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Hunting Tigers On The Zambezi River

Tiger FishingTiger FishingTiger Fishing

There comes a time when the male species of our race tend to gather in groups and embark on “expeditions” in search of the best international rugby matches, copious quantity’s of bitterly cold beer, game hunting or fishing. With this in mind, a group of very different but like minded “tiger hunters” arrived at OR-TAMBO International Airport on a bitterly cold July 16th morning. The baggage of this group of hunters consisted mainly of strange looking plastic tubes which could have easily concealed “secret weapons of mass destruction”!


These fishing tubes are the “Look at me, I’m going on an angling expedition and your not” badges of pride, they are paraded at many check in counters with pleas from the owners of “you won’t lose this will you?”
So they gathered: George “nonchalant” Browskie, Erich “Mr Clean” Shavesande, Kieran “Chap” Treacy and Chris “Brochure” Wood. The Destination – Shackletons Lodge, Mwandi, Upper Zambezi, Zambia.


The June/July winter season is reputed to be the target months to catch the tiger run, a natural phenomena of small bait fish coming of the flood plains as the mighty Zambezi recedes. The tigers are supposed to be in a feeding frenzy and will nail anything that resembles a fish of any size, except if a cold front comes through from the Cape, the other months in the year are quite good too.


So after the usual one hour and twenty mins flight to Livingstone courtesy of BA, we arrived pumped up and ready to “hunt tigers”.  The usual airport pandemonium was encountered and it was off to Shackleton's Lodge which is an approx an hour and a half drive. A quick meet and greet at the lodge and a rush down to Shackletons Harbour, rods and tackle in hand, well why waste time, there was fish to catch and Mosi’s to be quaffed...

Tiger Fishing

I am not going to bore any readers of this story with catch numbers and weights; needless to say many fish were caught by using many different fishing methods, some never seen by any tiger on the mighty Zambezi ever! Some worked well, some should have worked well but didn’t, some completely failed and some (like the floating rubber frogs) need to be tested next time, always a next time.

The lodge needs a quick mention, Howard Shackleton (a name any marketing guru would love for a fishing lodge), runs a tight ship, stylish accommodation that even the girls would love, if invited….

Brilliant food. I think I can speak on behalf of the team, some memorable meals were served to the fishing weary lads on all nights. One must remember that the lodge is situated in a remote part of Zambia, a highly commendable achievement!

The lodge needs a quick mention, Howard Shackleton (a name any marketing guru would love for a fishing lodge), runs a tight ship, stylish accommodation that even the girls would love, if invited….

Brilliant food. I think I can speak on behalf of the team, some memorable meals were served to the fishing weary lads on all nights. One must remember that the lodge is situated in a remote part of Zambia, a highly commendable achievement!

Shackleton'sShackletons

Safari Par Excellence to the rescue, a brand new Toyota Quantum was dispatched to the lads and we made it after quick dash to the airport and a plead with a rather grumpy BA check-in chap. We made it, we were on the flight with dreams of the last cast (funny, I did manage to catch a tiger on that ABF cast!) and the good times had by all.

The stories will become epic over time, the fun, friendship and laughter (sounds like a Castle Lager ad) will be missed, and the fishing……wow!

To the class of 2009, well done, the saying goes: “friends and family are family are like fish, after three days they stink”! Well we all survived four full days and five nights without a grumble or harsh word, except those maybe spoken by me at 02h00, sorry to be the party pooper but I do need that beauty sleep! I think most will be back for that 13.5kg tiger that lurks in the upper Zambezi system after having been adopted by a family of barbel and fed until huge on the abundant, croc eating Zambezi Floating River Frog…..

Special thanks to:
Howard “six shot” Shackleton – Shackletons Lodge, Upper Zambezi River Zambia
James Murray – Shackletons Lodge
Graham Nel – Safari Par Excellence
Brigitte Mosig – Maplanga Africa

And not forgetting…
Remy, for your unending humour and massive personality
Smart – The right choice for some..
Mosi Lager – for the clogged up bums, great Zambian beer but take some prunes!

 If you and your mates would like to do this trip, please give us a shout, we know Zambia and we can get you there affordably. It’s what we do and we do it well!

See our latest special to Shackleton's

 

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