UGANDA SPORTFISHING SAFARIS & TOURS, SPORT FISHING IN UGANDA TRIPS ON LAKE VICTORIA, JINJA-RIVER NILE, MURCHISON FALLS & LAKE MBURO
Sport Fishing In Uganda: Unique Uganda Sportfishing Safari Experiences
When you think of booking a Uganda safari tour, you probably conjure up images of Gorillas and Chimps chilling in the dense rainforests. What you might not know about are the freshwater Uganda sport fishing safari opportunities you can find in the “Pearl of Africa”, too.
Sportfishing in Uganda is a unique safari experience that will offer you a lot of holiday fun and enjoyment. You will explore the magical fish of Uganda including the legendary Nile Perch – one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, Tilapia, Catfish, Tigerfish, and several of the country’s other 350 fish species. And don’t expect to catch a 200 kilograms Nile perch, although they do grow that big!
Our Uganda sportfishing safaris and tours offer amazing Sportfishing safaris in Uganda trips on unique sportfishing in Uganda spots such as Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls National Park, Jinja River Nile, and Lake Mburo are very famous because Uganda is a water-rich country with 25% of its surface underwater. The country features many lakes including Lake Victoria which stands as the largest in Uganda and Africa in large and the second largest in the world with freshwaters and the largest tropical lake in the world, Lake Kyoga in central Uganda, Lake George, Lake Edward, Lake Albert, Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo which supports interesting sportfishing in Uganda trips/tours.
Sample Uganda Fishing Safari Trips-Sport Fishing in Uganda
(All these Itineraries can be customized to your Safari Interests and desires)
The 4 Days Luxury Fishing and Wildlife Safari in Uganda to Murchison Falls National Park features an impressive blend of fishing and wildlife experience allowing you to explore. Read More
The 5 Days Uganda fishing safari to Lake Victoria and Ssese Islands is a fun filled encounter that will allow you explore the largest tropical lake in the world in detail. In the middle. Read More
The 8 Days Uganda Fishing Safari to Lake Victoria, Ssese Islands & Murchison Falls National Park is one of the comprehensive fishing safaris in Uganda that allows world anglers to explore. Read More
Where Is Sport Fishing In Uganda Done?
Uganda sportfishing trips usually take place on the mighty Nile River, the world’s longest river in Murchison Falls National Park, and other rivers in Uganda such as River Katonga, River Kafu, River Rwizi, and River Aswa. It is an adventurous activity where you’ll be surrounded by Hippos, Nile crocodiles, African elephants, Buffalos, and Shoebill the whole day.
For a more peaceful fishing expedition, you can head to Ssesse Islands in Lake Victoria, the world’s second-largest freshwater body and home to an abundance of Nile perch and Tilapia. Here you can catch the fish and then relax on the island’s lovely white sand beaches.
6 Best Places To Do Sport Fishing in Uganda
If you want to enjoy sport fishing in Uganda, check out the following destinations:
- Murchison Falls National Park
- Lake Victoria, Entebbe
- Ssesse Islands In Lake Victoria
- Lake Mburo National Park
- The Nile River In Jinja
- Sipi Falls On The Slopes Of Mount Elgon
1. Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls National Park
Located in the northwest of Uganda and about 311km / 6 hours’ drive from Kampala, Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park covering an area of 3895km2. It boasts the world’s longest river, the world’s most powerful waterfalls, and a collection of classic African wildlife four of the Big Five – Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, and Elephant.
In the waters of the Nile at Murchison, the Nile Perch are monsters! They weigh in at over 2 meters long and 200 Kg! The Nile perch is a dominant predator, although not the river’s apex predator, which is a reptile.
Perch feed on just about all fish, large and small, including their own kind. The Nile River also has the potential for catching a variety of Catfish types and Tigerfish, with its razor-sharp teeth.
The record largest Nile Perch in Murchison was 114kg, caught by Kevin Nicholson in 2013, just eclipsing Tim Smith’s 113kg catch in 2009, but far heavier than the previous official record of 73kg, set by C D Mardach in 1959.
Also, world-famous anglers who have been on the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park looking for that big one include Zeb Hogan of the Monster Fish – National Geographic, Jeremy Wade – River Monsters presenter, and The late John Dennis Wilson MBE (RIP) (1943 – 13 November 2018) a former UK TV presenter.
Best Fishing Spots And Conditions In Murchison Falls National Park
The best sport fishing spot in Murchison is directly below the falls, either from the bank or from a boat; river guides know precisely where the best rocky outcrops and favourable pools and eddies further downstream are.
