The Trip into the Unknown Caprivi Strip - By Clint Robertson, Umdingi Safaris

Clint Robertson operates Umdingi Safaris based in Zimbabwe and has developed a two-country itinerary sure to provide excitement, relaxation, and fascination amidst the natural wonders of Zimbabwe and Namibia. Read below as Clint shares his discoveries while scoping out this itinerary for the first time!

What a great trip it ended up being…

A total of 2 border crossings and only 300km in total (from Victoria Falls), we found ourselves on the banks of the Kwando River, which had been a dream to get on a boat with and fish!

We, however, first stopped at Mubala Lodge on the Banks of the Zambezi River, which in contrast to the Kwando cannot compare. “It is wild and untamable”, which is why we love fishing the river or simply spending time on this majestic river. The Mubala Lodge offers great fishing opportunities catered more towards the conventional style (as fly fishing is a new method to the lodge), hence your private guide who will aid you in every way possible (even landing the fish for you), if he could!

This was the perfect location to begin the start to our adventure in Namibia; on arrival, we were greeted with warm smiles and cool hand towels to wipe the dust off our hands and faces (after all, we are in Africa). Our accommodation was impressive to say the least; all rooms have a river view and private balcony to sit and rest on during the heat of the day (Siesta Time).

All the boats are aluminum and will accommodate a maximum of two fishermen per boat, which is just right. There are many different fishery areas to explore where the local guides are unrivaled in the navigation of the river. We only had a short time on the boat, and with it having rained only that day, the river was very muddy and made for a great time simply enjoying the river. There is great potential for a really great fishery, however, once the water clears and starts to recede.

Day 2 we made our way toward the Kwando River’s Namushasha River Lodge!

It was even prettier than I could have ever imagined; it is certainly the most beautiful river I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing... we were in heaven. Hippos grunting in the near distance every so often just puts into perspective that we were still in Africa and always need to be wary of these incredible mammals.

On one side of the river stands the Bwabwata National Park. Elephant sightings are common in the hotter/drier months, as well as a host of antelope. The local pride of lion, if not seen, are constantly heard in the distance from the lodge or campsites. On the side of the river we were camping at lays a number of communities who have pledged to look after their side of the river as a large number of mammals constantly cross the river for different grazing pastures. This simply put = Conservation!

This quaint river at its widest point is only about 70 yards +/- and some of the channels that we had to cruise through were just wide enough to fit the boat through, with reeds higher than we were able to see over. In parts, it was almost like being in a maze. Thankfully these parts do not go on too long.  Typical areas are lily pads with grass and reed banks, with a sand bottom.

The birding was great too with constant sightings of the wading birds or the extremely colorful bee-eaters swooping from overhanging branches for anything that happens to fly past.

Species are similar to the Zambezi River in that Tiger Fish are the sport fish in the river, with five species of Tilapia (Bream) and catfish to change fishing conditions if the need arises. Fly Fishing as well as Conventional fishing are both great out there, with the local guides knowing the river like the backs of their hands.

I was truly amazed at the raw beauty of this place.

The idea behind this trip is to incorporate a two-country fishing experience, with the Zambezi both in Zimbabwe and Namibia and the Kwando River in the Caprivi.

For me, a two-country itinerary lets one explore a lot more than you would if only a single lodge was booked. Things like the experience of going through a local border post or driving through the Chobe National Park (Top 5 National Park in Africa) on route into Namibia will be an experience all on their own. It’s a simple idea, with a private guide with you along the way to ensure smooth running of the itinerary and to aid with the fishing being the main reason for being in Southern Africa!

This particular Itinerary I will roll out in the near future as it will take a little while to really think how this would work for our anglers!

In the meantime, I have worked on the best fishing itinerary to come out of Zimbabwe! Incredible fisheries and scenery really have made this special to add to an itinerary that already involves spending your first night in Victoria Falls to experience the Greatest Natural Waterfalls in the World...

Watch the space! Hope y’all enjoy this read..

Happy Fishing

Umdingi Safaris

To send an inquiry to Clint, view more information about his trips, or to book this itinerary or another with Umdingi Safaris, go to his listing on Fisher Guiding.