The Wild Barotse Drift Trip

A drift based tiger fishing experience on a secluded section of the Zambezi River.

WHERE: THe zambezi River
WHEN: JULY – NOVEMBER
DURATION: 6 nights

A 6 night drift based tigerfishing experience

40km of the Upper Zambezi starting at the base of the Sioma Falls is fished off specialist drift craft with 2 anglers per guided craft, fishing tackle and a well-stocked cool box! Anglers should come into contact with double figure tigerfish on a regular basis on fly and lure. Splitting the trip across 2 camp locations ensures the water is always rested and because you are drifting, each day brings new water.

The inflatable BOATS

The inflatable boats for accurate positioning and silent approaches to good water.

2 different camps

A sleep-out fly camp and the Lumbe Pools chalets combination spreads out the accommodation across the drfit.

(Fly camp pictured above)

unique water every day

Our drift system approach means every engler knows the water is not over-fished.

TRIP OVERVIEW

A Typical Day on the Drift Trip 

The drift trip will start with 2 or 3 nights in a ‘sleep-out’ camp followed by 3/4 nights at Lumbe Pools camp. Each day you will either drift down river, or you willl be transported by boat to where the boats are stationed and waiting for you. There are 5 unique and separate beats per fishing day.

  1. 6.30am – 11.00am

    Fish for a few hours in the morning followed by a pop up breakfast on a beach or rocky point.

  2. 11.00am – 13.00 pm

    Continue fishing until a midday stop point.

  3. 13.00/15.30 pm

    Midday stop for lunch, beach boule, beach golf or a gin tasting etc.

  4. 15.30 – 17.00 pm

    Afternoon fishing session begins.

  5. 17.30/18.00 pm

    Meet the boats to go back to camp.

What makes the Wild Barotse Drift trip unique?

Unlike most camps on the Zambezi, we fish our stretch of water on a rotated beat basis. We have found this is to be an IMPERATIVE fishing management style to ensure consistent results and protect the fishery. Accordingly, we have 5 full day beats that we aim to fish once during your trip with each piece of water able to sustain 4 drift boats or 2 motor boats at a time. 

These beats are loosely defined as the following:

The Falls Water

Immediately below the Ngonye Falls and 4 massive pools and rapids that follow. This water is only fishable with the drift boats and access from pool to pool will require quick manual portages over the rocks. This is an incredible piece of water as the full power of the Zambezi surges through these narrow necks and big pools.

The Gorge Water

This runs from the last Falls rapid to just above the bridge with one major rapid in between. Although wider and slightly slower, this piece of the river is only fished with motor boats up to the big rapid so again, the drift boats are critical in getting access to the big fish that are found here above this rapid. The big rapid can be shot but guests are advised to portage.

The Bridge – Sioma Camp

The river is still quite narrow with clearly defined rocky points and islands. Slightly slower flowing, this piece of water produces our biggest fish of the season most years.

Sioma Camp – Lumbe Pools

The river is now wide and slow flowing. Rock points mix with sandy bays and reed lined fringes. There is less clear structure to target here and more sub-surface drop offs and structure needs to be found to bring about results.

Lumbe Pools Downstream

Much like the day before, the river is slow and wide with more vegetation and sub surface structure. Towards the end of this day, shallow rapid and riffle systems appear which can provide a lot of action at the end of the trip

Why drift boats?

We made the unconventional decision to introduce our inflatable drift boats under the care of the expert guiding team at X-Factor Angling to our operation as a result of the following observations from over a decade of tiger fishing this area:

  • Tigerfish respond very negatively to fishing pressure and boat engine noise– quiet water that is not over-fished by boats with engines always produced better results.

  • The water immediately below the Sioma Falls is inaccessible for motorboats during the low water season (when fishing is at its best) for at least the first 2 days of our drift trip. Bringing in inflatable drift boats opened up water that was previously unreachable by boat.

  • Tigerfish love structure and it is very important to be able to approach structure quietly and hold a position for long enough to work lures and flies. Conventional motor boats are not able to do this efficiently and quietly.

Our conventional motor boat fleet is made up of 2 (with access to a third) aluminum fishing boats that are 18ft in length fitted with chairs, carpets and 90 or 100hp 4 stroke motors. We also have a pontoon boat which is ideal for drifting and trolling. We use these 4 boats around Lumbe Pools for the non-drift trip fishing as well as logistical support on the drift trip.

Scroll left or right see photos from the 2023 season ->

Itinerary & Travel Logistics

Option 1: Fly to Kasane or Livingstone

  1. Arrival in Kasane

    Arrival at Kasane or Liv Airport

  2. Collection + Transfer

    Our preferred transfer company will meet you and drive you to the Lumbe Pools Parking bay (opposite Lumbe).

  3. Arrival at the camp

    3. Staff management will meet you and transfer you by boat across the river to Lumbe.

*Travel time from Kasane: 2 hrs & from Liv: 4hrs*

Option 2: Fly via Private Charter

  1. Choose the airstrip

    Chat to us about which airstrip to use.

  2. Collection + Transfer

    Upon arrival at the airstrip. you will be collected by our team and driven to the Lumbe Pools Parking bay

  3. Arrival at the camp

    Once at the Parking bay, you will be transferred by boat across the river to camp.

The Drift Trip is best experienced between July and November

Complete the form below to mke a booking and we'll get back to you within a few hours

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    Three exciting Lumbe Pools packages coming in 2024!

    Not quite ready to enquire with us? That's not a problem, we don't want to rush you! But before you go, why not download this FREE pdf to see what exciting packages we have in store for 2024? 

    2023 Guest Reviews

    What some of our first guests of our opening season are saying...

    12 AUGUST 2023

    Thank you for an amazing time! You made me feel so special from the minute I arrived here, I will return and bring my friends and family back to experience this beauty.

    Elsie Bodington

    28 AUGUST 2023

    An amazing week! I am looking forward to coming back and seeing how this cmap develops over the next few years! This is the start of something truely sepcials on the Zambezi.

    Mike Gretzi

    29 august 2023

    What an incredible week! Thanks for the Lumbe team for an amazing few days o the Zambezi. Great fun, great people and great fishing. We will be back!

    Louis & Tim Botha

    Please note that camping is not permitted at Lumbe Pools. 

    EVERWILD group

    Lumbe is a part of the Everwild Grou. Find out who Everwild is and what other camps are members here.

    location & logistics

    Lumbe is located 30km from Sioma Falls and 300km from Livingstone.  

    how to reach us
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