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Fishing the Upper Zambezi

For the uninitiated the tiger fish is probably Africa’s finest and most awesome game fish.  For sheer aggression – pound for pound – it must rank as one of the world’s most powerful freshwater species and the Zambezi is full of them!   The tiger possesses a  ferocious  set of  18 large, triangular razor sharp teeth enclosed in a bony head and is distinctive by its black/blue lateral tiger stripes with bright yellow and red caudal fin.

This is also a photographer’s paradise – the sunrises and sunsets on the Zambezi River have to be witnessed to be believed  and no two are the same. The best months are July, August, September and November. October is too hot.

 

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

HEATHROW/JO’BURG            BA        1810/0715+1   economy                  

Day 2  Meet and greet assistance in Jo’burg onto your connecting flight

JO’BURG/LIVINGSTONE       BA        1100/1245                economy

 

Purchase your visa – US$50.00 per person in cash (subject to change)

You will be met at the airport and transferred by road – a journey of  between 3 & 5 hours (depending on the condition of the roads) to Mutemwa Lodge on the upper Zambezi River – tented accommodation.   The lodge is constructed amongst shady indigenous trees and at a point in the river which is a kilometre wide – providing magnificent photographic opportunities for sunsets and sunrises which are second to none in Africa.   Whilst at the lodge you will experience a sunset cruise on the Zambezi followed by an authentic African dinner in an air boma and finally discussing the day’s events around a roaring campfire under African skies!

All-inclusive accommodation except for drinks (soft and alcoholic).

Dinner at the lodge

You will be able to run a tab for drinks (which must be settled with cash only – Rand & US$)

 

Day 3

Awaken with sounds of the bush!   A typical day at Mutemwa or if staying at Sioma Falls starts with tea/tea and oat porridge before the first fishing session begins on the Zambezi River.    You can elect to stay out the whole day,  taking a packed lunch.   Return to the lodge for brunch on the deck,   followed by time to relax by the pool or siesta.    Approx. mid afternoon meet for high tea before departing for your afternoon fishing.  Then it’s back to the lodge to meet and freshen up before dinner and chatting around the open air fire.

Overnight at Mutemwa Lodge.

 

The boats are aluminium or fibreglass with 60HP 4 stroke motors and fish finders.

Fishing 2 per boat.

Day 4

After breakfast you will set off in your boats, taking a packed lunch, fishing up stream, with porterage help through a few rapids.   Fish the deep channels and rapids all the way from Mutemwa, through the Top and Kaale Rapids to a beach below the Sioma Falls.    There are some very deep channels and some excellent runs to fish for the large and aggressive tiger fish that lurk in these waters.     The camp will be set up ahead of your arrival so at the end of the fishing session you will return to your tented  accommodation on the beach  below Sioma Falls (Ngonya Falls on the map).   Guided fishing – full board.

 

Sioma Falls is 70 kms upriver from Mutemwa Lodge and is the second largest waterfall on the Zambezi River.    Here the Zambezi is narrow with deep,  fast flowing water, cascading rapids and lots of black volcanic rock.  The fishing at these Falls is excellent and you have a good chance of catching a big tiger!   The camp overlooks an expanse of “coral white” beach and the black cliffs which harness the magnificent Zambezi River.

Overnight at Sioma Falls

Day 5  Guided fishing – full board at Sioma Falls

Day 6 Guided fishing – full board at Sioma Falls

Day 7 After breakfast you will head out with the boats again fishing back downstream  to Mutemwa Lodge.   Fish the great spots that you hit on the way up and arrive back at the lodge late afternoon.

Guided fishing – full board at Mutemwa Lodge

Day 8  Guided fishing – full board at Mutemwa Lodge

Day 9 After an early breakfast settle your drinks bill and pay for any lost or broken tackle. You will then be transferred by road back to Livingstone  and across the bridge into Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls.

 

Welcome to Victoria Falls…

Spend the next 2 nights at Batonka Guest Lodge in std rooms.   Your stay includes breakfast, tea, coffee and twice daily shuttle service into Victoria Falls Town.   Located in a quiet residential suburb of Victoria Falls, Batonka Guest House is a short distance from the Victoria Falls rainforest entrance and the town centre.  22 en-suite rooms are well-appointed for guest comfort and have verandahs overlooking beautiful gardens. 11 of the rooms have showers only, and 8 of these are inter- leading. Attractive central spaces include a dining area, lounge and bar,     and wholesome  meals can be enjoyed indoors or on the outdoor terrace overlooking the pool.

