Africa is home to some of the world's most beautiful and diverse wildlife and a Victoria Falls Fishing Safari are one of the best ways to experience it.
The Zambezi River flows through Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Zambia making it a prime location for fishing safaris.
This article will give you all the information you will need to know, about Victoria Falls fishing safaris!
What is a Victoria Falls Fishing Safari
A Victoria Falls Fishing Safari is an adventure on the Zambezi River for fishing. It's perfect for people of all experience levels who are looking to try something new and exciting!
There are many different options for fishing safaris, dependent on your preference and time availability. Tours run from as little as 3 hours to a full day or even multiple days.
Fishing safaris are organized and run by a number of different operators in the Victoria Falls area. You will find some links to these operators later in the article.
Why should you go on a fishing safari in Victoria Falls
Fishing on the mighty Zambezi River is definitely a bucket list experience not to be missed. Victoria Falls is the perfect location with a wide variety of fish to catch and various methods you can use depending on your experience level.
There are many reasons why fishing in Victoria falls should be at the top of your list. Fishing Safaris offer amazing opportunities for relaxation, fun, and exercise all rolled into one!
Fishing safaris are readily available in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, so if you plan to stay near the falls, fishing is easily accessible and close by so you won't have to go too far for a few enjoyable hours out on the water with a rod and tackle.
What types of fish are in the Zambezi River?
There are over 75 fish species found in the Zambezi River with the African Pike, Barbel, Upper Zambezi Yellowfish, Bream or Tilapia as potential catches. The African Tigerfish, however, is the most sought-after.
That said, tour operators are able to target different species of fish throughout the year. So whatever time you choose to visit Victoria Falls to do some fishing, there will always be an opportunity to catch some great fish.
Fish of the Zambezi
african pike characin
The African Pike is an elongated fish with a pike-like body. It is a fresh water predator.
It is about 12.5 inches (14.2 cm) long on average, with a dark brownish-green back and shiny silver belly
The head of the African Pike is normally light green or brown with dark stripes emanating from the eye. The color and pattern of adult fish is constant, but juveniles are more variable.
The Zambezi bream is a medium-sized, fish with a rounded snout and upward-pointing mouth. It has a slender body with a straight outline, long dorsal fin, and a truncated caudal fin.
You'll find the Zambezi Bream in the upper and middle catchments of the Zambezi River system, spanning Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia.
upper zambezi yellow fish
is commonly found throughout Southern Africa in the Zambezi and Okavango Rivers.
They are primarily attracted to fast flowing water over other environments. They typically feed on aquatic insects and crustaceans.
Their fins help them move quickly and they are powerful swimmers.
Fishing for the Zambezi Yellow Fish is a sought-after by avid sportsmen and fly fishing is the preferred way to catch them.
Tiger Fishing in the Zambezi River
How do you catch a Tiger Fish?
Tigerfish are well known for being one of the most exciting fish to catch. Renowned for their strength and agility, these predators put up a heroic fight against anglers who attempt to snag them.
So what do you need to go after Tigerfish?
The best way to go after Tigerfish is on a boat. The Zambezi is a vast body of water and you often need to cover a lot of it on the hunt for fish.
You can use both fly rods or even conventional spinning gear to catch Tigerfish and they will take to a variety of lures with the equal veracity.
Tigers congregate in packs, especially when they are small and inexperienced.
Once an area has been fished for a period of time, it’s wise to move on. Tigers will get spooked if there is too much activity in one place.
What is the best time of day to catch Tigerfish?
The Golden Hour, which is either just before sunrise or just before sunset is widely considered to be the best time to hook a Tigerfish.
Tigerfish are great opportunists and use the element of surprise as an effective hunting technique. The low light in the Golden Hours gives the Tigerfish the upper hand on its prey.
What is the best time of year to catch Tigerfish?
Though Tigerfish can be found year-round in Victoria Falls, experts say it is when the water starts to warm up and become clearer just after the winter months, the baitfish return to areas where there's access to shallow waters along with high visibility conditions.
For this reason, late May through September are usually the best months to go fishing for Tiger's in Victoria Falls.
How to go after Tiger's using Live Bait
What types of Tigerfish are there and where are they found?
The most notable species of the two major types of African Tigerfish is simply called the Tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus), and is commonly found in the southern Okavango Delta and Zambezi River.
It can also be found in Lake Kariba and Kabombo River- which both border Zimbabwe and Zambia- as well as Cabora Bassa in Mozambique.
Female tiger fish have a longer lifespan than males and grow to much larger sizes.
The average maximum size for female tigerfish is 28 Inches (71cm) and they weigh around 15.5 pounds (7kg). Female tigerfish live for around 7-8 years (max about 10 years)
The male Tigerfish grows to about 21.5 inches (55cm) in length and weighs about 5.5 pounds (2,5kg).
The other species and one of the most famous, is the goliath tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) it is the larger of the two.
Goliath's have been known to weigh up to as much as 154 pounds (70kg).
The Goliath Tigerfish is found in the Congo River system, Lualaba River, Lake Upemba and Lake Tanganyika. It is the largest member of the family Alestidae.
The Goliath Tigerfish reach an average weight of 99 pounds (45kg)!
How much does it cost to go on a fishing safari in Victoria Falls
Fishing trips can range from around $90 for 3 hours up to approximately $280 for a full day.
It's best to consult with the various operators to see what suits your availability and your pocket.
What are the fishing package options?
There are a wide variety of options ranging from a few hours to full-day fishing safaris and longer. Some of the most popular options are mentioned below.
Early morning fishing usually begins at 06:30. Freshly brewed coffee or a local tea of your choice and bottled water or soft drinks are on offer to consummate the experience.
As an alternative, you can spend the afternoon on the river fishing with snacks and sundowners. This option is usually around 3 hours long from 15:00 to 18:00
Half-day and full-day fishing packages start off at around 06:30 in the morning and will run through to 11:30 and 18:00 respectively. With these options, there will be a number of breaks for snacks and drinks during the day. Lunch will of course be served if you are out for the day.
The full-day trips also include a Continental Breakfast and sundowners.
Pick-up points will be provided at the time of booking.
Where can I find more information about going on a fishing safari in Victoria Falls?
Here are a few links to some of the available fishing safari's offered in the Falls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any comfortable attire that provides sun protection (warm clothing for between April and August)
Running or Hiking shoes
Transfers from your Lodge / Hotel
AM trip – continental breakfast, coffee/tea and cool drinks
PM trip – snacks, cool drinks, alcoholic beverages, water
Full day – continental, lunch, snacks, cool drinks, alcoholic beverages, water
All fishing equipment for the duration of the activity (Conventional)
Fly Fishermen catered for on request (all equipment is supplied as necessary)
National Park fishing fees – $10 PP to be paid on arrival or by prior arrangement.
No, fishing is strictly on a catch and release basis