Rwanda is not a fishing country but there are a few places where these safaris can be done. These places include Lake Shakani which is found in Akagera national park and Lake Kivu. Sportfishing on these lakes is done on a catch and release basis and among the fish types caught include tilapia, sambaza, sardines, and ndugu.
Sportfishing in Rwanda is not developed since the area is not a fishing country. Most of the fishing activities in Rwanda are done on Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi, Lake Shakani, and Lake Mugesera. A few rivers in Rwanda are also used for sport fishing activities and the fish caught is sold to neighboring countries such as Uganda, DR Congo, and Tanzania.
Main fishing methods on Lake Kivu and Lake Shakani include gill netting, hooking, lamapara, scoop net, shooting, and cast net methods. Each of these methods is used depending on the type of fish you want to get. The fish species normally caught in Rwanda include sambaza, amphilius, sardines, ndugu, Nile tilapia, varicorthinus, clarias, syprinus, astatorechromis, limnothrissa, halplochromis, and synodontis among others.
Places to go for fishing safaris in Rwanda
Akagera national park: This is the best place to go for fishing activities in Rwanda. The name Akagera is got from River Kagera which feeds Lake Ihema and Lake Shakani. Lake Shakani is the best place to have sportfishing in Rwanda as its located in the northeastern part of Akagera national park. The sportfishing activity on Lake Shakani is done in places that are safe from crocodiles and hippos. The activity is done on a catch and release basis but at the end of the activity, the participants are rewarded with fish to take back home. Those that want to participate in fishing activities on Lake Ihema must come with their own hooks and the fish normally caught here is tilapia.
During the fishing activity in Akagera national park, one can decide to do game drive activities where they can manage to spot a number of animals such as leopards, lions, buffaloes, hyenas, topis, waterbucks, duikers, roan antelopes, bushbucks, zebras, giraffes among others. They can also do birding where they can spot crested barbet, amur falcon, booted eagle, brown chested lawping, grasshopper buzzard, cabanis’s bunting, papyrus gonolek, shoebill among others. There are also boat cruises on Lake Ihema where you can spot crocodiles, hippos, and several park animals on the shores of the lake.
Lake Kivu: Lake Kivu is another place to have sport fishing in Rwanda and this is located at the extreme border with DR Congo. Lake Kivu is the largest freshwater lake in Rwanda and the 6th in Africa. The lake is free from bilharzia and has no crocodiles or hippos. Fishing on Lake Kivu is done using nets and the fish caught is removed by the local fishermen who weigh it and sell to the market. The fish species caught during sport fishing on Lake Kivu include sambaza, sardnes, and ndugu. After sport fishing, you can decide to have swimming activities on the lake since it’s bilharzia-free as well as nature walks around the shores where you spot different bird species and the surrounding areas. Travelers can do windsurfing, kayaking, speed boat riding, and biking along the Congo Nile Trail.
How much is sport fishing in Rwanda?
To participate sport fishing in Rwanda, you need a permit that allows you to be part of the amazing activity. This can be purchased through your tour operator and they are sold to persons above the age of 6 years at a fee of $25 dollars per person per day.
What is the best time to go for fishing safaris in Rwanda?
Sport fishing in Rwanda can be done all year round but there are months that are better than the rest. The drier months are the best to have fishing activities in Rwanda and they occur from December to February and June to September. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall which leaves the water levels low, the sky is clear and there is less wind to affect the moving boats.
Travelers can still visit Rwanda for sport fishing activities in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but these months are characterized by too much rainfall. This leaves the water levels high affecting the movement of the boats, the wind is always too much and the skies are not clear affecting visibility.
What to pack for fishing safaris in Rwanda?
Sportfishing areas in Rwanda are dominated by different insects which means that what to wear is very important as these can bite and spread diseases to you. What to pack for sport fishing activities in Rwanda includes insect repellents, a hat, a rain jacket, long-sleeved light clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, a camera and extra batteries, a pair of binoculars, energy-giving snacks, and enough drinking water.
Where to stay on a sportfishing safari in Rwanda?
Akagera national park – Karenge Bush Camp, Magashi Safari Camp, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Akarenge Game Lodge, Magashi Tented Camp, Ruzizi Tented Camp, Vintage Cottages, Akarenge Game Lodge, Akagera Resort and Country Club, Nyagasambu Real Beach Hotel, and Akagera Rhino Lodge among others.
Lake Kivu – Kivu Lodge, Rushel Kivu Lodge, Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel, Hotel Cap Kivu, Rwia Village, Gorillas Lake Kivu Hotel, Inzu Lodge, Cormoran Lodge, Karongi Lake View Resort, and Lac Kivu Lodge among others.