9 Best Fishing Destinations in Africa – Our Top Picks


9 Best Fishing Destinations in Africa – Our Top Picks

Reading Time: 10 minutes

When most people think about Africa, they usually picture the beautiful, vast savannahs, and wildlife. What they may not know is that Africa has thousands of unique fishing spots.

Surrounded by the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and the Mediterranean and the Red Seas, Africa has a number of amazing saltwater fishing destinations. And don’t even get us started on the lakes, rivers, dams, and mountain streams… 

Africa map on the globe

The truth is, if you made a bucket list of all the fishing trips you’d want to take in your life, there’s a good chance that a few of them would be found in Africa. We’ve put together a list of our top picks for your next fishing adventure.

These trips can easily be combined with other exciting activities. We don’t want to to play favorites, so here are our picks of the best fishing spots in Africa, in no particular order:

Lake Nasser, Egypt

Located in the south of Egypt, Lake Nasser is one of the country’s legendary fishing spots. The man-made lake is one of the largest reservoirs in the world and home to huge freshwater fish.

Aswan city seen from the waters of lake nasser

The most popular catch on the lake is Nile Perch. Reeling one in is a challenge even for the most experienced anglers, because of the fish’s power and size. Nile Perch can reach over 200 pounds in size!

Most trips to the lake last for several days, which means you’ll have plenty of time to fish and enjoy the wilderness. Besides the Nile Perch, you can also target some other freshwater predators, including Tigerfish and Vundu Catfish, along with 30 other species.

The lake is also home to crocodiles and lizards, so make sure to be aware of your surroundings at all times and hire a local guide.

Being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Egypt is home to several ancient sites, including the Abu Simbel temples. Aswan is the perfect spot to base your fishing adventure in. The city is also the starting point for cruise boats that can take you to the Abu Simbel Complex, including the Great Temple of Ramses II.

entrance to the temple of ramses II

These trips last for a couple of days, meaning you’ll be able to take in the beautiful scenery and see the magnificent temples both from the water and up close.

The Aberdare Mountains, Kenya

It’s hard to choose only one fishing spot in Kenya. Over the past few decades, the country has gained a reputation for some of the best sportfishing in Africa.

From the mountains to the Indian Ocean coastline, Kenya offers top-notch angling at its every corner. For this list, we’re featuring the Aberdare Mountains. This fly angling paradise is located 120 miles north from the country’s capital, Nairobi.

angler holding a big rainbow trout in water

Rainbow and Brown Trout were introduced to Kenya’s mountain streams at the turn of the 20th century. Ever since then, these waterways have hosted unforgettable fly fishing adventures.

The numerous rivers and streams here hold large numbers of both Trout species, and you can catch them year-round. The local guides will take you to one of the three major rivers: Gura, Chania, and Karuru. It’s also important to know that fly fishing is the only legal method of catching Trout here.

Once you’re done with fishing, there’s plenty of other things you can see and do. The mountain is home to incredible wildlife and beautiful waterfalls.

people standing next to the beautiful waterfalls in the aberdare mountains

Be careful, though, as you might come across buffalos and leopards! Hiring a local guide is recommended for both fishing and roaming the trails. 

In case you’re looking for a base for your fishing adventure, the famous Treetops Lodge is located at the edge of the park. The lodge was once a retreat for Queen Elizabeth II. According to an urban legend, this is the place where the Queen first heard that she would be assuming the throne.

Cape Verde Islands

Cape Verde Islands, also known as Cabo Verde, are home to some of the best deep sea fishing in the Atlantic! The islands lie 280 miles off the coast of Senegal, surrounded by deep waters that are inhabited by big game fish.

If you’re looking for Blue Marlin, the islands are the go-to place to find them. Blues are some of the fastest fish in the world, making them extremely hard to catch. To make the challenge even harder, you can target real monsters around the Cabo Verde Islands, where they reach the mythical “grander” status – fish weighing over 1,000 pounds! 

Blue Marlin jumping out of the water

The best time to catch Blues here is between late March and July. Once the peak season for Blue Marlin is over, anglers will still have their hands busy with White Marlin, Sailfish, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Bigeye Tuna, Wahoo, Spearfish, Trevally, and even several types of Sharks.

For a more relaxed day on the water, you can hook into bottom fish, and catch Amberjack, Grouper, and Snapper. The fishing season ends in December when the winds become too strong for the boats to head offshore.

