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Fishing in Tanzania

Fishing safaris are becoming popular in Tanzania. The deep waters of Lake Tanganyika are rich in big-game fish. Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania is the longest lake in the world, and at 1,433 meters is the second deepest in Africa. Amazingly the lakes lowest point is 642m below sea level; and it holds a volume of water seven times that of Lake Victoria. For safari divers as well as anglers, this is paradise, with over 350 species of fish, offers some of the finest lake game fishing in Africa. Some of the African game fish to be found here include the goliath, tiger fish and Nile Perch. After a big storm it is possible to witness people body surfing; with waves sometimes reaching up to six meters.

Many fishermen come to African lakes looking to land a tiger fish; many claims are made by operators in Southern Africa that this fish is found only in Southern Africa countries – this is untrue as these game fish are also found here in Tanzania. The tiger fish is well-known for its powerful tail and savage teeth; and is claimed by some to be the world's most exciting freshwater sport-fish. I think this is mainly because of the drama of the whole experience the jarring strikes, lightning runs and spectacular leaps; a typical tiger fish weighs 3-8 pounds, with 10-20 pounds being landed from time to time.

In contrast the shallow waters of Lake Victoria are home to legendary Nile Perch growing up to 300lbs, and even the novice fisherman can be encouraged by casting off a jetty to catch abundant tilapia. Nile Perch of over 80 kg have been caught; the main method of fishing in the lake is trolling with lures. Apart from the Nile perch, local tilapia of up to 5kg have been caught on bait. I have seen catfish of over 50kg caught often.

The Guinness Book of World Records lists an incredible 232kg Nile perch caught by local fishermen on Lake Victoria. Another way to fish is from the shore – there are few un-spoilt places, I am sure, in the world where in fresh or salt water it is possible to land fish in the 20 - 100lb plus category.

Sea fishing in one of the most exciting areas of Tanzania is in an area called Kilwa in southern Tanzania – close to the Mozambique border - this is a blue water fishing paradise. For those who wish to experience the unbelievable thrill of saltwater fly fishing this is the place to head. Many different species can be teased up to a fly and the rush of playing a big fish on light gear is an unforgettable experience.

Fishing is best in the months of August, September and October. Silver service fly-camps are set up on an evening along the coastline and trips include all fishing, full-board accommodation, beer, table wine, soft drinks, and transfers to and from Dar-es-Salaam to Kilwa.




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