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There are no fixed arrival or departure dates, although we recommend a minimum 4 night stay for all camping itineraries.
The fishing on our selected stretch of the Lower Zambezi is as diverse as it is exciting, with opportunities for both the skilled and casual angler. Tiger fish on the fly are the target, however you can also catch tigers, massive vundu and other smaller species such as bream and nwembe whilst bait fishing. We recommend a 9 or 10 weight fly rod for tiger fish, with plenty of spare backing attached to a reel with a good drag system. The most successful technique when using an artificial fly is to float downstream on a pontoon and cast into the back eddies behind natural obstructions such as fallen trees and sandbanks. The fly is retrieved as quickly as possible and the resultant take can be so savage that it is advisable to wear protection to prevent fingers being burnt as line is torn from the reel. Tigers fight hard, leaping out of the water as they attempt to shake the fly free - which is often achieved, for tigers have hard and bony mouths. We enjoy a close association with the Chongwe River Lodge as well as a selection of other lodges in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia that are suitable for both anglers and their non-fishing partners who in the company of an experienced guide, are able to explore the stunning Zambezi escarpment and National Park with its prolific concentrations of wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
We enjoy a close association with Chongwe River Lodge, as well as a selection of other lodges in the Lower Zambezi National Park in Zambia that are suitable for both anglers and their non-fishing partners who in the company of an experienced guide, are able to explore the stunning Zambezi escarpment and National Park with its prolific concentrations of wildlife including lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
Please select the itinerary tab to view a suggested 6-day itinerary for our two preferred lodges thirty kilometres apart on the banks of the Zambezi River. Guests can choose from serious fishing expeditions, boat excursions, canoeing trips and game drives - there is no such thing as a set itinerary, the choice of how to spend your time at these magical lodges is entirely up to you. The lodges we use have experienced guides to accompany anglers, and Wild and Exotic will supply tackle lists and further detailed information on fishing the Zambezi on request.
Wild and Exotic sample itinerary for tiger fishing on the Zambezi River
Day 1: Arrive in Lusaka International Airport and transfer for the private charter flight to Chongwe River Lodge, arriving in time for an early lunch beneath the shade of a towering mahogany tree. Afterwards enjoy a siesta in the comfort of your luxurious tented room or venture out onto the Zambezi River in pursuit of tiger fish with your experienced guide. Whatever your choice, you will probably want to return to the lodge in time to take a game drive in the late afternoon and search for elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard that frequent the nearby Lower Zambezi National Park, stopping at dusk to enjoy sundowners, before continuing your drive with the assistance of powerful spotlights that illuminate shy nocturnal mammals.
Days 2 - 6: The next five days will be divided between fishing, walking and game viewing - the ratio is entirely up to guests, who will have to make the difficult decision between watching Africa's largest and most beautiful mammals and casting for her most powerful and exciting fresh water game fish. For the adventurous other activities such as canoeing trips are also available - during which you paddle past pods of wallowing and grunting hippos and disturb crocodiles that slip silently into the water as they hear you approach.
Day 7: This morning you will be faced with the difficult choice of deciding between a final fishing expedition or a last game drive in the stunning National Park. After the usual delicious brunch you are driven to the nearby airstrip for the flight back over the dramatic landscape of the Zambezi valley to Lusaka. On arrival you will be met by a representative of Chaminuka Lodge and driven to this comfortable lodge some fifteen miles from the international airport in Lusaka for an overnight stay. Here you can enjoy tours of Chaminuka's private game reserve in an open-top safari vehicle, as well as riding walking, fishing and the use of all lodge facilities including tennis courts, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, and billiard room
Day 8: An early breakfast at Chaminuka, before being driven back to the international airport in Lusaka and checking into your flight home.
Sample itinerary. Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic's terms and conditions, a copy of which will be enclosed with your booking form.
