sunbathe on the deck with a cool one, or head out fishing for big tiger fish and nembwe bream with animals all around you. The houseboats are fully equipped with double or twin rooms, en-suite bathrooms and fans in each room. There is a Jacuzzi on board and a large dining room and lounge area. Your view? Somewhere on the spectacular Chobe River.
THE FISHING From the deep, wide upper Zambezi and the meandering Chobe River, whether using conventional or fly-fishing methods, there is something for everyone - beginner and experienced angler alike. While the undoubted champion of the area is the tiger fish, which grows to 20lbs in these waters, we also have Nembwe or Yellow Belly Bream, Redbreast Tilapia, Threespot Tilapia, Greenhead Tilapia, Pink Bream/Pink Happy, Green Bream/Green Happy, Thinface Largemouth, Humpback Largemouth and the Sharp Tooth Catfish. The annual rains in Decemver/January/February swell the Chobe and Zambezi rivers, saturating the surrounding floodplains. The high waters that last through until March/April allow the fish to breed in massive numbers, replenishing the fish population for the year ahead. Once the water starts to recede from the floodplains, incredible numbers of minnows and small baitfish are flushed back into the main channels, which is an event the tiger fish take full advantage of. For this reason fishing is not only excellent in the traditional summer months, but has spectacular 'frenzies' in winter. Ichingo Lodge is renowned for their excellent fishing guides and for the number and quality of their tender boats. Well-maintained boats and engines are used for fishing and game viewing and there are also two jet boats with wide decks allowing access the rapids, even in low water. The complete flexibility that the lodge and houseboat offer also means that you have unlimited access to fishing as an activity, as you can utilise your own private guide and boat in hours that suit you best. While known for providing excellent lure fishing, Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is a premier fly fishing destination and we encourage anglers to try their hand at fishing for tiger on fly.
TACKLE TALK We suggest the following gear for Ichingo and Ichobezi Houseboat 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 and saltwater Spooks 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 most Zambezi and Chobe 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 AND SAFARIS Both cruising along the river in the Ichobezi Luxury Safari boats or fishing from the boats out of Ichingo Chobe River Lodge will provide an ideal platform to view the abundant wildlife of the Chobe National Park. Being on the river allows you to get closer to the large variety of game including elephant, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and the shy Chobe bushbuck Within the river itself, there are numerous hippos and crocodiles to add to the unending display of profuse wildlife that this region offers. In the dry season (May to September), incredible herds of elephant can be viewed in fact the largest concentration in Africa After a hard day on the water, why not enjoy a sun downer drink whilst watching elephants playing in the water under an African sunset.
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! Reading books/magazines/Kindle, pen and paper for notes. Small torch/headlight and spare batteries Camera(s), interchangeable lenses, batteries etc. Binoculars Multi-tool Boga Grip or similar fish holding/weighing device. Remember, theyâ€™ve all got teeth!!!!
TRANSFERS, SCHEDULES AND COSTS Day 1: All anglers arrive in Johannesburg International airport and then either fly directly to CBJ Kasane International Airport in Botswana or LIV Livingstone International Airport in Zambia. Transfer by vehicle to the river (Kasane or Livingstone) and then by boat to Namibian Immigration. Arrival at the Lodge or Houseboat and introduction to the program. Spend the afternoon fishing or enjoy a game cruise on the Chobe. Day 2-6: Guests can split their time between the lodge and the houseboat (to be booked), docking at different banks on the Chobe. Go fishing, game viewing or simply chill out! While at the main lodge go fishing with your private guide. Enjoy your tented accommodation and have a braai on the sandbanks of the lodge each night or dine in the dining room. Final Day: Depart lodge in the morning for Kasane or Livingstone and flight back home. COSTS: EXAMPLE FOR 6 NIGHTS, 5 DAYS: LOW SEASON: DECEMBER - MAY @ £210 pppn or £1260 for six nights. HIGH SEASON: JUNE – NOVEMBER @ £330 pppn or £1980 for six nights. *Children under 12 years are charged half price. **Costs based on two guests sharing TRANSFERS FROM KASANE AIRPORT RETURN: £15 pp TRANSFERS FROM LIVINGSTONE AIRPORT RETURN: £90 pp Included: All meals, all house wines, beers, soft drinks and water, all activities, all equipment hire, a private guide and tender boat for all activities, all licenses, levies and park fees, all water based transfers to and from Kasane Immigration Not included: International airfares to and from Kasane Airport, tipping, passports, visas, meals in Kasane or elsewhere other than in camp, costs associated with medical advice and medications for your trip, lures, fishing tackle etc
* 50% deposit is required to reserve places when booking. The remaining payment is due 90 days before arrival. Please note: Yellow fever injections - recently it has become a requirement for people entering zambia to have a valid yellow fever certificate. This must be obtained before departing for zambia or you will not be allowed to board the plane. The inoculation is valid for 10 years
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