As the land cuts away beneath the ancient Zambezi River, the waters   plummet dramatically into the Batoka Gorge, over 100 metres below. The angrily churned up spray shoots skyward, painting the landscape in billowing clouds. This striking ‘’smoke that thunders” can be seen for miles.

The vibrant town of Victoria Falls is known as the adventure capital of the world, and if your eyes light up at the thought of conquering the “Stairway     to Heaven” or “The Terminator” in a raft, then this is the place for you.

While the notorious Nyaminyami (Zambezi River God) watches from its mythical depths, and the majestic basalt cliffs allow your passage through the canyon’s exquisite landscape, adventure seekers are assured of a good time. From Grade 5 white-water rafting, bungee jumping, abseiling and     elephant back riding, the amusement never ends.

Day 10  

Day at leisure to arrange your own activities.  If you want to do the elephant excursion this has to be booked in advance and will cost approx. £80.00 per person and the duration is 2.5 – 3 hours.   Max. 10 guests

The excursion includes scheduled transfers to/from hotel in VFA Town  and after the encounter with these amazing creatures you will be offered a selection of refreshments in the cool of the Wild Horizons Elephant Wallow, before transferring back to your hotel.

 

This “Elephant Encounter” has a clear focus on conservation and offers visitors the opportunity to spend time walking through the bush with the elephants, observing them up close in the wild and getting to know their individual characters. It is the orphans in our care who form the heart of this memorable experience. 

An open-design thatch Boma gives guests views of the surrounding bush, through which the Masuwe River runs, and it is here that you will be given an insightful and educational presentation on the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary and Orphanage. Talk to the guides who have journeyed – physically and metaphorically – incredible distances with these elephant, and learn more about the complexities of the individuals and the herd structures. Venture out into the bush to spend time with the elephants and the sight of the gentle grey mammals up close and personal will be imprinted on your mind long after you return home. Witness the special relationship the elephant keepers share with their animals and become a part of it. Take photographs with the elephants, marvel at their size and watch them in their normal environment; browsing and interacting with one another.

 

(Look at the Shearwater Adventures web site for a list of  available activities and I have included a list of the main ones).

Overnight B/B accommodation at the Batonka Guest House

Day 11  

Private transfer from the guest house approx.1030 to Victoria Falls Airport

 

VICTORIA FALLS/JO’BURG   BA        1355/1535   economy

JO’BURG/HEATHROW            BA        2015/0525+1   economy

COST:

From £3680.00 (incl taxes/surcharges) PER PERSON – sharing twin accommodation and subject to availability and exchange rates

No single supplement at Mutemwa but there is one in V/Falls.

Included:

  • Return flights – economy class
  • All transfers as listed above – in Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • 7 nights all-inclusive accommodation at Mutemwa – all meals, tea & coffee & filtered water stations. ALL OTHER DRINKS EXCLUDED
  • Unlimited guided fishing – fishing 2 per boat
  • SES – Special evacuation cover
  • Laundry
  • 2 nights B/B accommodation at Batonka Guest Lodge with twice daily complimentary shuttle service into V/Falls town

 

Excluded:

  • Travel insurance – essential as you will be in a remote area and should include repatriation cover
  • Visa – US$50.00 (cash) per person. You should be able to purchase a Kaza univisa upon arrival into Livingstone airport which allows visitors from 40 countries to travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia using the same document.   If this system has been withdrawn next year you will have to purchase a US$50.00 visa for Zambia and a US$50.00 visa for Zimbabwe.
  • Sioma Falls parks fees. If you are charged Parks fees for the 3 nights you are at Sioma Falls this will be added to your bar bill – approx. £3.00 per night
  • Gratuities
  • Any increases in air fares/airport taxes/fuel surcharges prior to ticketing
  • No drinks are included (soft or alcoholic)   –  see web site for price list at: http://www.mutemwa.co.za/rates/
  • Items of a personal nature
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