Upper Zambezi Tiger Fishing 

Experience the famous Barotse tigerfish on our section of the Upper Zambezi

This region of the Zambezi River offers remote, private water with numerous islands, rapids, deep channels to fish.

We offer a different and unique approach to tigerfishing by using specialist drift boats AND our motor boats. The attraction to our stretch of the Upper Zambezi river is the fact that we are almost the only commercial operator here – you are unlikely to see another boat on the river here. We also have an incredible variety of fishing water available – rapids, gorge water, slow and wide pieces etc. 

out location

What makes Lumbe Pools different?

Our location in the southern half of Barotseland means you can reach our fishery WITHOUT having to use a charter flight if you prefer not to. We are located south of the floodplains and the bulk of our water is rock based.

The Tiger Fishing Season in Barotseland

Use thie guide to help plan your trip to Barotseland:


March / April


Normally the water is rising and discolored with the odd storm still falling.

Fishing can be very productive with bait in fast moving water or fishing flies into flooded structure. Fish size varies through this period with smaller fish holding to structure.


May / June / July


Water is dropping, clearing but also cooling.

A temperamental time when the fishing is impacted by water levels, clarity and temperature. A time that requires a flexible approach to fishing switching between bait, trolling and spinning BUT also fishing over the midday hours as well. Fishing can be extremely productive near the rapids, especially with lures which are becoming more visible but cold fronts can put the fish off the bite for a day or 2. Generally fish in the 2lb – 11lb range caught.


August / September


Water low, clear and starting to warm up. 

Bait fishing no longer a consistent solution and fish responding well to flies and lures as the water temperatures rise. Double figure fish coming out more consistently although cold, windy days from late fronts can impact fishing. A very good time for lures and fly and fish from 2lb – 16lb are being caught.


October / November


Water low, still and very clear.

Early mornings and moving water are vital now as fishing can be tricky after weeks of hot, still days. Big fish are coming out but the number of the smaller fish caught start declining.


November / December


Water low, clear but some colour returns with first storms.

Our personal favourite time although the chances of rain disruption increases as you get closer to Christmas. However the storms seem to oxygenate the water and the system and fishing activity can be intense with our biggest fish of the season consistently coming out during this time. Big lures, fly and live bait all worth trying.

What to fish with, when?

Keep this mind for when you visit Barotseland.

Conditions when used? Fishing with tiger fillets or dead bait fish is generally reserved for when the water is dirty and high. The deeper and more heavy currents in Sioma can also be fished with bait.


Time of the year? Generally in March, April and occasionally December. However, always worth a try when fishing goes slow and fish get difficult. The results always seem better in deeper, fast moving water.

Conditions when used? Clearer warmer water


Time of the year? Our location outside of a floodplain makes securing live bait in decent and consistent quantity difficult BUT can be excellent in the warmer months of September, October and November when the water is low and clear.

Conditions when used? All year with various degrees of success.


Time of the year? In the early part of the year when the water is high and dirty, bright flies that push a lot of water will often produce fish IF your casting is accurate and into structure. During the early winter months and the cooler months when the water is dropping and clearing, fish will take bright, natural flies in quick moving water below and around the rapids. From September onwards, fly fishing needs to concentrate in deeper water with sparse, natural patterns with drop offs, sandbars and eddies below rapids being the first places to work. There is also the potential to target the Upper Zambezi yellowfish using the same tactics and flies that smallmouth yellows respond to on the Vaal and Orange.

Conditions when used? All year with various degrees of success.


Time of the year? Poppers seem to create too much splash and noise but walkers and slider type lures in the early hours of the morning and late evenings are always worth a throw. Bites go down significantly once there is direct sunlight on the water. Hook up rates are very low.

Conditions when used? Usually used once the water is dropping and getting cleaner.


Time of the year? Spinning and casting lures is our most popular means of fishing from about mid-May onwards. Distance from the boat both with trolling and spinning will improve bite rates and so braid can be extremely useful in setting the hook from a long way off. Bigger, brighter lures in the deeper water have always brought out the biggest fish.

Conditions when used? Usually used once the water is dropping and getting cleaner.


Time of the year? Copper spoons are the most effective means of bringing out fish but tend to be more successful in the fast moving waters or fished on or near rock structure.

Conditions when used? Usually used once the water is dropping and getting cleaner.


Time of the year? A relatively new weapon to the arsenal and not in good supply at the camp BUT already has proved effective in the deep, still pools and bays around Sioma.

Fishing in barotseland

A Typical Day in Barotseland

How you will be spending you time at Lumbe

  1. 6.30am – 11.00am

    Wake up call for coffee in your room or around the fire. Fishing will follow until about 10.30am/11am.

  2. 10.30am

    Return to camp for brunch.

  3. 11.00am – 14.30 pm

    Relax in camp, snorkeling, visit the Falls.

  4. 14.30 pm

    Afternoon high tea and then depart for afternoon session on the river.

  5. 17.30/18.00 pm

    Return to Lumbe for a shower and drinks around the fire followed by dinner.

Click here for details

Lumbe Pools is open from 1 March - 15 December

You can visit Lumbe Pools between March and December but keep in mind that some of the activities will be better experienced at certain times of the year. Chat to us about what type of experience you're looking for and we can recommend when the best time to go would be.

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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? 

    Guest Reviews

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

    mike gretzi
    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
    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!

    Tim Botha
    August 2023

    Thank you to everyone involved for a wonderful few days fishing and enjoying the upper Zambezi. Weather was not on our side but we had some lifetime experiences. I will be back!

    Will Lotter
    September 2023

    To Ilze, Karl and all the wonderful staff - Thank you for a wonderful week of fishing, eating and amazing outings.

    Ann & Pete
    September 2023

    Please note that camping is not permitted at Lumbe Pools. 

    EVERWILD group

    Lumbe is a part of the Everwild Group. 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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