Besides being one of Africa’s fishing hotspots, Cape Verde is also known as a popular beach holiday destination, meaning you’ll have plenty of things to do while you’re not fishing. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re looking to enjoy the local cuisine or get yourself a nice tan.

Fisherman on a boat in turquoise water, white sand beach and people swimming behind him, Cape Verde Islands

Depending on the time of the year you visit the islands, there are numerous water activities you can take part in. During the summer months, diving and snorkeling are popular, as well as whale and turtle watching. In the winter months, conditions for kitesurfing are good.

No matter what time of the year you visit, make sure to visit some of the islands’ beautiful beaches and hiking trails.

The Mnyera and Rhudji Rivers, Tanzania

Tanzania, and especially Zanzibar, are known for their saltwater fishing. But this is not the only reason why anglers have Tanzania on their bucket lists. The remote rivers Mnyera and Rhudji are home to a freshwater monster – Tigerfish! With their impressive strength and razor-sharp teeth, Tigerfish are the perfect target for your next angling adventure. In addition, both rivers host a number of other species, such as Yellowfish, and the Vundu Catfish.

angler holding a big tigerfish in tanzania

These fisheries are under strict guiding protocols implemented by the Tourette Fishing and Kilombero North Safaris. Only eight anglers can fish on the 120 kilometers of river per week, and there is a strict catch-and-release policy.

No stream is fished twice in a week and there’s no fishing in spawning areas. Thanks to these strict regulations, Tigerfish can grow up to 25 pounds in this river system, making it a go-to destination for catching the next trophy!

Kilombero North Safari’s camps are a good launching point for fishing both rivers. If you choose Mnyera as your main fishing ground, you can stay at the Tengo Camp.

Samaki Camp is the starting point for Rhudji outings. Both camps are equipped with tents housing twin and double beds, toilets, and showers.

Tengo Camp is equipped with a fly tying station, small library, lounge area, dining area, and electric points for charging phones, cameras, and laptops. Samaki Camp has no electricity.

Besides fishing, you’ll have an opportunity to witness and experience the beautiful wildlife. Buffalos, lions, leopards, and elephants are common in the area, as well as pukus, warthogs, and zebras.

Luanda, Angola

Angola’s coastline sits at the point where the warm tropical flows of the Angola Current meet the cold Benguela Current coming from the South Atlantic. This mixture results in a large number of various species of sardines and scads. These bait fish attract huge Atlantic Sailfish, plenty of Mahi Mahi, and big Blue Marlin.

If you’re looking to catch a trophy Atlantic Sailfish, Luanda is the spot for you. This city holds the All-Tackle World Record for the specimen. The best time to catch a Sailfish or a Blue Marlin in Luanda is from mid-October to mid-November.

As winter kicks in, the fish move south and can be found around the coastal town Lobito, 300 miles south from Luanda. Fishing in Lobito is good from January to mid-April.

The capital of Angola is the cultural and urban center of the country. Luanda is a fast-growing city, with major development projects all around.

luanda landscape

The new infrastructure and the growing business industry make the city quite expensive to visit. Luanda is sometimes even referred to as the most expensive city in the world. The prices may be high, but the city’s new infrastructure makes it a very comfortable place to visit, with numerous activities and attractions.

Your first stop in Luanda should be the Fortress of Sao Miguel, the oldest building in Luanda. Built in 1576, the fortress is a UNESCO heritage site, and today it houses the Museum of Armed Forces.

If you want to find out more about the effect of the slave trade in Angola, you should visit the Museum of Slavery. Although it’s a somber place to visit, it showcases an important part of Angola’s history.

In case you want to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, there are several national parks you can visit and relax in.

Seychelles

Seychelles’ fishing scene has some of the finest big game fishing on the planet, at all times. The list of the top catches is so long that we could talk about it for days.

Angler unhooking a black marlin

We’re talking about Blue and Black Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Bonefish, and more. With so many islands and fish to choose from, it can be hard and confusing to decide where to start exploring.

Most of the local charter boats operate within the so-called inner islands, which rest on top of the Seychelles Plateau, where the water averages 50 meters deep.

The plateau is dotted with numerous reefs and holes attracting bait fish, and their predators – Tuna, Wahoo, Sailfish, Bonito, and Mahi Mahi. Where the plateau ends, the seafloor drops to 2,000 meters, and that’s where the true big game fishing territory begins. 

Seychelles owes its fame to beautiful white sand shorelines, framed by the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. You’ll need plenty of energy for this paradise and all of its activities!

