A Traveler's Guide to Fishing in Kenya

Studying Time: 8 minutes

After years of flying beneath worldwide anglers’ radars, fishing in Kenya lastly appears to be getting the popularity it deserves. Perched on Africa’s “greener” coast, the attractive nation presents an incredible number of locales to fish from. Whether or not it’s the shores of Indian Ocean, the net of dramatic highland rivers, or the serene lakelands, Kenya has every part a touring angler may hope for. Immediately, you’re going to be taught precisely why this nation needs to be your subsequent fishing vacation spot.

Fishing in Kenya is extremely various. Newbie or skilled, saltwater or freshwater, there’s a fish for each kind of angler right here. Not solely that, the fishing spots occur to lie in among the most breathtaking locations you’ll ever see.

The Coast

Kenya is, as we talked about, situated on Africa’s jap coast, giving it entry to the mesmerizing blue expanse that’s the Indian Ocean. Alongside its 400-mile shoreline, Kenya is dotted with white, sandy seashores and inexperienced, swaying palm bushes. If seashores and palm bushes aren’t the very first thing you consider when somebody mentions Kenya, you higher get used to it. The nation defies any “African nation” stereotypes, and does so with a attraction you’ve received to see to imagine.

Dwelling to one of many continent’s largest coral reef techniques, Kenya is quick turning into a well-liked vacation spot amongst divers and watersports fanatics. The 240-square-mile underwater formation homes a myriad of colourful reefs, in addition to a bunch of marine organisms. You are able to do something from windsurfing, to diving and snorkeling with sea turtles and dugongs right here. When you desire to remain dry, nevertheless, there’s at all times an open-bottom boat tour for rent.

In style marine parks embody Kiunga, Mombasa, Watamu, Malindi, and Kisite.

Bear in mind these stereotypes we talked about? Properly, you higher maintain on to them actual tight, as a result of what you’ll see again ashore is certain to shatter the staunchest of biases. One take a look at among the Kenyan coastal resorts, and also you’ll rapidly notice that luxurious is the secret right here. From high-end cabins, to whole personal islands, excessive rollers will discover all they want right here.

After all, there are many “right down to earth” choices too, from inexpensive bed-and-breakfasts to accommodations and cabins of all kinds.

Half an hour away from the Mombasa, the scenic Galu and Diani seashores are fashionable vacationer spots. When you’re on the lookout for a quiet place to remain, the cities of Malindi and Watamu supply every part you’ll want. But when true seclusion is what you’re after, look no additional than Chale Island.

Saltwater Fishing

There’s a purpose why anglers fly midway all over the world to fish for giant recreation in Kenya. This a part of the Indian Ocean is essentially untouched by people, particularly in its deeper areas. This, together with a year-round temperate local weather, allowed large, pelagic recreation species to flourish. Immediately, Kenya is likely one of the greatest deep sea fishing spots on the planet.

What does this imply for you? Just some miles offshore, you possibly can look forward to finding thrilling species like Large Trevally, Mahi Mahi, Kingfish, and Barracuda. Locations like Malindi are a terrific start line for such an journey, as they maintain giant numbers of reef fish inside a brief boat journey from the coast. 

For the adventurous, there’s much more to expertise in these waters. The North Kenya Banks, an undersea mountain chain 55 miles northeast of Malindi, is house to among the prime predators of the ocean. This is likely one of the uncommon locations on the planet the place you possibly can anticipate to realize the coveted Fantasy Slam. For the uninitiated, meaning catching Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin, in addition to Spearfish and Broadbill Swordfish, all in the identical day!

Additional south alongside the shoreline, Mombasa and Shimoni are two fashionable departure factors for offshore fishermen. The waterbed plummets inside only a few miles from these two cities, which means that you just received’t have to spend so much of time looking for large, hungry fish. The waters off Mombasa will put you on some tasty Wahoo and Yellowfin. Oceanside sundown dinner, anybody? When you’re extra into catch and launch, the Pemba Channel off Shimoni holds nice numbers of Marlin and Sailfish.

Offshore Fishing Seasons in Kenya

Kenya has a reasonably secure year-round temperature, particularly in its coastal area. The nation lies very near the Equator, so that you received’t have the possibility to expertise a major temperature drop right here. Nonetheless, the nation sees a yearly moist and dry season, and this impacts all method of life, together with fish.

The Kenyan moist season is often from April by means of June. Throughout this time, saltwater fishing is gradual. Come July, nevertheless, nearly all of the species we talked about come near shore to feed. Black Marlin, Wahoo, Kingfish, GT and Yellowfins are all on the chew throughout this era. October by means of December is reserved for Sailfish, adopted by Marlin season from January to March.

Wahoo are greatest caught from July to September

When you’re on the lookout for that fantasy slam, know that Broadbill Swordfish begin to make an look in February, and often keep in season till the top of March.

The Land

Venturing west and leaving the coast behind, Kenya’s mainland serves an intoxicating dose of lush, inexperienced forests, far-reaching lakes, and towering, ice-capped mountain ranges. You possibly can spend days on finish in every of those splendid locales. In actual fact, many anglers do. Let’s check out what makes these spots so particular.

The Mountains

On the flip of the nineteenth century, Rainbow and Brown Trout have been launched to a lot of Kenya’s mountain streams. Ever since then, these tree-lined waterways have hosted numerous unforgettable fly angling adventures.

