Sport Fishing In Uganda
Sport fishing adventure and safaris in Uganda is one of the life time experience activity that visitors can enjoy while on their African Safari. Uganda is one of the best sport fishing destinations in Africa and she can never betray her visitors this is because of having numerous fishing spots such as Rivers, Lakes and Swamps and many species of fish such as Nile perch, Tilapia, Cat fish etc that are sustained by the country’s good climate which gives good breeding environment.
Where to do Sport Fishing in Uganda
Besides wildlife safaris, birding safaris, cultural tours, gorilla and chimpanzee safaris, mountaineering, adventure safaris, Uganda is excellently one of the exceptional sport fishing destinations in Africa with its remarkable water bodies distributed indifferent parts of the country mostly on Western and Eastern arms of the Great Rift Valley, Uganda has a number of water resources that unquestionably supports both commercial and sport fishing which positions the country to be the best fishing destination. Approximately a 3rd of Uganda is occupied by fresh water bodies such as Lake Victoria, the country’s and Africa’s largest Lake and the second largest fresh water body in the world, Lake Kyoga as you head towards the Central part of Uganda, Lake George, Lake Albert, Lake Mburo, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Edward. Incredible Rivers including the Mighty River Nile which features as the longest in Uganda and the second longest in the whole world, River Katonga, River Aswa, River Kafu and River Rwizi. Besides, there are numerous wetlands and swamps which equally offer refuge to distinct fish species that makes Uganda the best destination for sport fishing safaris in Africa.
About 350 fish species have been recorded in Uganda water bodies, but the most common and target for commercial exploitation and other purposes include Nile perch, Nile tilapia, the catfishes Bagrus and Clarias, Tiger fish, the small pelagic “sardine”, lungfish, and the haplo chromines. But for fishing adventure safari Nile Perch, Nile Tilapia, Catfish and Lungfish are the most popular due to their size for example a huge Nile perch can grow up to 200 kilograms large and up to 6 ft length and listed as one of the largest freshwater fishes in the world and easy to catch biggest both during day and at night.
Where to go for sport fishing in Uganda
There are several Sport fishing spots in Uganda namely;
Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls National Park is among the leading places where sport fishing is conducted. This park is located in Northwestern Uganda, approximately five hour drive from Kampala City. The park is also a home to the world’s strongest Falls “The Murchison Falls” and inhabiting a big number of wild life including four members of the “African big five” Fishing here is mainly done along the Victoria Nile both from the shores of the River and when using a motor. Fishing from the shores and at the bottom of the falls is most exciting experience because it involves catching fish along rocky surfaces at the Devil’s Cauldron however, the anglers has to take cautions of Hippos and Nile crocodiles. At Murchison Falls National Park Nile perch is the main target specie and for better result we advised you have a local fishing guide.
Fishing experiences in Murchison falls involves the use of live baits and casting lures and visitors have a higher opportunity to catch amazing fish species like the Nile perch and cat fish as well as tiger fish. Therefore anglers need to come with three meter or 2.4 meter rod with a mounted spool or multiplier fishing reel, seven spinning rod with 3/5 kilogram line for catching small fish species and for cat fish and the Nile perch, you can use any fixed spool or multiplier with 30 to 35Ib line. You will need a sport fishing permit to allow you partake this most exhilarating adventure in Murchison falls national park which will also offer you opportunity to catch at least a 108 kilogram Nile perch. We advocate for conservation of the environment, wildlife and antiquities and for the continuity of adventurous tourism for the future destinations; therefore, any individual wishing to do sport fishing should think of using recommendable fishing methods and equipment by authorities and should be willing to catch and release to make the activity enjoyable.
How to reach to Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park is found in the Northwest of Uganda approximately a 6 hours drive from Kampala (looking at the traffic in Kampala and a few tarred roads that lead to the park). Note that the roads in the park are Murrum, hence advised to drive in a 4 x 4 vehicle; spacious and comfortable for you and also with room to carry your fishing equipment.
You could also take a flight to the park with a charter from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip since the park has airfields like Pakuba airfield. This makes the journey shorter and time saving mainly for people with limited travel time makes the distance shorter.
When to Fish
Sport fishing Adventure safaris are an all year round activity though there are some exceptional month and these are January, March and July to October. Best catches are seen early in the morning and late in the day. Though best results of fish are when the water level is low since water is clearer, i.e from Mid-January to Early-April. Also it is said that fish feed more when weather conditions vary dramatically especially at the start of the rainstorms.
As earlier mentioned that you need to carry your fishing equipment and keep in mind all fish caught are not killed it’s laid back in the water alive. Methods are by casting lures, spinning and catching fish on live bait and fish species caught include; Nile perch, Catfish, Tiger fish among others.
All anglers are advised to have rods that are between 8 feet and 11 feet with a multiplier reel. While catching smaller species; a 7’ spinning rod is recommended.
For safety reasons and successful fishing adventure safaris, we recommend that any who wishes to go for a fishing vacation in Uganda should do it with assistance of an experience local fishing guide or to go through a reputable tour operator for better arrangements.
Lake Victoria is the second world’s largest fresh water body that covers about 69485 square kilometers. It got its name from Queen Victoria and amongst Africa’s Great Lakes that is fed by River Kagera which flows from Rwanda and with Rive Nile as the Major out let. This incredible natural wonder is distributed within 3 East African countries that is Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and has over 84 islands, it is the major supporter of fishing activities in the East African region.
Sport fishing adventure safaris on Lake Victoria is an all year round venture but from October to March is greatly the best period for fishing tours. Traveling for fishing in Uganda during this period will never be a loose due to the fact that there will be higher opportunities for the angler to at least catcha huge Nile perch approximately between 80 kilograms to 150 kilogram. The major fishing techniques used in Lake Victoria include trolling with lure. As well, there are chances of catching the Tilapia of about one to two kilograms using fly fishing methods. Anglers can therefore set off for fishing adventures on Lake Victoria with an 18 feet boat with a single foam filled hull which is managed by a Yamaha 140 HP that takes about four people.
It is good to use a boat that has a sun overhead shed, rain jackets, a GPS, an electronic fish finder, life jackets, first aid box, cold drinks, fire extinguisher and flares mobile phones. For day fishing tours, they begin at 9:00am up to 12:30pm or afternoon that begins from 1:00pm to 5:00pm with half day fishing tours that take about four hours and full day tours taking eight hours. This adventure is usually conducted around the local islands and it takes visitors about 45 minutes boat ride from mainland Entebbe.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo is another best spot for sport fishing adventure safaris in Uganda found in western part of the Uganda situated within the stunning Lake Mburo National Park. Contains 6 different fish species including the tilapia. You can come with your own gear and don’t forget to get a fishing permit that are bought from Uganda Wildlife Authority and you can book them through your ground tour operator.