Seychelles Beach and Turquoise waters

Scuba diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, hiking, island hopping, golfing, and zip-lining are only some of the activities you can take part in. Once you’ve got your adrenaline rush going, you can take part in more relaxing activities, such as exploring the beaches and enjoying the local cuisine.

Durban, South Africa

Durban fishing charters have a lot to offer to both amateur and experienced anglers. The city has many nearshore fishing spots, which is a great opportunity for families and those who are looking for a relaxed day on the water. More seasoned anglers usually visit Durban for offshore adventures. 

When it comes to popular catches, you can expect to come across Marlin and a nice Yellowfin or two on a five-hour trip. You can also target Skipjack Tuna, and you might even come across Bludger Trevally. The fishing is great year-round, with Billfish already appearing in January. 

durban city from the ocean

Just getting out on the water in Durban is an adventure itself. Boat launching is a process of getting the boat to and from the water by either using a ramp or a trailer. Although it looks like fun, it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing and if you don’t take the necessary precautions beforehand. 

The coastal city of Durban is a popular tourist spot in South Africa, meaning there are a lot of different activities for all types of travelers.

The Golden Mile beachfront is a popular destination for cyclers, runners, walkers, surfers, and water-sport enthusiasts. It is a four-mile stretch that goes from Blue Lagoon South to Durban Harbor and Addington Beach.

If you’re visiting with your family, uShaka Marine World is a great place to take your kids. The city has a rich history that you can experience through several museums and the Inanda Heritage Trail.

Last but not least, stop by the Durban Botanical Gardens, where you’ll have an opportunity to walk next to living fossil plants.

Mauritius

Mauritius is a paradise island for anglers. Anyone that’s serious about Billfishing should visit Mauritius at least once in their life. There are several fishing spots you should check out if you visit this idyllic African island.

Let’s start with the Morne Brabant peninsula. This is the place where most local fishing legends have taken place. If you’re looking to catch Grander Marlin or Tuna, the Morne is the place for you.

The second-largest concentration of charter boats is in the so-called Pamplemousses District. Whereas the Morne is Marlin territory, here you’ll find other game fish, including Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Barracuda, and a wide variety of Sharks.

Last, but not least, on the eastern coast is the Flacq District. This fishery offers a little bit of everything found in Mauritius. You can go after Tuna, Bonito, Sharks, Mahi Mahi or Marlin.

mauritius deep sea trench seen from above

Mauritius is a popular beach and honeymoon destination. However, that’s not all there is on this beautiful island! There are plenty of interesting and fun activities, as well as adrenaline adventures you can experience while visiting.

Mauritius’ nature is very diverse and beautiful. Lush green forests, beautiful hills, numerous species of plants and animals – it’s all here. 

If you only have time to visit one national park, go to Black River Gorges National Park, located in the southwest. Close to the park is the village of Chamarel, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mauritius. It’s best known for its rum distillery and the 7 Coloured Earth Geopark. It’s a vast area covered with sand dunes of different colors – yellow, brown, purple, green, blue, violet, and so on.

Lake Kariba, Zambia

Lake Kariba is the largest man-made lake in the world, created by damming the Zambezi River. The lake is home to many species of fish, including Bream, Catfish, Eel, Bottlenose, Cornish jack, Chessa, Nkupe, Squeaker, and the famous Tigerfish.

As already mentioned, Tigerfish is one of the mightiest freshwater fish you can find in Africa. If you think you’re up to the challenge of catching one, Lake Kariba hosts the annual international Tigerfishing tournament.

The Kariba Invitation Tigerfish Tournament is one of the largest freshwater tournaments in the world. Each October, anglers from all over the world travel to Kariba in order to take part in the tournament.

Lake Kariba is a holiday destination that is often overlooked. Besides fishing, other popular activities on the lake are birdwatching and game viewing.

zebras standing in front of the Lake Kariba in Zambia

If you’re looking for a more relaxed activity, it’s good to know that Kariba is an idyllic place, where you can unwind and relax while taking in the unforgettable scenery.

Be mindful of your surroundings, as there are crocodiles in the lake. Don’t swim, and don’t walk around the shore without an experienced guide, especially at night.

And Many More!

Each of these fishing destinations in Africa has something unique to offer, depending on the type of adventure you’re looking for. But there is one thing they all have in common. No matter where you go, you’ll have an unforgettable fishing experience!

These are our picks for the best fishing spots in Africa. Do you agree with our choices? Have you visited any of these places? Let us know in the comments below!

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