The temperatures here are high, sometimes over 40oC, especially at mid-day, and anglers should be equipped with sun protection gears and long-sleeved shirts. Tsetse flies also abound at certain times, so wear long trousers and apply insect repellent.
Methods Of Sport Fishing At The Murchison Falls
The different sport fishing methods or techniques used to catch the Nile Perch, Catfish and Tigerfish in Murchison Falls National Park include:
Live Bait/Casting Lures: Fish caught on live bait/casting lures include Nile perch and various species of catfish. Bait can be free-lined or suspended from a float; fishing on the bottom with a weight also works. Fresh dead bait attracts perch but also attracts catfish.
Spinning: There are also a large variety of smaller species, (used as live bait), obtained by spinning including Tigerfish. A rod between 3 meters and 2.4 meters together with a fixed spool or multiplier reel is recommended. For the smaller species, a 7’ spinning rod with a 5 kg (10 lb) line is adequate.
Reels: For Nile perch and catfish, any reel fixed spool or multiplier with 30-35 lb line (17kg) will do. It depends on personal preference and skill with a multiplier. For tiger fish and smaller species, any reel you can comfortably cast small spinners is suitable.
Note: Due to the challenges of keeping up with breakages and the supply of new equipment to Uganda, a limited amount of basic equipment (more suited to first-time visitors) can be provided. You are strongly advised that if it is all possible you bring your own sport fishing equipment, especially if you are seasoned anglers who know your fishing.
Sport Fishing Guides In Murchison Falls National Park
During your Uganda sport fishing safari in Murchison, you need expert assistance to ensure that you are safe in this amazing Uganda safari destination and you get the best opportunity for successful fishing.
You may be experienced enough to challenge the Nile with just hiring a boat and skipper but you are advised to have an expert fishing guide with you to ensure the smooth running of the fishing trip especially if it is a first excursion to the falls.
Essential Things To Pack For Your Uganda Fishing Safari In Murchison
If you are planning on going on a sport fishing safari in Uganda’s Murchison, it is essential to have the following:
- Sun lotion, hats, sunglasses, and creams
- Cameras and spare batteries
- Insect repellent
- Hiking/safari boots are best for footwear, especially for shore fishing from the steep, rough rocks.
- Lightweight and light-coloured clothes for fishing are best as they are cooler and the tsetse flies are less attracted to them.
- Long sleeves and long trousers are best, but avoid blue/black dark colours where ever possible as these colours actually attract the tsetse flies!
- A lightweight rain jacket and a sweater for the evenings are also recommended.
Other Thrilling Things To Do On Your Murchison Falls Sport Fishing Safari
Besides sportfishing, there are a variety of other thrilling things to do in Murchison Falls National Park, including:
Game Drives: On a game drive, you’ll see several of the park’s 76 mammal species including Lion, Leopard, African Buffalo, African Elephant, Giraffes, Hyenas, Oribi, Hippos, Warthog, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Waterbuck, Sitatunga, Hippos, Uganda Kob, and Patas Monkey. Game drives are mainly carried out in the park’s northern savannah plains.
Boat Trip To Bottom Of The Falls: The highlight of the Murchison Falls NP tour is the afternoon boat cruise to the bottom of the falls! It takes you on the historic Nile River’s more relaxed waters as it joins the Albert delta. On the banks and in the water we should see many Hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, unique birds, including the sought-after Shoebill.
Upon arriving on the bottom, you marvel at Murchison falls which have been described as the most spectacular thing to happen to the Nile along its entire 6,700 km length.
Visiting The Top Of Murchison Falls: You can also visit the top of that falls which is a good spot for photographs. Here, you will also truly witness the power of the Murchison falls. It is arguably the world’s most powerful! It is not very big or wide like some you may have seen before but think of the longest river on the planet which is 50 meters wide squeezing through a narrow cleft in the rift valley escarpment which is about 8 meters wide and falls 45 meters down.
Bird Watching: Murchison Falls Park is one of the best destinations for birding in Uganda. Over 450 species have been recorded including the iconic Shoebills, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Grey Crowned Crane (Uganda’s national bird), Goliath Herons, and more.
Rhino Tracking In Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: Ziwa Sanctuary is situated about a 1 ½ hours’ drive from Murchison Falls National Park. Ziwa is the only place to see the near-threatened Southern White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum in the wild. Tracking these prehistoric-looking heavyweights on foot is a thrilling experience.
And since proceeds go toward breeding and ultimately reintroducing rhino into Uganda’s parks, visiting this popular destination is a must.
Chimpanzee Tracking In Budongo Forest: Chimpanzee trekking in the Budongo Forest which is the biggest Mahogany forest in East Africa and home to about 800 chimpanzees, our closest living relatives.
