Extreme Zambezi tiger fishing & rafting adventure

There is a reasonably well known TV show in South Africa named Extreme Sports Angling, the show offers what it terms “extreme adventure fishing”.

In reality it is a rather rotund chap fishing off the Natal rocks with a sardine wrapped with cotton, backed by some sort of edgy music. Extreme? We think not!

Extreme Tiger Fishing

There is a reasonably well known TV show in South Africa named Extreme Sports Angling, the show offers what it terms “extreme adventure fishing”.

In reality it is a rather rotund chap fishing off the Natal rocks with a sardine wrapped with cotton, backed by some sort of edgy music. Extreme? We think not!

With this TV show in mind, we set off to Livingstone to see if we could discover the essence of “extreme” angling.

For years many fishing legends have done the rounds in pubs around Africa, stories such as, barbel as big as cars under Kariba (and Haarties) dam wall and my all time best, the 100kg Goliath Tiger Fish in The Congo River, hmmm ... this one I believe could actually be true…. Eventually the stories all come back to the mighty Zambezi and the big tigers that lurk under Victoria Falls.

The seed was sown. A couple of emails later and the trip was quickly put together. We were actually going to fish the Zambezi under the Falls using the only method possible, a white water rafting and tiger fishing combo.

Extreme Tiger Fishing

Extreme Tiger Fishing

Extreme Tiger Fishing

The group consisted of Sean, Scotty, Wayne, Jody (along for the ride) and myself. Sean and Scotty work for the number one rafting company in Zambia, Safari Par Excellence. This was their off day so we had managed to get some much needed guiding and logistics experience to take us down the grade five Zambezi….

Avoiding rapid five and seven (apparently the nearer the Falls the smaller and fewer the fish) we made our way down to the bottom of rapid seven and put in to raft a few smaller rapids until our forced exit at the legendary unrun-able rapid nine or commercial suicide as it is commonly known. The rumors say that big tiger lurk just below this rapid, waiting to pick off

any passing smaller bait fish. We can report that the rumours are 100% true. As soon as we rigged up and threw the first lures, we were on - and yes the tigers were big, Wayne’s largest weighed in at .5kg!

As many a seasoned angler will confirm, the Zambezi Tiger is no fool and after about twenty minutes the word went round that the tasty looking offerings were in fact quick trips up the sand bank and sore mouths! So after a good lunch, no more ferocious bites. It was time to move on and down the mighty Zambezi.

The main idea on this trip was to fish with a bit of rafting thrown in, not to flip if possible….

Rapid eleven proved to be the one that we came a bit of a cropper, somehow rods were saved and we managed to upright the raft and carry on. This of course is what extreme angling is meant to be, just watch out for those sharp hooks on the rubber rafts…

Extreme Tiger Fishing

After many more smaller rapids and a few very good fish, we had arrived at our final destination, rapid 25, and a much welcomed overnight camp out on the beach. Sean and Scotty had organized a beast of a feast consisting of braai'd crocodile steaks, washed down with copious amounts of Johnny Walker Black.

The next morning we awoke early to fish again. Rapid 25 has a big pool just in front of the beach. Two more Tiger gave their best only to be released again to fight another day. If the walk down had proved to be strenuous for some (OK - me!), the cable car lift out was a welcomed relief. As the beach below slipped away, we were left with memories of a unique and special fishing adventure on the most amazing river we have, the Zambezi.

The adventure was over, tight lines were had and the question was answered - YES you can catch big Tiger under the Falls. It is not an easy “coke and bun” trip, it is not for the feint heated, it is never going to be a commercially offered or organized trip, but maybe a “once in a while” adventure for reasonable fit and like minded individuals.

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

  • Wayne “bru” Boardman – Into the Wild, this is the first of many adventures!
    - Sean Edington – Zambezi Memories, thanks Sean - best trip ever!
    - Scotty SafPar– you flip’em good, legend
    - Gerard Simpson – Angle Zambia, for your inspiration and yes we as promised and did  not completely hammer it!


    This trip is commercially available but on request and water level dependant. Pop

    us an email if this is the type of trip you would like to get your teeth into... In the meantime check out our some of our other Tiger fishing trips and let’s get

    you hooked up.

 Author: Chris Wood – advertising@maplanga.co.za 7th September 2009

 

 

 

 

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