It’s a given thing for dads with sons living in Zimbabwe for the latter to be introduced to the fascinating sport of fishing at an early age. When they’ve grown up not much beats a boys only weekend –sans ladies; sans mates – patiently casting out lines on the Zambezi River hoping to catch a Tiger fish. En route to Tiger Safaris there is protracted conversation about your daily lives; a mandatory stopover at Lion’s Den for bacon and egg rolls; and, then the final stretch to the escarpment. Reaching Makuti always seems to me that you have crossed the border into Funtime land. A short while later you book in at Marongoro and then debus at your destination.
It’s not long before the first beer is cracked open and you’re off for a sunset cruise muttering all sorts of comments about the beauty of the mighty Zambezi River kicking yourself for not spending a whole lot more time enjoying this natural heritage right here on our doorstep. Nothing quite like that distinctive call of the Fish Eagle to remind you when you are. Stopped several times along the shoreline to admire large crocs, a pair of Bushbuck, Elephant and Waterbuck.
On Day two, you set off with strong rods all tackled up and a box full of “Livies” – enough bait to last a long day. The resort’s large blackboard of catches was noticeably missing any catches from our boat – the stories that night were all about “the big one that got away!”. The conversation on the boat moves to “.. fishing is not all about catching..” – Yeh, Yeh. The chatter changes to birds like the Green backed Heron – why do they always return to low flying branches? – are they taught by their parents that this is the best place to catch your daily bread? Or do they naturally just know this as part of evolution – there again maybe it’s because of reincarnation.
On the third day we decided to leave base much later – at 10 am – and spend the day out with a cooler box full of snacks and drinks – caught our first – 5kg – in the first drift!
All in all it’s a relaxed atmosphere at Tiger Safaris with proprietors, Tim and Michelle, going out of their way to make your stay as chilled and hassle-free as possible – always good to have a quiet one at the end of the day in the central bar area watching the closing hour of the final Ashes Cricket test followed by the Springboks narrowly beating Argentina at Rugby.
We left for home quite early on Sunday taking just on 5 hours over nearly acceptable roads. Don’t make the mistake of leaving Harare or Chirundu too late in the morning or you’ll suffer the consequence of so many slow-moving trucks. August has traditionally signalled the reopening of the Tiger fishing season – make sure you book your trip well in advance – gone fishing. Mike G.