Simply put, the Tanzania Trophy Tigerfish Safari on the Mnyera and the Ruhudji rivers is the best in the world for targeting trophy Tigerfish on the fly.
In the past, trophy tigerfish have been classified as fish above 10 lbs. This bench mark has been shattered with the average fish in this system coming home at just under 8lbs. Here fisherman have a real opportunity of landing tigerfish of over 20lb’s, with shots at multiple trophy fish on a daily basis. In freshwater this is almost unheard of. Now combine this fact with the speed, strength, aerial antics and aggressive nature of the tigerfish, and dump it all in two rivers flowing through one of the words last true wilderness areas, home to big game, and then you may begin to get an idea of just how unique the twin fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers really are.
Guests have access to 40 km of fishable waters on the Mnyera River. The Mnyera River changes character quickly over its fishable length. From rapids and pools in heavily wooded riverine forests on the upper reaches, the structure-rich mid sections courtesy of centuries of erosion and fallen trees, to the deep “outside bends” and clay banks of the lower reaches. The Mnyera, with its incredibly diverse river structure is a veritable tigerfish haven and one that all guests visiting this amazing river will appreciate.
“You want to catch a tigerfish of a lifetime? Simply put: The Mnyera
and the Ruhudji rivers is the best it gets. This is the only destination on
the planet where you can target tigerfish that consistently reset the bar
as to what is possible tigerfishing.”
Situated in the neighboring basin (one valley south of the Mnyera) is this remote river with a charm and attraction that is hard to explain. Guests fishing the Ruhudji River have access to 80 km of fishable water. This river is quite different from the Mnyera. It is a shallower river, with long sections of sand banks followed by deep outside bends and pools in the lower reaches. The river changes in its upper reaches to a narrow, deep river, bordered by steep banks and heavily wooded forests as it enters the “gorge area”.
Wanting to know more about what your trip will entail? Checkout our recent Travel Chronicle on a trip from 2021 (9/29 – 10/10, 2021) by Terry Jepsen – https://www.theflyshop.com/travel/tanzania-tigerfish-trip-report
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long (7 Night/6 Day • Saturday-Saturday) Tanzania Trophy Tigerfish package is US$11,400 per person.
Included in your angling package at Tanzania Trophy Tigerfish is transfer from airport to/from Sea Cliff Hotel; transfer from Sea Cliff Hotel to charter flight on morning of departure; charter flight to/from camp; 7 nights in camp; 6 days fishing on the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers; professional guiding; all meals, accommodation, water, soft drinks, and limited beer; boats and fuel; fishing licenses and concession fees; Tanzania Government Conservation Levy.
Not included in your angling package at Tanzania Trophy Tigerfish are flights to Dar es Salaam; Visas (US$ 50-100 depending on passport of origin); any hotel accommodations and meals in Dar es Salaam before or after tour; wine, spirits (guests are advised to bring their own wine and spirits from Duty Free); beers over allocated amount in camp; guide and staff gratuities; travel insurance and medical evacuation coverage (Mandatory).
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses.
• Travel Insurance Information
Seasons at Tanzania Tigerfish
In this region, the fishing season normally runs from early August to the end of November. This is the dry season for this river basin, the time when waters are typically at their lowest and most stable levels which allows for fishing throughout the entire river systems on both the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers.
Getting to Tanzania
Guests traveling to Tanzania will want to arrive in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania the day BEFORE your scheduled arrival day, and depart Dar es Salaam after 3:00 p.m. on your departure day. Many guests opt for an extra day in advance to accommodate for any potential travel delays or lost luggage.
Transfers to/from the Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar es Salaam are included in your trip package. A representative from African Waters / Kilombero North Safaris will greet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. The hotel costs are not included in the package price, but reservations
will be made for you in advance and you will be able to pay upon arrival with either credit card or cash (US$).
Guests stay at the Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar es Salaam. It’s a great location, right on the peninsula, with a number of restaurants (in addition to the hotel restaurants and bars) and shops nearby, and great sea views.
Day of Arrival to the River:
You will depart the hotel at 6:00 am to transfer you to the charter flight. The charter flight on a Cessna Caravan takes just less than 2 hours to arrive to the landing strip where the groups will split up with 4 anglers going to the Dhalla Camp on the Mnyera River, and 4 anglers at the Samaki Camp on the Ruhudji River. It’s about a 20 minute drive to the Dhalla Camp, in Toyota Land Cruiser Open Game vehicles. Keep your cameras at the ready!
There is a STRICT weight limit of 20 kg (44 pounds) per person for check in luggage, and 5 kg (11 pounds) for hand luggage on the charter flight from Dar es Salaam to camp. It is best to pack in soft duffel type bags (roller bags with frames are not good). If you have more luggage, it can be arranged for it to be stored at the hotel in Dar es Salaam. Pack carefully in lieu of the weight limit; there is daily laundry service available at the camps.
