Trolling of lures or spoons is a common and enjoyable method, allowing the fisherperson to enjoy a day's fishing while still cruising the lake shore for wildlife.
Bottom fishing using bait
This method is usually the most productive and more than a dozen species are commonly caught on a day out. This usually involves starting out at the crack of dawn to purchase bait from local kapenta fishermen returning after a night's fishing. Often fishing in deep water of more than 30m.
While still relatively untouched by the fly fishing community, Tanganyika offers unparalled freshwater fly fishing. Fairly heavy rods and fast sinking line are essential with nile perch, nkupi and tigerfish most commonly sought.
From either the rocky shores or the comfort of your boat, this technique can be extremely exciting as the crystal clear waters allows you to see the fish as they take the lures.
This is possible for divers with experience and their own equipment.
At least 12lb breaking strain is advised with 15lb -20lb more suitable for trolling and bottom fishing. Deep diving lures are essential with diving plates often producing good fish. Trace is a good idea although not essential. Light tackle fishing is extremely rewarding for experienced anglers.
Ndole Bay Lodge encourages catch and release and all anglers asked to only take what they are willing to eat personally. There are legal limits to the number of fish that can be caught and this is adhered to strictly. As part of community conservation efforts there is a small 'conservation charge' for every fishing trip in addition to national park fees. This community levy is jointly administered by Conservation Lake Tanganyika and the Nsumbu Fishing Conservation Committee. Funds raised go towards small scale community infrastructure projects.
Common species caught
Due to the nature and access of Nsumbu National Park, Ndole Bay does not offer game drives. All game viewing is done by boat or on foot, or a combination of both. With direct access to Nsumbu National Park, Ndole Bay offers:
Game viewing boat trips
The best boat cruises for wildlife are through the protected bays around Kasaba. The bay is filled with hippo pods, basking crocodile's herds of puku, bushbuck and blue duiker. Late afternoons also provide a good chance of viewing elephants coming down to the water's edge to drink. Return to Ndole Bay into a gorgeous sunset.
Central Africa is extremely rewarding for birding enthusiasts, with migrants from both east and southern Africa.
Walks within the national park
All walks are accompanied by an armed Zambia Wildlife Authority scout for safety. A variety of walks are on offer, all of which start and end with a boat trip from Ndole Bay.
This is an isolated stand of Mushito forest, a remnant rainforest-like vegetation. This makes for a stunning walk along the edge of a wetland and vast plain deep in the national park. The walk is about three hours in length and offers the widest variety of habitat and wildlife with excellent birding along the way. Puku, bushbuck, warthogs, duiker, baboons, hippo, crocodiles are commonly seen and elephants and buffalos occasionally seen.
Kasaba Dunes and beach
This walk is along the edge of an Itigi forest full of small antelope. The Kasaba dunes offer a panorama over a massive long beach and over the lake to Tanzania in the distance. This area is a favourite for elephants and offers the best chance of seeing one of the breeding herds that live here.
Beach and boulder walk
The shoreline near Nuundo Head is beautifully strewn with granite boulders and white sand coves. This walk usually includes a visit to the balancing boulders of Nuundo, a place of spiritual significance to the local Tabwa people. Late in the year safari trekkers often may well come across baby crocodiles as they emerge from their sandy nests.
There is a small seasonal waterfall near Nsumbu that offers a pleasant walk along a beach an under a canopy of fig trees. Muzinga Falls only flow until about mid-September but even in the dry there is a pool of water at the foot of the falls that provides a protected drinking spot for wildlife.
Tondwa swamps and floodplains
Tondwa is teeming with antelope and birdlife and is a beautiful destination. Only accessible during the dry season, it is well worth a visit. Ndole Bay can organise camping trips and canoe trips in the wetlands. It is about a two hour drive from Ndole Bay to the edge of Tondwa floodplain, another two hours through the wildlife area brings you to Lake Kako, a small wetland with hippo and the rare sitatunga, and a mind-blowing setting amongst hills and lush forest.
Much of the park is covered by combretum thicket, while the lake shore is littered with candelabra trees and strangler figs. There is also an isolated rainforest that is accessible by foot in the dry season.