Wild and Exotic fact sheet for recommended Chongwe River Camp
Accommodation: Chongwe River Camp consists of luxury tented chalets with en-suite bathrooms. Guests eat in a centrally located thatched dining room.
Activities: Although the stretch of the Zambezi at Chongwe River Camps is renown for an abundance of tiger fish and superb fishing, there is a wealth of other exciting diversions to enjoy. Game drives in open-sided four wheel drive vehicles are available for morning and afternoon excursions into the National Park, as well as night drives with powerful spotlights to illuminate rare nocturnal mammals. Guided walks into the bush are also offered. Many guests choose to spend a day exploring the river system by canoe with a picnic lunch, and an evening cruise aboard a comfortable pontoon to the backdrop of the setting sun is an experience not to be missed. Walking safari itineraries can also be arranged with sufficient notice.
Cash: Guests may wish to have small denomination $US available for staff gratuity at their discretion.
Children: Children under twelve years old cannot be accepted unless by special arrangement through Wild and Exotic.
Clothing List: A recommended clothing list will be sent on request, as will a list of recommended fishing tackle. A free laundry service is provided.
Drinks: All cordials and sodas, beers, spirits and wines are included in the price. Ice and lemon is supplied for drinks. Refreshments are provided with all activities and excursions.
Duration: In order to fully appreciate everything that Chongewe River camps has to offer we recommend a 6 night stay, however you may stay for as long or short a time as you wish.
Game: The Zambezi River provides food, water and shelter for large concentrations of game, especially during the dry season from August - November when alternative resources have been depleted. The Lower Zambezi National Park is famous for the diversity and quantity of wildlife populations it supports, including big herds of buffalo and elephant as well as lion, leopard and plains game.
How to Get There: International flights to Lusaka, followed by an onward private charter or scheduled flight to the lodge, which takes approximately 45 minutes. Alternatively guests may transfer by road, however this is a five hour drive and not recommended. We recommend that guests who are booked on international flights departing early in the morning leave the Zambezi the previous afternoon and fly back to Lusaka, where they are collected and driven to Chaminuka, a comfortable lodge 45 minutes drive from Lusaka international airport.
Location: Chongwe River Lodge is located on the banks of the Chongwe River, within the Lower Zambezi National Park
Meals: Dawn game drives or fishing outings are preceded by coffee or tea, bread and cakes with your morning wake-up call. A substantial brunch is served on return to the camp from your morning activity, and a light lunch in the early afternoon. Three course dinners with fresh ingredients are served each evening.
Safety: The Lodges is covered by Medical Air rescue services, who in the case of an emergency evacuation would use Kayila airstrip. There are medical aid kits for use in the boats and vehicles during activities and excursions, and a large medical aid and equipment kit (including oxygen) is at the lodge. The managers are also paramedic qualified. Guests are strongly advised to take anti malarial medication before and after their stay.
Single Supplement: There is a single supplement, however this may be waived at the discretion of the management and Wild and Exotic.
Terrain: Flood plain dotted with thorn and thick scrub, rising gradually to merge with the foothills of the Zambezi escarpment, whose rugged outline dominates the northern horizon. The mighty Zambezi River is the outstanding feature of the landscape as it carves its way seawards downstream of Lake Kariba, flowing through deep pools, shallow sandbanks and past thousands of islands. Many visitors to other African rivers are struck by the unusual clarity of the Zambezi's waters.
Weather and best time to visit: Chongwe River Camp is closed between November and April. The fishing can be very good from April onwards, however the optimum time frame is considered to be from mid August to the end of October. Game viewing is best later in the year, when conditions are at their driest and vegetation has died back. The cooler months of a Zambian winter run from May until September, with temperatures dropping as low as 12 degrees centigrade during July nights, although they hover around 27 degrees during the day. These "winter" months represent the best time to visit. Temperatures are warm by day (high seventies) and cool at night with clear blue skies, although the weather is often equally as pleasant in March and April. The temperature becomes very hot in November and the rains also arrive during the course of this month.