Day of Departure:
We recommend scheduling a departing flight out of Dar es Salaam no earlier than 3:00 pm on your day of departure. The charter flight typically departs camp around 10:30 am, guests arrive back in Dar es Salaam around 12:30 pm.
Guests returning to the Sea Cliff Hotel for the night after the tour ends must arrange their own transfers to the airport (US$35) for the following day direct with the hotel.
Lodging at Tanzania Tigerfish
Dhalla Camp (on the Mnyera River) and Samaki Camp (on the Ruhudji River) offer the adventurous fly fisherman a unique African fly fishing safari. Tented bush camps erected each season, ensure that the African safari experience is as much a part of this trip as the trophy tigers you can expect to encounter. Camps are not luxury, and due to the seasonal floods are built from scratch each season. They are practical and comfortable and allow guests and guides access to these amazing rivers.
Dhalla Camp (Mnyera River): Dhalla Camp, comprising 4 safari tents and a tent mess and lounge area, is the base for your stay on the Mnyera
River. The camp consists of 4 safari tents with twin or double configurations. All tents have a view overlooking the river. All tents are en suite, offering a shower and toilet. Fall asleep to the sound of a rasping leopard, and wake up with the rising sun and splashes of feeding tigerfish, all in the privacy of your tent. Meals are enjoyed in the main central camp area under tented roof overlooking the river. This area contains a small library, lounges, and electric points for charging cameras and laptops.
Samaki Camp (Ruhudji River): This rustic bush camp is your base on the Ruhudji River. It, too, is erected each season and is the smaller sister of Dhalla Camp. Its location on the banks of the Ruhudji River allows access to these productive waters. Samaki camp comprises of traditional Safari tents, all en suite, with twin or double configurations. The mess area is situated in the shade of the riverside forest, although most meals are enjoyed alfresco, under the stars on a beautiful sandbank in front of the camp.
Communication: There is limited cell reception at the main camp. Guests will require international roaming to be activated. There is no internet available in camp. There is a camp sat phone for emergencies. There is no Wi-Fi in camp.
Electricity: Both camps runs off a generator and inverter system. Power is on each night from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm and again each morning from 5:00 am until you depart for fishing. You can charge tablets and cameras during this time in the main living area or your tent. Tanzania power sockets are Type G (three square pins). There are a range of travel adapters in camp, but bring your own international adapter kit to make sure you are covered.
Laundry Services: Laundry can be done on a daily basis. Clothes sometimes take longer to dry due to the humidity. No extra charge.
Meals: All meals are prepared by the camp chef. Fresh produce is flown into camp each week with the group. Due to the close relationship with the nearby hunting camp, guests can enjoy fresh venison during their stay. Breakfast is normally an early affair with tea, coffee, a standard American breakfast (eggs, toast, meat, juice), cereal and fruit taken before getting onto the boat. We break for a mid-morning snack on the river banks art around 10:00 am. Lunch is taken on the river banks in a shaded spot selected by your guides. Dinners are served in the mess area, or alfresco under the African night sky. Food is wholesome camp cuisine, all prepared in a bush kitchen.
Drinks: Water and soft drinks are included in the package price. Limited beer is also included (3 x 340ml bottle per person per day). Any additional beer will be charged at US$5 per bottle. Limited wine is included at dinners (2 bottles per night). For anything more please bring your own wine and preferred spirits with you from Duty Free.
Wildlife: Game species including puku, warthog, hartebeest, zebra, eland, and bushbuck amongst many. The bird life is exceptional with many rare and endemic species found in the area. Pels Fishing Owl, along with Palmnut Vultures, Narina Trogans, Broad Billed Roller, African Fin Foot, and white backed night heron all make this riverine environment their home. Bring your binoculars and guide books!
Fishing at Tanzania Tigerfish
The fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers in South Western Tanzania have fast built a reputation as one of the finest freshwater fisheries accessible to the discerning traveling angler. The trophy tigerfish that call these rivers home provide unparalleled fly fishing opportunities.
The Majority of the fishing is done off the drift (from the boats). The attentions are focused on the river structure, which comprises of fallen timber, long sandbanks, steep drop-offs, and rocky outcrops. When conditions dictate, we also make use of sand anchors and tying up to
structure midstream to focus on a specific stretch of water. All fishing is done off 18 ft aluminum boats. These boats are ideal for fishing the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers. All boats are fitted with 25 hp motors. Each boat caters for two anglers and their professional guide, as well as a coxswain. Boats have ample storage areas and seating for three people. All boats are equipped with First Aid equipment.
