Tanzania Trophy Tigerfish

Trophy tigerfish in remote Tanzania

Over the past decade the fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji River in south west Tanzania have built a well deserved reputation as two of the finest freshwater fisheries available to the adventurous travelling angler in search of trophy tigerfish.

Tanzania’s trophy tigerfish

Guests have access to 120km of river, split between two river systems – the Mnyera and the Ruhudji – fishing a maximum of eight anglers per week. The trophy tigerfish that call these rivers home provide unparalleled fishing opportunities in a stunning location. Both the Mnyera and Ruhudji rivers are widely regarded as THE destination in which to target tigerfish in the 10–25lb range.

In addition to tigerfish, both rivers are home to endemic species of yellowfish (rhino and black velvet) and the incredibly strong vundu. The continued success of the fisheries can be attributed to cutting edge concession and fishery management, and strict guiding protocols implemented by Tourette Fishing and Kilombero North Safaris.

The majority of the fishing is done while drifting. Attention is focused on the river structure which comprises fallen timber, long sand banks, steep drop-offs and rocky outcrops. When conditions dictate you will make use of sand anchors and tying up to structure mid-stream to focus your attention on a specific stretch of water. All fishing is done from 18ft aluminium boats which are ideally suited for these rivers. All boats are fitted with 25hp motors and each boat caters for two anglers, their guide as well as a boatman. Boats have ample storage areas and seating for three people and are equipped with first aid equipment. This river has received very little fishing pressure over the years and with the current controlled fly fishing operation, it will continue to do so. The system is extremely rich in bait fish (predominantly red finned barbs) and the lack of pressure has resulted in the population of tigerfish reaching exceptional sizes. Trophy fish in this system are measured above 20lb.

This is a strictly “catch and release” operation with single debarbed hooks. No beat is fished twice in a week; areas where fish are spawning are strictly no go and there is no re-drifting of beats allowed. This ensures you arrive at a fishery that is well rested and productive.

Rustic, comfortable bush camps

Two camps are involved in every trip with guests rotating mid-week. Dhalla Camp on the Mnyera is the base camp and is a permanent bush camp with large, thatched chalets comfortably sleeping two anglers. Each has two double beds with mosquito nets and a shower, toilet and basin are situated at the back of each chalet.  Hot water is provided courtesy of a donkey boiler behind each chalet. The main palapa serves as the hub for the fishermen and is the lounge, bar and dining area. A few steps down, sundowners and snacks are enjoyed around the fire at the end of the fishing day.

Samaki Camp is a simple, rustic seasonal bush camp and is the smaller sister of Dhalla Camp. Its location on the banks of the Ruhudji allows access to these productive waters and the camp itself is rebuilt at the beginning of every season. It consists of traditional Meru safari tents, both en-suite, each containing two single beds. A flushing loo and shower are attached to the rear of the tents and hot water is provided courtesy of the donkey boiler which is lit in the evening. Hot water is provided every morning in the basin  on the tented verandah.

The mess area at Samaki is situated in the shade of the riverside forest, although most meals are enjoyed alfresco, under the stars on a beautiful sandbank in front of the camp. Samaki camp has no electricity.

Buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant are common in the area, as well as a host of plains wildlife including puku, warthog, hartebeest, zebra, eland and bushbuck. The bird life is exceptional with many rare and endemic species found in the area. Pels fishing owl, along with palmnut vultures, Narina trogans, broad billed roller, African fin foot and white backed night herons all make this riverine environment their home.

“What a great experience that we will all keep in our memories of a lifetime. Hopefully, we can’t wait to get back out there!”  R.V. London, UK

A unique African fishing experience

Located in a remote corner of south west Tanzania, the Mnyera and Rhudji Rivers combine outstanding fishing for tigerfish and endemic species of yellowfish.  A two hour flight south west of Dar-es-Salaam brings you to the bush airstrip a short distance from Dhalla Camp on the Mnyera. Samiki Camp on the Rhudji River is approximately an hour and a half bush drive from Dhalla Camp.

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