Day 39 – 43: Tiger fishing on the Zambesi

Distance travelled from home: 8 080 km

From Etosha we travelled to Tsumeb to buy a tyre for the Cruizer, which we have lost in Etosha. We suspect that the damage was done on Rooidrom Pass, but it gave way on the Etosha roads that were recently scraped – no reason to lose a tyre.

Tsumeb Trentyre Covid rule..

From Tsumeb to Divundu via Grootfontein and Rundu. Around Grootfontein the commercial maize farms are looking excellent. Approx 100 km before Rundu the Ovambo country starts to show. No more commercial farming. Continuous family dwellings along the road with cattle and children in the road. Rundu is a typical African spread-out town with countless shebeens and bars, a fuel station and raw meat carcasses hanging from trees.

From Rundu to Divundu lots of wood heaps are for sale along the road and it seems that there are two different lifestyles – the African one along the main road and then countless luxury lodges for tourists along the Okavango river running parallel a few kilometers to the north. Large trees and dense bushes along the road with clearings for the family clusters of homes.

At Divundu we camped at Shametu Lodge – a luxurious lodge on the Okavango river with campsites with private ablutions and kitchenette.

Popa Falls is a series of rapids on the Okavango River. The river was quite high, therefor the rapids were not as impressive, but still beautiful to see.

From Divundu to Katima Mulilo is a stretch of 350 km on a nice tarred road through the Bwabwata National Park. At both ends of the park are signs to indicate a ‘multi-use area’ where cattle is farmed as well. The middle section is only a park, but we did not see any wildlife.

At Katima Mulilo we stayed at Caprivi Houseboat Safaris – one night camping, two nights on their houseboat for tiger fishing and another night camping.

The houseboat trip was wonderful. We had a very competent skipper, Ivan, who was also the cook, housekeeper and a fishing guru. At night around the campfire he entertained us with stories about the locals and previous fishing trips.

The Zambesi is very high and wide, and the first day the water was like a mirror. That night the wind started blowing moderately, and the second day the water was somewhat choppy. The third morning the wind subsided a bit, and we returned to the camp during mid-morning.

Eric caught three tiger fish and Hein caught four tiger fish as well as a catfish. Both lost a few tigers. The excitement was high throughout the trip.

We travelled 50 km down the Zambesi on the boat, with a lot of up and downs for trawling where the fish were more abundant, and the 50 km back – a total distance of 130 km according to the GPX tracker. We docked next to an island in the middle of the river for the first night, where we had dinner, and on another sand bank nearer to the Namibian side on the second night. The experience of sitting there around the campfire one cannot describe, hearing the occasional hippo snorting nearby.

The birdlife was excellent, with openbill stork and other birds’ breeding colonies, and lots of heron, stork, cormorant and various small birds along the way.

Zambia to the left, Namibia to the right
Breeding colony
Openbilled stork
A bit windy
Red markers indicate overnight stops

Another bucket list item ticked..

Next: Exploring more of the Caprivi….

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