As far as offering a complete African wildlife experience, very few wilderness regions can compete with the lower Zambezi. Stretching from Lake Kariba, once the largest man made lake in the world, to the Mozambique border, this spectacular big game paradise is highlighted by the moody, meandering and mighty Zambezi River. In stark contrast with the turbulence of Victoria Falls, or the vastness of Kariba itself, this stretch of the Zambezi creates the backdrop of escarpment, floodplain, wetland, forest and woodland. The variety is staggering.
Glorious sunsets are enjoyed by a selection of remote and inviting lodges and bush camps. The river is the magnet here, and game viewing abounds, either by vehicle, boat, canoe or on foot. It is a wonderland of elephant, buffalo, hippo, various antelope and interloping predators. Birdlife is a major draw-card. And on the river, surrounded by all of this, there is of course, world famous tigerfish angling.
The Zambezi is the ‘tiger fish’ capital of the universe, and these voracious predators are renowned for their sporting qualities that attract both professional and casual fisherman from all over the world. Even if fishing is not your thing (most lodges operate a catch and release system), a day spent drifting on the Zambezi, soaking in the wild animals, air and space, returning to a hospitable campfire, is sure to be a memorable one indeed.
But there is something interesting about tigerfish, if you prefer not catching them. After many invalidated stories, it was recently authentically documented here that tigerfish actually catch birds in flight! A group of naturalists watched a tiger leap from the water and snatch a low flying swallow as it came in to drink on the wing. As far as we know, no footage of this behaviour actually exists … not even in the National Geographic archives!
It just goes to show: nature’s capacity to surprise never ceases, and there is so much to see off the beaten safari track. The Lower Zambezi may not be on the front page of most safari menus, but it what’s for sure, it is full of surprises.