Places to Stay On Your Murchison Falls Sport Fishing Safari
There are fantastic accommodation options (budget, midrange, and luxury) in and next to Murchison Falls National Park your amazing sport fishing in Uganda tour.
Here Are The Best Places To Stay in Murchison Falls National Park During Your Sport Fishing Safari
- Paraa Safari Lodge – Luxury
- Chobe Safari Lodge – Luxury
- Baker’s Lodge – Luxury
- Murchison River Lodge – Midrange
- Pakuba Safari Lodge – Midrange
- Hornbill Bush Lodge – Budget
- Red Chilli Rest Camp – Budget
Best Time For Sport Fishing In Murchison Falls Park
Perch, Tigers, and Catfish can be caught throughout the year, but the best time for sport fishing in Murchison Falls Park is during the drier months of December to March and June to October. These months produce better fishing results and there is also less chance of rain these months. The beginning of the April/May rainy season is to be avoided.
2. Sport Fishing On Lake Victoria, Entebbe
Covering an area of 26,600-square-mile, Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater body in the world and the largest lake on the African continent. The lake offers the opportunity to hook one of the world’s largest freshwater fish- the Nile Perch.
If you have some free time and interest, you can enjoy a sport fishing excursion on the lake before undertaking your Uganda gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Chimpanzee trekking tour to Kibale Forest National Park, or a Uganda wildlife safari to the savannah parks.
You can have either a half or full-day fishing excursion with a knowledgeable guide who has a good command of the English language. Sporting Fishing in Lake Victoria is conducted around the local Islands which are approximately 45 minutes from Entebbe. The selection of fishing areas depends on the weather.
During the fishing experience, you are served a picnic lunch along with cool beers, mineral water, or sodas not forgetting coffee and tea. Fishing in Lake Victoria is done all year round avoiding full moon and the April/May rainy season. Trolling with lures is the main method of fishing used to catch the Nile Perch.
Boats Used For Sport Fishing On Lake Victoria
Speedboats of between 18 and 30 feet, powered by twin outboard engines are used.
The boats have a large seating capacity but cater for a maximum of 4 people fishing at any one time to avoid line tangling etc.
Fiberglass 24 foot long “canoes” powered by an outboard engine are also available for smaller groups of 2-3 fishermen and are usually best for day trips (not overnight).
What To Carry For Sport Fishing On Lake Victoria, Entebbe?
- Sun protection as possible – hats, sunglasses, creams as it can be quite hot out on the lake (average daytime temperatures are in the mid to late 20oC).
- Strops or sandals are a good idea as you may well get wet feet – especially getting on and off the boat!
- Insect repellent is a good idea.
- A camera if you’d like to capture “the big fish” on film and a pair of binoculars if you are keen on birdlife.
- Light day wear such as T-shirts and shorts are normally fine.
- A rain jacket in case of bad weather and a sweater or light jacket for cooler weather and the evenings.
Other Activities To Do In Entebbe On Your Lake Victoria Sport Fishing Tour
Visit UWEC: The Uganda Wildlife Education Centre where you can meet several Uganda wildlife species and learn about the centre’s efforts to rehabilitate them during a highly insightful tour. You can enjoy a general tour as well as a few specials such as ‘Chimpanzee Close-up’ and ‘Keeper for a Day Experience’.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary Tour: Half-day trips to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Lake Victoria are highly recommended for chimp fans. Here you will view and feed the 52 orphaned chimpanzees, our closest relatives.
Explore Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens: Tour the Entebbe’s Botanical Gardens – not only are there are masses of plants and some charming colobus monkeys to appreciate here, but the attraction hosts a variety of unique birds.
Shoebill Birding In Mabamba Swamp: Trips to Mabamba Swamp may also be arranged, of great interest to fans of the mysterious shoebill and other fantastic birds of Uganda.
Best Places To Stay In Entebbe On Your Sport Fishing Safari On Lake Victoria
There are a variety of accommodation options in Entebbe which range from Luxury, Midrange to Budget.
Here Are The Best Places To Stay On Your Sport Fishing Safari On Lake Victoria Entebbe:
- Protea Hotel Entebbe – Luxury
- Serena Lake Victoria Resort – Luxury
- Hotel No.5 – Luxury
- The Boma Hotel Entebbe – Midrange
- 2 Friends Beach Hotel Entebbe – Midrange
- Lake Heights Hotel Entebbe – Midrange
- Airport Guesthouse Entebbe – Budget
3. Sport Fishing In Ssese Island In Lake Victoria
Ssesse Islands is a lush archipelago of 84 secret tropical islands along the northwestern shore of Lake Victoria. The islands can be accessed by a ferry from the Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe. The ferry departs only once a day at 2 pm arriving at Lutoboka Bay in Bugala Island at 5 pm which is about a 3-hour trip.