Fly fishing in Kenya had, in truth, turn into so fashionable, that a few customized, native fly ties hint their origin to those components. These are the Kenya Bug and the Mrs. Simpson. You should buy each of those patterns at native deal with retailers.

As you tread the highland waters, you’ll come throughout an abundance of wildlife. Critters like monkeys, forest hogs, and bushbuck are more likely to cross your path greater than as soon as. Watch out, although, as there are buffalos and leopards in these components too! Hiring a neighborhood information for an outing like this could maintain you off of any harmful trails.

A typical stampede of migrating wildebeest

Being so near the Equator brings its personal set of challenges, particularly close to climate. Right here, heat days flip into chilly nights in a blink of an eye fixed. One other factor is that the common temperature drops by 6 levels for each 3,000 ft you climb. Layered clothes is a standard cue for fishermen, and it’s notably vital when fishing within the Kenyan mountains.

Mt. Kenya 

Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak, is likely one of the most awe-inspiring sights on your complete continent. Its naked, snow-capped peaks command consideration from distant, whereas its light slopes boast thick, inexperienced forest.

Breathtaking magnificence apart, the mountain presents a number of wonderful spots for Trout fishing. Lakes Alice and Rutundu are two glorious decisions for catching Rainbow Trout on the fly. The previous is a bit tougher to achieve, as you’ll must endure a two-hour climb to the 11500 foot-high basin. The trouble might be greater than value it, nevertheless, as you’ll immediately be greeted by a rewarding view of the close by peaks, and the huge countryside beneath.

The Aberdares

The 120-mile journey from Nairobi to Aberdare Nationwide Park will take you previous huge stretches of banana plantations and expansive rice fields. Because the street brings you nearer to the park, the vegetation will flip right into a lush inexperienced forest. The park’s quite a few rivers and creeks maintain giant numbers of Rainbow and Brown Trout, each of which you’ll catch nearly year-round.

Owing its Trout inhabitants to an arduous 7,000-mile boat and ox cart journey, the park was fondly nicknamed “Scotland with lions”.

These days, native guides will gladly take you to one of many three main rivers the park presents: Gura, Chania, and Karuru are all in shut neighborhood. These jungle-enveloped locales supply much more than fishing, thoughts you. The Aberdares mountain vary is dotted with thundering waterfalls, in addition to some unimaginable wildlife. These hills are sometimes visited by numerous birds, in addition to animals like wildebeest, leopards, buffalo, rhinos, and elephants.

Chania River, Aberdare Nationwide Park

On the fringe of the park, the well-known Treetops Lodge stands as a testomony to the long-lasting British affect within the nation. The lodge was as soon as a retreat for Queen Elizabeth. In accordance with fashionable perception, that is the place the place the Queen realized of her father’s dying, and that she would quickly after be assuming the throne. These days, you can also make the lodge a base in your Aberdares fishing adventures.

supply: Flickr, MEAACT PHOTO / Stuart Worth

Lake Turkana

Additional north, certainly one of Kenya’s most iconic fisheries awaits. A well-liked selection amongst adventurists, Lake Turkana lies in the midst of the rugged Kenyan desert. Referred to as the “Jade Sea,” the lake is a big physique of water, however very secluded, so that you’ll must plan your go to forward of time. Most anglers select to fly in from Kitale, a central-Kenya city of some 100,000 inhabitants. You’ll land on an airstrip subsequent to the lakeside village of Lodwar. The village has a couple of first rate lodging choices and serves as a base for lake fishermen.

The journey may be an extended one, however it should repay as quickly as you moist your line. In these inexperienced waters, you’ll have a subject day with Tilapia, Nile Perch, and the imposing Tiger Fish. There’s one factor you’ve received to look at for on Lake Turkana, nevertheless, and that’s crocodiles. Like we stated, this one’s for adventurists.

Lake Victoria

When you discover the Jade Lake a bit too distant, you possibly can at all times select the well-trodden roads to the west and fish the second largest lake on the planet. Or you possibly can simply guide a flight from Nairobi to Kisumu. Both method, the expanse that’s Lake Victoria is one thing you’ll certainly bear in mind for a very long time. 

Fact be instructed, solely a small portion of the lake belongs to Kenya, however fortunately, the fish don’t know that. Huge Catfish and Nile Perch weighing as much as 500 lbs reside right here! There are additionally good numbers of Tilapia and Tigerfish, as effectively.

This Tigerfish didn’t get away

Within the off likelihood that the fish aren’t biting, a postcard-worthy photograph with a hippo or a croc doesn’t sound like a nasty comfort prize.

Making it Occur

By now, you’re in all probability pondering, I’m going to wish an extended trip to expertise all of this! And also you’re proper, Kenya is an enormous nation, filled with hidden gems and astonishing pure magnificence. When you’re planning on sticking to the coast, fishing within the ocean, and basking within the solar, issues are straightforward sufficient. However should you’d like a bit extra out of your Kenyan journey, you’re going to wish to plan your journeys to the mainland effectively.

Fortunately, main cities like Mombasa and Nairobi supply no scarcity of guides that can present you round. There are many fishing-safari combos on supply, a lot of which might be tailor-made to your particular wants. One factor’s for certain: the extra you keep in Kenya, the extra you’ll prefer it. Simply watch out to not keep too lengthy: you wouldn’t be the primary one who determined to remain!

What do you concentrate on fishing in Kenya? How does this place evaluate to among the higher identified fisheries of the world? Did you ever fish in Kenya? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

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