These rivers have received very little fishing pressure over the centuries, and with the controlled fly fishing venture will continue to do so. The system is also extremely rich in bait fish (predominantly red finned barbs). The combination of these factors has resulted in this population of tiger fish obtaining otherwise unheard of sizes. Trophy fish in this system are measured above 10 lbs. Be prepared to have your tiger fishing paradigms shifted!
Catch and Release: All catching is strictly “catch and release” with single de-barbed hooks. No beat is fished twice in a week; areas where fish are spawning are strictly no go areas, and there is no re-drifting of beats allowed. This ensures you arrive at a fishery that is well rested and productive. Your understanding of these rules is appreciated, as we are sure you will appreciate this from the groups that have fished before you.
Your fishing day will start at sunrise at 6:00 am with a wake up call followed by a hardy breakfast. You will get on the water soon after this and motor to your allocated beat for the day. Fishing until around 10:00 am, when we most often break for a snack and some tea/coffee on the boat. Lunch is normally taken on the river, in shady spots selected by your guides. We use this time to rest and recover during the hottest part of the day, and when there is little fish activity. If you are fishing home beats, you will have lunch in camp. Fishing resumes around 2:00 pm, and will continue until sunset. All guides and guests need to be back at camp by sunset for safety reasons (around 6:00 pm). So, should you be fishing a beat far from camp, your fishing day will end in time to allow travel back to camp in safe time.
Day 1: Morning Charter from Dar es Salaam to Camp. Welcome and briefing by head guide. 4 anglers stay at Dhalla Camp, 4 anglers move to Samaki Camp. No fishing on day of arrival as guides and staff need this time for weekly admin and maintenance. Guests have time to set up tackle and orient themselves around camp.
Day 2: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River
Day 3: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River
Day 4: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River – Samaki Guests return to Dhalla Camp this afternoon where 8 rods are all together for dinner to share stories
Day 5: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River – Dhalla Guests move to Samaki this morning
Day 6: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River
Day 7: Fish Mnyera/Ruhudji River – Samaki Guests return to Dhalla Camp this evening – again all 8 rods are together again for the last night
Day 8: Morning charter to Dar es Salaam
*Note: Travel time between camps is roughly 2 hours depending on road conditions. Rather than focus on the missed fishing time, we urge guests to enjoy this amazing journey through the African bush and take the time to view game and landscapes that are as wild as they were thousands of years ago.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• The Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers are a true fishing wilderness. Between the camps on the two rivers, anglers have access to over 120 km of pristine river habitat, all of it protected and home not only to the world’s greatest population of trophy tigerfish, but also yellowfish, vundu catfish, as well as a plethora of wild game (including puku, warthog, hartebeest, zebra, eland, bushbuck, crocodiles, hippopotamus, elephants, and more) and birds (including Pels Fishing Owl, Palmnut Vultures, Narina Trogans, Broad Billed Roller, African Fin Foot, and white backed night heron). Anglers enjoy a one-of-a-kind wilderness safari experience in addition to the incredible fishing here!
• Tanzania is home to the largest populations of trophy tigerfish in the world. In the past, trophy tigerfish have been classified as fish above 10 lbs. This bench mark has been shattered with the average fish in this system coming home at just under 8lbs. Here fisherman have a real opportunity of landing tigerfish of over 20lb’s, with shots at multiple trophy fish on a daily basis In fresh water this is almost unheard of. Now combine this fact with the speed, strength, aerial antics and aggressive nature of the tiger fish, and dump it all in two rivers flowing through one of the words last true wilderness areas, home to big game, and then you may begin to get an idea of just how unique the twin fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers really are.
• Dhalla Camp (on the Mnyera River) and Samaki Camp (on the Ruhudji River) offer the adventurous fly fisherman a unique African fly fishing safari. Tented bush camps, erected each season, ensure that the African safari experience is as much a part of this trip as the trophy tigers you can expect to encounter on the rivers.
• Guests at Trophy Tigerfish Safari are well-cared for from start to finish with the expert teams of Kilombero North Safaris and Tourette Fishing. Kilombero North Safaris own, run, and manage the fishing camps on the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers and take care of all catering, ground transfers, charter flights, camp vehicles, boats, and camp accommodation. They employ a full time team of camp staff who service the fishing camp, in conjunction with their hunting camp in the same concession. The African Waters Fishing team of International guides makes sure all guests fishing at Kilombero North Safari’s Dhalla Camp experience world class guiding, by true International experts. The commitment to sustainable and responsible fishery management is respected worldwide, and ensures all fishing guests experience the best that the fisheries of the Mnyera and Ruhudji Rivers have to offer.