On the ferry, you can take pictures of Lake Victoria, fishermen and see many islands as you get closer to Kalangala. You also enjoy the breeze of the lake; see different bird species and so many other experiences.
On the islands, you can catch tilapia, lungfish, or the giant Nile perch. Fishing is the biggest economic activity in this area and most people come all this way to trade in the largest town of Kalangala.
Other Amazing Things To Do In Ssese Islands
Relax and Chill Out: Ssesse is one of the best places in Uganda for relaxation. The islands feature lovely white sand beaches, tropical Sun, palm trees, quaint, fishing villages, cool forests.
Mountain Biking and Quad-Biking: The Ssese Islands are a perfect place to explore with a Mountain Bike or on the back of an ATV Quad Bike. Ride through quaint fishing Villages, forests, even on beaches, and get to know Bulaga Islands. You can also ride into the town of Kalangala.
Community Walks: You can visit the villages, including fishing villages where you have inter-cultural exchanges, have a drink, and chat with an Islander. You can also visit Schools and meet future Islanders and most often can enjoy a song and dance of the school-children.
Best Places To Stay In Ssesse Islands On Your Uganda Fishing Safari
The hotels and lodges in Ssese Islands are comprised of budget and mid-range choices. All the hotels and lodges offer uninterrupted views and access to the lake.
Here Are The Best Places To Stay In Ssesse Islands On Your Uganda Fishing Safari:
- Ssesse Island Beach Hotel – Midrange
- Brovad Sands Lodge – Midrange
- Mirembe Resort Hotel – Budget
4. Sport Fishing In Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is the closest Uganda safari park to Kampala city and it takes on 3-4 hours of driving by road to get there.
The park features lakes but most of the fishing is done at the largest of them all – Lake Mburo. Tilapia is the most dominant species here. The Mazinga spot is the best fishing place in Lake Mburo because it is free from crocodiles and hippos.
After getting a permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), you can enjoy this sport at Maziga. At this site, you are encouraged to carry your own fishing equipment. You’re likely to catch more than five fish species, however, the most common fish is tilapia.
Other Exciting Things To On Your Uganda Fishing Trip In Lake Mburo National Park
Aside from sport fishing, Lake Mburo National Park offers an amazing assortment of other Uganda safari activities, including:
Guided Game Walking Safari: This is one of the most interesting game walks in Uganda, in a beautiful area with a knowledgeable local guide. On the walk, you see Elands, Waterbucks, Impalas, Topis, Bushbucks, Klipspringers, Buffalos, Giraffe, Zebras, and Warthogs.
Cruise On Lake Mburo: On the boat cruise, you’ll see crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of birds including pelicans, herons, and fish eagles, and perhaps the rare African Finfoot and shoebill.
Game Drives: These provide a chance to see a variety of animals and birds. You can also enjoy night game drives with a ranger guide for a chance to see nocturnal animals such as leopards, Spotted Hyaena, bushbabys, pottos, and bush pigs.
Horseback Safaris: The grassy ridges in the eastern part of Lake Mburo can be explored on horseback. It is activity is operated by Mihingo Lodge.
Birding: Lake Mburo is home to 350 bird species including the localized Red-faced Barbet, African Finfoot, Rufous-bellied Heron, African Marsh Harrier, White-backed, Lappet-faced, and Vultures, Brown Snake and African Hawk-eagles, Bateleur, Grey Crowned Crane, Black-bellied Bustard, Ross’s Turaco and Meyer’s Parrot.
Cycling Tour: Rwakobo Rock and Leopard Tail Rest Camp both operate mountain biking trips into the national park at Nshara Gate
Interactive Cultural Community Tour: Visit the nearby Banyankole community and see the herdsmen getting up to do the milking and their daily routine. You can actively participate in the traditional hand milking of the world-famous Ankole long-horned cattle and several other activities.
Where To Stay On Your Uganda Fishing Safari In Lake Mburo Park?
There are several places to stay on your sport fishing safari in Lake Mburo National Park, ranging from Budget, Midrange to Luxury accommodation options. Here’s our pick of the best places to sleep in Lake Mburo Park:
- Mihingo Lodge – Luxury
- Rwakobo Rock Lodge – Midrange
- Mpogo Safari Lodge – Midrange
- Eagles Nest – Budget
5. Sport Fishing In Jinja – The Source Of Nile
Jinja sits on Lake Victoria shore, about a 3 hours’ drive east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala. It is famous for being the Adrenaline Capital of East Africa and the Source of the Nile – the point at which the world’s longest river exits Africa’s largest lake to commence an epic 6700km journey to the Mediterranean Sea.
