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A fishing and angler’s paradise in Namibia

The northeastern parts of Namibia is a pure Angler’s Paradise for fishing enthusiasts. Have a look at the listed freshwater Species generally found throughout the Kwando/Linyanti, Okavango and Zambezi rivers. These are beautiful habitats of rich and diverse fishes. A recorded estimate of 79 species can be expected. The Okavango River offers close to 100 different species reaching up into the upper Zambezi. Namibia’s Okavango Delta is renowned as one of Africa’s top fishing destinations. Notable fish species include the various fish species which some of the most popular we will showcase inside this Blog post. The popular destination of the northeastern of Namibia remains a prefered location for freshwater anglers, both local and international visitors.

Some of the most prefered Species:

     + African Pike (Hepsetus odoe):

African Pike highly resembles the well known native European Pike. Although this species is not considered as a “Table Fish”, it’s nevertheless classified as a prime specimen for freshwater sporting fish. Their classic behaviour of leaping out of the water into the air while being on the line makes them easy to recognise. Generally, they reach a length of 46 – 48 cm and weighing around 1,5 – 2,1 kg (3,3 – 4,4 lbs). The African Pike prefers light streams and deep water and has a lifespan of approximately four to five years. Spawning normally begins in August and continues until January (certain locations have extended periods until May).

     + Threespot Tilapia (Oreochromis andersonii):

The threespot tilapia, three-spotted tilapia or threespot bream, is a species of cichlid native to most of southern Africa, which can be generally found in rivers and swamps in the southern half of the continent. Don’t underestimate this one hence it put’s up a good fight pushing every angler towards its limit. Endurance, skill and patience are mandatory. Should you be able to catch one it will provide an excellent feast as it is known for being a recommended table/culinary fish. This species reaches a general length of 61 cm (24 in) weighing in at about 3 kg (6,6 lbs). This species is also commercially farmed.

     + Tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus):

The renowned Tigerfish, also known as ngweshi, maluvali, tiervis, mcheni, manga, muvanga, shabani, simu kuta, uthlangi or uluthlangi remains a much loved freshwater sportfishing species. The tigerfish species is large, aggressive, silver-coloured, and certain individuals most commonly have one or more black lines running the length of either flank. This species is undoubtedly one of the most prized freshwater species due to its lightning speed, tailwalking and spectacular leaps. Did you know that most of the western game fishing world, tigerfish is considered Africa’s equivalent of the South American piranha, even though it belongs to a completely different zoological family. The Namibian weight record for this species is currently listed at 12,57 kg (27,7 lbs). The largest one on record and so with Guinness World Record holder is listed to have weighed 16.1 kg (35 lb 7 oz) – caught in the Kariba, Zimbabwe. Caught on the 12th September 2001 by Ms. Jennifer Daynes. A classic behaviour can be expected as it jumps and haggles repeatedly when hooked. Tigerfish will engage in almost any kind of bait, including lures. A wire leader is recommended due to the sharp teeth.

Other well-known species (linked):

Nembwe (Serranochromis robustus)

Thinface Largemouth (Serranochromis angusticeps)

Green Bream (Oreochromis macrochir)

Redbreast Tilapia (Coptodon rendalli)


Carp  (Cyprinus carpio)

Cave Catfish (Clarias cavernicola)

Smallmouth yellowfish (Barbus aeneus)

     + Something different:

Sharptooth Catfish (Clarias gariepinus):

The African sharptooth catfish lives in freshwater is an obligatory air breather, and can survive on land during drought. The African sharptooth catfish is a large, eel-like fish, usually of black or dark grey colouration on its back, fading towards a white-ish belly. This catfish aka. Barber is also able to crawl on the dry ground to escape drying pools or ponds. Furthermore, it is able to survive in shallow fields by swallowing certain amounts of mud for extended periods of time, mostly between non-rainy seasons. Despite the possible threats which include diverse predation and habitat competition with indigenous species or habitat degradation or the spread of diseases and parasites, there is a lack of knowledge regarding its ecology and population dynamics within invaded ecological systems. The world record remains at 42,18 kg (93 lbs). Some Namibian Postal Stamps below…

     + A little Note:

A freshwater angling licence is required for all inland freshwater fishing available at the Regional Council at Katima Mulilo or Rundu.

Contact us, should you be interested in a Guided or Self-Drive Tour for your next Namibian Safari heading into this region.

     + Freshwater angling regulations:

• Freshwater angling permits must be obtained beforehand. Monthly permits can be obtained from any of Namibia’s 13 regional councils at N$14.20 for Namibian residents, and N$28.40 for non-Namibians (* cost’s valid for the present date of Blog Post – prior to change without Notice!).

• In the Kavango, Zambezi and Kunene rivers plus in the Oshanas in the Owambo regions, only a limited number of nets with specific sieve sizes are allowed, and nets may not be placed closer than 100 metres to each other. All nets must be registered annually.

Would you like to know more about this specific Namibian Region?

At Namibia Adventures we support responsible Hobby / Professional fishing. More in-depth detailed Information on “Catch and release” fishing/angling available here!

A complete Guide on Namibia’s Atlantic Saltwater / Oceanwater species available soon…

• Also read this Blog Post about Namibian Atlantic Deep-Sea Trawling


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