Impalila Island Lodge Namibia

Impalila Island Lodge Namibia

Tiger fishing with Impalila Island Lodge, Chobe, NamibiaOn one of the most famous junctions of the Upper Zambezi River, where four countries meet, lies the Impalila Island Lodge. It overlooks its own private channel along the famous Mambova Rapids and, most importantly, is ideally situated in world-class tiger fish country.

While tiger fish can be taken on artificial lure, these Upper Zambezi waters also provide superb and abundant flyfishing opportunities, including many kilometres of the Zambezi itself, the Kasai channel, the Mambova Rapids and extensive minor waterways. Additionally, the flyfishing boats from the lodges can also easily access the famous game-viewing Chobe River. In all these waters tigers, sharptooth catfish and various species of largemouth bream, including the beautiful nembwe (Serranchromis robustus) can be caught.

The fearsome tiger fish (Hydrocynus vittatus) is the desired quarry of anglers and, in these water, it reaches 20 lbs. It fully deserves it’s reputation as one of the hardest freshwater hitters of a fly and its acceleration, once hooked, is legendary. Indeed it was often said that only one-out-of-ten tigers was ever landed.

The Zambezi tiger season has also been lengthened with the development of new flyfishing techniques. Now, the peak season is now regarded as being from June – October, though often Impalila’s biggest tigers are landed in November.

The changing water levels of the Zambezi breed a number of specific opportunities to land, not only the bread-and-butter 2 – 6 lb. tigers, but to come to grips with a double-figure fish of a lifetime. In 2007 and 2008, during the peak months, our special flyfishing Tiger Quests, hosted at lovely Impalila Island Lodge by author Malcolm Meintjes, produced memorable fish throughout, with the biggest fish each season ranging from between 17 – 18 lb. In the cooler months, one may also come to grips with lovely largemouth bream species up to 7 lb, such as the nembwe and the thinface largemouth, as well as the sharptooth catfish which grows to over 40 lbs.


Impalila Island Lodge, Chobe, NamibiaFamous Impalila Island Lodge, one of the forerunners of the development of flyfishing for tiger fish on the upper Zambezi, is situated on the picturesque Mambova Rapids. It comprises eight, luxury en-suite thatched chalets, all built with their own personal view of the rapids and is also known for its excellent cuisine. The lodge lies a mere 70 kilometres up river from the Victoria Falls, making it easily accessible from a number of international airports, including Livingstone and Victoria Falls itself. The flights are only 1 ½ hours from Johannesburg in South Africa.

Aside from the excellent fishing, Impalila Island and surrounds are renowned for the magnificent birding with over 250 species recorded. Take a walk through one of the local villages on the island or simply relax by the pool and regenerate the batteries.

While elephant are often seen by flyfishers close by on the river (or crossing it), Impalila Lodge arranges an extremely special outing into the Chobe National Park to view extensive game from the waterside – an often unforgettable experience. Elephant and buffalo, kudu, Chobe bushbuck, various antelope, as well as hippo and crocodile can be seen at close range. There is even a chance of seeing lion coming down to quench their thirst.

16lb tiger fish, Impalila Island Lodge, NamibiaFLYFISHING TIGER QUESTS

In 2008 and 2009, to commemorate 10 years since the publication of his book Zambezi Tiger, Islands in Africa invited well-known author-flyfisher Malcolm Meintjes to host his unique flyfishing Tiger Quests at Impalila Island Lodge. These special flyfishing packages are ideal for small groups (4 – 10) who wish to spend 4 – 6 days at Impalila and are run during the months of June – November.

Even before retiring from the financial sector, Malcolm spent many hours on these waters of the Upper Zambezi. Thus, not only does he have an intimate knowledge of the different river systems in the area, but shares his unique and exciting flyfishing techniques for catching tiger fish. No matter if you are an experienced flyfisher or beginner, this is a wonderful opportunity to benefit from his exceptional knowledge and to match wits with Hydrocynus vittatus.

While the tiger is renowned for being an escape artist, the Quest have recorded between 60 – 80% hooked-to-landed ratio and, in 2008, some 15 tigers over 10 lbs. were landed on fly. Appropriate fly tackle (always important) can also be arranged in need.

Consider forming or joining an existing tiger Quest and, in the relatively few days, available, accelerate the chances of success in pursuing these remarkable wild fish. The Tiger Quest packages include: luxury accommodation at Impalila Island Lodge, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, teas/coffees), house wine at dinner, flyfishing boat and fuel as well as the Quest itself (max 2 flyfishers to a boat).

Flyfishers on the Kasai Flyfishers on the Kasai

                                                                                                                                                       Tiger fishing  Impalila Island Lodge Safari in Namibia On safari with Impalila Island Lodge                                                   

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Impalila Island Lodge, Namibia