It is also one of the best places to go for sport fishing in Uganda. The most impressive catch is the massive Nile Perch but Tilapia is also an impressive catch. There are several good fishing spots around Wildwaters’ island. The ideal time to catch fish is in the morning and evening hours.
Other Amazing Things To Do On Your Sport Fishing Tour In Jinja
The Nile River in Jinja is also a place where you can indulge your more adventurous tendencies, including:
White-Water Rafting: With its world-class Grade-5 rapids, the Nile River in Jinja is a magnet for white-water rafting enthusiasts. Kayaking: Extreme kayakers from all over the world head here in their quest for more challenges.
Bungee Jumping: There is also the ultimate daredevil deed of bungee jumping into the historic Nile River for the bold and brave.
Family Float And Sundowner Boat Cruise: For those wanting something gentler on the Nile, there is the family float or a sundowner cruise on the Nile. You can also enjoy quad biking, mountain biking, horseback riding along the Nile. Jinja on the Nile has something for everyone.
Best Places To Stay On Your Uganda Sport Fishing Safari In Jinja
- Lemala Wildwaters Lodge – Luxury
- Haven Lodge Jinja – Midrange
- 2 Friends Hotel Jinja – Midrange
- Source of the Smile Guesthouse – Budget
6. Sport Fishing At Spit Falls On Mount Elgon
Sitting in the foothills of Mt Elgon and overlooking a vast plain, Sipi Falls is arguably the most beautiful chain of waterfalls in all of Uganda.
There are 3 falls in the area, formed by the Sipi River as it cascades downstream from the top of Mount Elgon into the Kyoga Basin. Though the smaller 2 are beautiful, it is the 99m main drop that attracts visitors to this area, and most of Sipi’s lodges look out over it.
The Sipi falls tour not only offers waterfalls with charming nature, but it also offers trout fishing or fly fishing. Above the waterfall on the Sipi River, you can get the opportunities to learn and take the part in ‘fly fishing’ or ‘sport fishing’. In this technique, you have to use a lightweight lure or ‘fly’ to catch fish. The fly is thrown by using a fly rod, reel, or any weighted line.
Other Amazing Things To Do Around Sipi Falls
Scenic Day Hikes: Sipi is a very peaceful and pretty spot, and it makes a most agreeable base for gentle day hikes in the surrounding hills, which offer stunning views to the lowlands further west and a glimpse of Mount Elgon peaks on a clear day.
Coffee Tours: The area around Sipi Falls is also famous for Arabica coffee grown by Bagisu. Bagisu Arabica only grows at an altitude of between 1,600 and 1,900 meters. Coffee tours are arranged through guides with knowledge of coffee farming, processing, and roasting. Profits from this tour go to charitable programs.
Climbing Mount Elgon: Situated on the Uganda Kenya border Mt Elgon is an extinct shield volcano with the broadest base of any free-standing mountain anywhere in the world and the world’s largest intact mountain caldera. The highest peak is Wagagai, at 4,321m. The full trekking circuit to the peaks takes about 4-5 days to complete, following either Sasa or Sipi trails. We can organize your trip departing and returning to Sipi Falls.
Mountain Biking: There are lots of trails set up around the Sipi Area specifically for biking. Tracks range from hard-core technical rocky climbs to easier downhill routes. The tracks provide more than a biking opportunity, you have a chance to bike the lower sides of Mount Elgon, have great views of the coffee plantations, Sipi falls, Sipi River, and Kapchorwa plains. You can as well bike through the community and check out how the local people live.
Best Places To Stay On Your Sipi Falls Sport Fishing Tour
Sip Falls is serviced by several lodges and resorts that cater to all tastes and budgets of travelers, including:
- Sipi River Lodge – Luxury
- Mbale Resort Hotel – Midrange
- Kapkwai Forest Cottage- Budget
Sportfishing in Uganda is a very fun and relaxing activity that makes for a great time on Uganda safari holidays. Even if you have never really been into the whole fishing thing, sport fishing can be quite enjoyable and meditative.
The places above showcase some of the best spots where you can enjoy sport fishing in Uganda while on Uganda tours.
And Uganda offers a great chance to augment your sport fishing trip with the life-changing gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the one-of-a-kind chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest Park, as well as fantastic game viewing in Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, and Kidepo Valley National Parks.
You can visit Uganda for sport fishing at any time of the year. Whatever stage of planning you are on, talk to us and we will assist you to tailor-make your dream Uganda sport fishing vacation.
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