Sekoma & Ilombe

African Zambezi Adventure Fishing Vacation

Trip Summary

Destination Sekoma and Ilombe Island Lodges
Country Zambia
Season Low: Feb to May | Mid: June to Sept | High: Oct to Jan
Trip Type Tented Accommodation
Species Tigerfish ~ Tilapia ~ Bream ~ Catfish ~ African Pike
Description Adventure fishing on Chobe and Zambezi Rivers
Cost SEKOMA $285 p/p, p/night | ILOMBE $275 p/p, p/night
Duration Suggested minimum 4 days

View the Sekoma & Ilombe Video

Trip Introduction

On the banks of the Zambezi, close to the confluence with the Chobe, lie Sekoma and Ilombe Island Lodges. A "Robinson Crusoe" island, it teems with indigenous fauna and abundant flora and boasts more than 70 different fish species.

The waters surrounding Sekoma Island are only navigable by mokoro (dugout boat) except the northern point area which has been converted into the Lodge's harbour and clients, therefore, have total exclusivity.

From the lodges there is a mouthwatering choice of fishing in the Zambezi and Chobe rivers as well as the Kasai channel, providing a range of magnificent fishing opportunities.

With an infinite diversity of flora and fauna around every corner, this river is a professional and amateur photographer’s dream. Crocodile, buffalo, antelope, birds and (occasionally) lions roam the banks of the Chobe and hippos are hiding around every corner.

After a hard day on the water, enjoy a sun downer drink whilst watching elephants drinking from the nearest sand bank, under an African sunset.

The Fishing

Each boat has its own guide and will always have a cooler box stocked with cold drinks. Boats normally leave the lodge around 5.30-6.00am, but you can arrange specific times with your guide to suit your needs. The hottest hours of the day are between midday and 2pm-3pm, so anglers are encouraged to rest at the time, especially during the sweltering months of September and October. Boats will leave again from 3pm onwards and stay on the water until sun down.

From the lodges there is a mouthwatering choice of fishing in the Zambezi and Chobe rivers as well as the Kasai channel, providing a range of magnificent fishing opportunities.

Sekoma Lodge operates from the Zambian side of the Mambova Rapids on a stretch of river that experiences an annual flood. This flood brings growth and replenishment to the system.

Every year the Chobe and Zambezi floods onto its many floodplains, creating self-sustaining stocking. Tiger Fish use these flood plains as their breeding grounds

It is an ideal venue for the adventurous angler, whether a conventional lure or fly angler. Tiger fish, large tilapia, colourful bream species, catfish and African pike can be caught here. The hard-fighting tiger fish, which is world renowned for its fierce, acrobatic fight, has earned the reputation of being one of the world’s toughest freshwater fish.

Techniques vary, with fly and lure fishing being the predominant methods used. The largemouth bream and tilapia species, namely the Nembwe (Olive or Yellow Belly Bream), Thinface largemouth, Humpback largemouth as well as Three Spot and Redbreast tilapia take artificials and flies readily. Anglers can also probe the lesser visited backwaters and lily-padded lagoons in search of the many vegetarian species of bream, like Greenhead tilapia and Pink happies.

Tigers are caught mainly by fly and lure fishing, but in April when the river is higher and often coloured, the lodge does allow some bait fishing with circle hooks and fish baits.

Angling on the main river is with either fibre-glass bass boats or spacious aluminium boats, which have been modified for fly fishermen with snag free carpeted decks. Sekoma and Ilombe have eight boats in their fleet which are powered by 55hp motors. Boats can take two fly anglers or three or four lure anglers at any time.

In the low water season, from mid-September onwards through to December, anglers are able to access the untouched rapids and riffles around the island with canoes as well as the main river – a definite must.

The Accommodation

At Sekoma there are 8 twin and 2 four sleeper tented suites. Ilombe has 5 twin tents and each can be easily converted in to one queen-size double or two singles. All ‘Safari-style’ tents have twin beds, en-suite bathroom facilities and are raised on wooden decking, each with their own breathtaking view of the Zambezi River.

At Sekoma, there is a main Boma (Place of Fire), where sometimes guests dine under the stars alongside the river. At night whilst eating dinner or having a drink around the fire, the atmosphere is echoed by owls calling and hippos doing their grunting and snorting. The Boma also has a fully stocked bar and there is a second fireplace close to the communal area where guests can sit around in the winter, warming their hands while waiting to start the day’s fishing.

Ilombe has a spacious communal / dining area, lounge and wooden deck with built-in fire place, that extends out to Zambezi River. In the communal area we have a fully stocked bar and wicker sofas to relax on.

Breakfasts are served from 5.30am onwards, but a packed breakfast can be arranged to take with you on the boats. Lunch and dinner are served in the communal area or around the Boma/Braai pit in the evenings.

Travel Plan

Day 1: Arrive at your accommodation at approx. 1/2pm in the afternoon. Depart for an afternoon activity, either fishing for the evening or go on a game cruise on the river.

Day 2 Onwards: Fishing every day, starting from 5.30/6am each morning. Arrange times with your private guides throughout the day and choose which parts of the river you wish to fish.

Final Day: Depart lodge in the morning by boat to the Zambian or Botswana land borders. Transfer to your departure airport or next onward destination.

What Does it Cost?

DURATION Suggested minimum 4 days
COST SEKOMA $285 p/p, p/night | ILOMBE $275 p/p, p/night
OCCUPANCY Cost based on Double Occupancy
INCLUDED Accommodation, all meals and bottled water, return boat transfers between immigration posts/airports, all activities such as game viewing by boat, guided walks on the island, birding, fishing and park fees.
NOT INCLUDED Soft drinks, local beers, and house wines (Cash bar available), international airfares to and from Kasane or Livingstone Airports, tipping, passports, visas, meals other than in camp, costs associated with medical advice and medications for your trip, lures, fishing tackle etc. (tackle can be hired). Return transfer from Kasane airport $40. Return transfer from Livingstone airport $120.

Example Trips based on min. 2 persons, same rates all year round::
SEKOME LODGE, 6 nights 5+ days fishing : $1,710 pp*
ILOMBE LODGE, 6 nights 5+ days fishing : $1,650 pp*

Children: You can include children (under 12) on this trip as follows:
SEKOMA ISLAND LODGE: $143 p/child p/night
ILOMBE ISLAND LODGE: $138 p/child p/night

Health Information: Travellers must note that on entering Zambia immigration, they may be asked to present an up-to-date YELLOW FEVER vaccination certificate. This is now law in Zambia. The Lower Zambezi is a malaria affected area so appropriate prophylactic like Malarone is advisable.

Visas: At point of entry into Zambia, you will be required to buy a tourist visa. A single entry is approx. 50$USD and a double entry visa is 80$USD. If entering through Botswana, a visa is not required until on Zambian soil.

Airports: Anglers arrive at Kasane Airport in Botswana or Livingstone in Zambia. Transfers from either airport will be arranged for you. British Airways or South African Airways have daily flights from/via O.R. Tambo Airport, Johannesburg. For those wishing to travel onwards to a different country, transfers can be arranged for an extra fee.

* Prices are stated as a guide and may be subject to currency and seasonal variations. Please enquire for exact prices for the dates you are interested in.

** All prices are subject by Zambian law to an additional 16% VAT (Value Added Tax) to that stated.

*** A 50% deposit is required to reserve places when booking. The remaining payment is due 90 days before arrival in Botswana/Zambia.


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