Wildlife seen in the park
Crocodile, hippopotamus, bushbuck, warthog, puku, Roan antelope, Sable antelope, eland, hartebeest, buffalo, zebra, spotted hyena, side-striped jackal, serval, impala, waterbuck, reedbuck, elephant, lion (occasionally), leopard (occasionally), blue duiker (rare) and sitatunga (rare).
Notable birdlife seen
Flamingo, african skimmer, spoonbill, whiskered tern, storks, ducks, herons, grey-headed gull, lesser black-backed gull, White-Winged Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Fish Eagle, Palmnut Vulture (occasionally) and Pel's Fishing Owl (occasionally).
Double luxury beachfront chalets is a deal for couples. They each feature a double bed, an outdoor waterfall shower, fans and power, with queen-size bed, en-suite bathroom, lake views, balcony and patio, and outdoor shower.
Standard en-suite chalets that sleep four are set slightly back from the beach and feature twin single beds or double beds, fans and power points.
Family luxury beachfront chalets comprise two double luxury beachfront chalets that share an adjoining lounge, making them ideal for a family. The rooms each come with a double bed, an outdoor waterfall shower, fans and power points.
Dining, Bar and Relaxing: The massive central thatched area acts as dining room, reading and relaxing area, and bar. Delicious freshly-prepared meals are available from the kitchen, with an emphasis on local produce and fresh fish. Lake Tanganyika is internationally regarded as offering some of the finest quality fish in terms of taste. Any dietary requirements are easily catered for – please advise at the time of making your reservation.
The fully stocked bar serves a range of local and international beers, wines and spirits, while signature Ndole cocktails are also popular. Relax in one of the comfortable couches, or enjoy activities such as darts and other games. A large swimming pool allows for cool dips between serious relaxation. The large wooden deck is situated right over the lake, providing a shaded area strewn with hammocks and sunbeds. Spend the whole day reading, sunbathing, snoozing – and swimming. Steps off the deck lead invitingly into the crystal clear waters of the lake. Don't forget your mask and snorkel.
Preferred method of contact is through email or WhatsApp messaging.
A unique environment
'An area of unsurpassed beauty' said David Livingstone more than 100 years ago. That description of Lake Tanganyika still holds true. It's Africa's most magnificent stretch of water, crystal clear, calm, warm, mysterious and very deep. With crystal clear waters and amazing topography, Tanganyika is an underwater paradise. Unlock the secrets of the Tanganyika Cichlids or glimpse the world's only fully aquatic cobra – the endemic Storm's water cobra.
Snorkel equipment is free to use for full-board guests. The best time for snorkelling is mid-morning when the water is clear and the sun is out. Most cichlids (family of fish) tend to display their colours best in full sunlight. Adventure snorkel trips are a lot of fun and usually done in a custom built dhow with plenty of shade and a ladder for easy access to the water. There are four sites less than 30 minutes from the lodge, all offering something different in terms of habitat and fish life.
'PADI' certified diving
Ndole Bay Lodge is the first and only fully registered dive facility in Zambia. A PADI IRA resort means international diving standards and practices that are strictly adhered to, for all its diving and dive training activities. Using the latest Aqualung equipment, Suunto dive computers and Bauer delivered air, your safety and comfort is assured. The resident instructor is a fully qualified PADI professional, trained in Emergency First Response with extensive local diving knowledge. Coupled with experience in aquatic ecology (BSc, JCU), he will ensure your experience will be both safe and educational.
Ndole Bay seeks to provide an experience suited to your personal diving needs and experience. It caters for new divers and divers wanting to simply 'go for a dive', right through to continued education courses. With a biologically unique habitat at your doorstep, and the topography of the Rift Valley all around, diving in Lake Tanganyika provides something new and exciting for everyone, from adventure seekers to the simply curious.
When the breeze is right Ndole Bay makes a great landing spot for para-gliding. A small takeoff site has been developed on the hills above the lodge.
Other water sports
If you want to get wet and have some fun Ndole Bay offers tubing, kayaking, waterskiing, wakeboarding and even kitesurfing.