Tiger fishing


Shackletons Tiger Fishing Lodge is situated in Zambia on the mighty upper Zambezi River near the village of Mwandi (the Lozi word meaning ‘a place of plenty fish’).Shackletons Tiger Fishing Lodge is the ideal venue for fly fishing, spin and lure anglers of all levels to fish in a pristine habitat for Africa’s most spectacular and sought-after game fish, the fierce tigerfish. Shackletons Lodge is home to record and trophy tigerfish, bream and catfish.

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 Tigerfish, the so-called ‘striped water dog’, are one of strongest kilogram-for-kilogram fighters. Tigerfish attack from the side at speeds of up to 50 kph, then turn their bait around and swallow it headfirst. The tigerfish’s ability to bite through a lure with their razor-sharp teeth makes them an extremely exciting fish to catch.

‘Tiger Country’ is a small part of the upper Zambezi River that stretches approximately 100km from Katima Mulilo to Impalila Island (where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe all meet). Shackletons Tiger Fishing Lodge is located half-way between these two points, right in the heart of ‘Tiger Country’.

This very special part of the upper Zambezi is ‘Tiger Country’ because of the floodplains. The river rises for 6 months of the year (December – May) to form the floodplains and recedes for the other 6 months of the year (June to November).The annual floods rejuvenate the river system around Shackletons Tiger Fishing Lodge. The river re-stocks itself with everything from crustaceans, to insects, to fish that go to the flood plains to feed and breed.

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The annual variation in water level is up to 7-8 m in Caprivi, with an annual average of 5 m. The water level usually rises sharply in January, with one or more peaks in February-April, before a decline in May-June. Thus, the floodplains are annually inundated from February to June.The flood plains are vast expanses of water that prevent humans from building permanent structures and damaging the environment. This is what makes the upper Zambezi such a pristine part of the mighty Zambezi River.


The tigerfish stay in the upper Zambezi River all year around. They do not go into the flood plains. The upper Zambezi tigerfish have to adapt their feeding habits according to ever-changing river levels, water clarity, water temperature, and food sources. This means that we have to change our preferred tiger fishing methods and tackle throughout the year.

RC Nembwe

Gear selection:
The area where you will fish will determine the selection, the best would be to contact us at least 4 weeks before the trip. We will be able to put a package together or at least tell / sell you the fly tying material needed to tie your own.

Generally, we do work on 12 flies per day , but , rather order more than less. A good selection for a 3-day trip would be :

4 x Clouser Minnows

4 x Brush flies

4 x Baitfish / Profile flies.

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Then the rest of the gear:

You can of course go completely over the top, just keep in mind. When you are traveling , you do not have time to look for your 3 or 5 bags, thus , have one main Bag and one piece of hand Luggage.  Also, when you will be fishing of a boat take care to have your camera equipment in a waterproof container or have a waterproof camera.


1 x Hook hone ( very important fishing for Tigers)

1 x Boga Grip

1 x Looong nose Pliers

1 x Stripping Basket

2 x Polaroid Sun Glasses ( one pair will do , but do not loose them)

2 x Fly Box

1 x Boat Bag ( preferably with a waterproof bottom )


2 x Pair of Stripping / Sun Gloves

1 x Cap

1 x Hat ( Wide brim )

2 x Buff ( Sun and wind protection)

2 x Quick dry Long/short pants

3 x Quick dry Fishing Shirts

1 x Fleece Jacket ( You never know)

2 x T-shirts

1 x Costume

Undies , your own baby

2 x Foot wear ( Slip slops / Crocks )


1 x Sun Block

1 x Bug repellent

1 x Toiletries Bag

1 x personal Medication

1 x Camera

1 x Head lamp/torch

1 x Spare memory cards/stick’s

Any personal entertainment i.e. I-Pod , Lap top , ……


1 x Passport

1 x Cash / Cards / ….

1 x Air Ticket ( also make sure your ticket is confirmed )

1 x Travel insurance


Conventional Fishing

Rod: Shimmano Nexave Length: 7ft.0 two piece Line wt: 15-30lb Lure Wt. 3/8-1 oz

Reel: Shimmano SideStab 4000 RE

  • Shad raps, DT Flat series and X-Raps in natural colors browns, gold, oranges, reds and whites my favorites are natural shad and crawdad.
  • Size; 8cms. Maybe also one or two brighter colors such fire tigers and purple and whites.. (Rapids, casting or open water trolling)

NB: Take a mixture of deep and shallow running models.

Mepps No 3 Black fury’s (replace with single hooks) (Rapids, throughout the day.)

Effzett Spoons: 16 grams double blade copper. (Rapids; early morning late evening)

Hooks; Size # 3/0 or 4/0 Mustad bleeding hooks or VMC sport circles

Trace; made up trace or 40 lbs Malin piano wire if you choose to make up your own.

Swivels + Clips (not too large)

Line: Good quality monofilament (Berkley Big Game 15lbs) or 30 lb Viper braid made by Double X (Suggestible)

A typical Itinerary:


BA 6291 ( British Airways – operated by COMAIR)

Wednesday 2nd July

  • Depart: 07:40 – Centurion Gautrain Station
  • Arrive : 08:14 – OR Tambo Airport


  • Depart : OR Tambo Airport  – Johannesburg

              Flight BA 6291 – 11:00


  • Arrive : ZAMBIA – Livingstone

             Flight BA 6291 – 12:45

Vehicle Transfers

Shackletons provides vehicle transfers from:

Livingstone International Airport (Livingstone, Zambia) – approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. There will be soft drinks , water and a few cold ones  available.

Wednesday afternoon:

  • After a quick meet and greet the boats will be waiting to take you fishing on the mighty Zambezi.

Thursday , July 3 – Saturday July 5.

This will be 3 full fishing days , the schedule will be determined by us and the guides.

  • 06:30 Coffee , Toast , ….
  • 07:00 Get on the boats , +/- 20min travel time to the fishing ground.
  • 07:20 see the first Tiger on the boat…
  • 11:00 Head back to the lodge
  • 12:00 Lunch  and Siesta
  • 14:00 Get ready to fish until ……

Sunday , July 6th

This day you can decide if you whish to go and fish or just want to relax ( you can actually decide what you want to do every day)

If you were satisfied by the service you received from the guides and the staff , it will be much appreciated if you would give them something to show your appreciation. The recommended tip is per person per day.

  • Guides – ZAR 100/day
  • Staff –     ZAR 50/day

Very IMPORTANT : Departure  Tax : USD 20 ( cash only )  

  • 09:00 – Transfer to Airport
  • Depart Livingstone

13:30 – Flight BA 6292

  • Arrive OR Tambo – Johannesburg

15:15 – Flight BA 6292

  • Depart Gautrain


  • Arrive Centurion


CJ Zambezi