Who would imagine that a desert country, promoted with striking images of sand dunes and rugged mountains, dry river beds and exquisite desert plants would be a destination for fresh water anglers?
Namibia is such a destination and there are countless camping spots for dedicated anglers.
Imagine tagging a 5,5kg tiger fish or an African pike. There are 40 angling species, which of course does not mean that it would be possible to tick them all off. Most of the lodges along the rivers have a catch-and-release policy.
Don’t forget the photograph before you let them release your trophy. If it really turns out to be a big one, you can always have a fibreglass replica constructed.
A visit to Namibia’s north east is paradise for anglers.
The lodges and camping spots are mostly situated on the banks of the Okavango and Zambezi Rivers. These rivers are the only perennial rivers in the country apart from the Orange River that forms the southern border.
All along the rivers in the north it is possible to hire a boat if angling from the riverbank gets frustrating. They come in all shapes and sizes and every lodge and most campsites have them in some form, with enthusiastic helpers to assist if you are a novice. You can fly fish from a mokoro or troll from a boat. Try your luck in the rapids take it easy from a deck or on the riverbank.
Angling along the rivers in the north east is a many facetted experience. While you sit on the riverbank with your line drifting down stream, waiting for one of the 40 species to take a bite, you may see or hear a fish eagle or a paradise flycatcher. My favourite is the colourful carmine bee-eaters.
But back to angling. The best time is when the river subsides and that happens between May and December. With names such as pink happy, humpback largemouth, nembwe and redbreast it can only be fun to try your luck. Although it may be tempting, don’t even consider not releasing your 5,5 tiger. Anything over 2 kg, is female and should be released.
This article appeared in the May/June ‘04 edition of Travel News Namibia