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Cahora Bassa: a great addition to a Mozambique holiday

Tiger Fishing in Cahora Bassa

Following on from our focus on the ‘baby season’, Tiger Fishing in Cahora Bassa is definitely at its very best in the ‘green season’. I got the opportunity to meet up with some old friends, and what better way to catch up after many years than with an all-boys fishing trip! That is not to say that Cahora Bassa is not suitable for the ladies, we know some great female anglers out there and even if you aren’t into fishing, the Cahora Bassa is a great stop over if you are combining Malawi/Zambia and Mozambique!

cahora bassa

What is Cahora Bassa?

Cahora Bassa (pronounced ‘Cabora Bassa’) is a hydro-electric dam that was built in the 60’s to generate electricity to the surrounding areas. Set in a fantastic location, around 170km north west of Tete, it is the perfect spot to head to when breaking up a drive from to the coast of Mozambique from Malawi/Zambia. Alternatively, if you’re here especially for an angling adventure this is a great spot for a week away with family or friends. It’s a particularly great option if you fancy mixing things up and combining fresh water fishing with some deep-sea fishing on the coast afterwards.

When is the best time to fish?

The prime time for fishing at Cahora Bassa is between November – March (rainy season). The dam is full, as are the rivers so it is incredibly active. If you are brave enough to endure the Mozambique heat, we can also recommend heading here around September – October. Fishing is still at its best, but the heat can be unbearable for some…no chance of a dip to cool down either as the dam is riddled with freshwater crocs!

sunset cahora bassa

More than fishing

If you are heading to Mozambique from Malawi (or Zambia) by road and you aren’t into fishing but want to break up the long journey we would still recommend heading to Cahora Bassa to break up the drive. The scenery is gorgeous, the birdlife abundant and the hippos are entertaining…it can be a great day out on the water with family and friends.

Where to stay

To those who enjoy a little adventure, there is a dirt road (4×4 recommended) that takes you closer to the elite fishing spots and there are some great little lodges to stop over for a night or two. Both set in very good locations but offer something different depending on what you are looking for. Moringa Bay is self-catered, comfortable, in a great location and has an all-important swimming pool! – probably best for a family holiday. If you want to go a little more rustic, then Casa da Pesca is for you. The fishing and guides here are top class, the views breathtaking and you look right out onto the dam. After a long day of fishing, head back and relax in the pool with a few beers and tell some Tiger Tales.

fishing cahora bassa

My trip…

I left Lilongwe around 8am, all prepared for the 5-hour drive to Tete. If you aren’t keen on the drive, there is the opportunity to fly directly into Tete. We think that Cahora Bassa works well if you are using it as an add on to a trip between Mozambique and Malawi/Zambia so the drive can be worth it.

Myself and the boys met up for lunch in Tete and were soon on our way to the dam, making it in good time, just before 4pm. Day one was all about catching up, sunsets, beers, talking tactics and of course who would be reeling in the biggest Tiger Fish between us! I’m highly competitive in case you hadn’t noticed!

tigerfish cahora bassa

The next 5 days were an intense rivalry with shouts of “I’ve got a big one!” thrown back and forth! From the anticipation of a nibble on the end of the line to being able to relax, switch off and catch up with your mates, fishing holidays are the perfect getaway. Not to my surprise *cough cough* I managed to hook an almighty 22lbs Tiger (10kgs – apparently, and I am going with that) beating my personal best by 3kgs! Celebrations all round! Although incredibly pleased with myself and my PB, I was also beaming to have beaten the boys on this one. I was followed closely behind by one of the boys catching a whopping 8kg tiger, but I left feeling very proud I came away as the victor! Just ask any of them… chuffed for me!

All in all, a great week of fishing and a spot I would highly recommend, until next time I will continue to hold the title between us boys as Tiger Champ 2020!

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About the author

Originally from Malawi, Gabi grew up around the world as the daughter of a diplomat, but The Warm Heart of Africa soon called her home. She now lives in Lilongwe with her husband, three dogs, a cat, a tortoise, and six guinea fowl. She spends as much time in the bush or on Lake Malawi as she possibly can, enjoying life on the water or photographing the Big 5.

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