Sport Fishing in Uganda: Where to go sport fishing,Permit costs, prices, fees and guide
Uganda tours are not only about game drives, mountain gorilla trekking, mountain climbing, bird watching or Nature walks, but also sport fishing where visitors are offered the opportunity to catch-and-release the largest fish species even weighing up to 100 kilograms. Unlike commercial fishing that is done for food and profit, this adventure is done for fun/excitement, after which have to be released into the water.
Uganda’s vast water resources (especially Lakes, Rivers and wetlands) are home to over 350 fish species although the main species for sport fishing are catfish, Lungfish, Nile perch, Tiger fish and Tilapia. With Nile Perch, anglers have been recorded to catch specimens between 20 and 200 kilograms, and the best places for this adventure include:
Murchison falls National Park
Murchison falls National Park is the most popular place for sport fishing in Uganda, rewarding avid anglers with unforgettable opportunities of catching huge Nile Perch (locally known as Mputa), Tiger fish, the electronic cat fish (Semutundu) or Tilapia. There has been a record of catching Nile Perch as heavy as 113 kilograms at the water gorge opposite the Crocodile Pool while the heaviest cat fish ever-caught in this Park weighed 45 kilograms close to Nyamusika Cliffs. The banks of the Nile River close to Paraa Safari Lodge as well as Karuma falls area close to Chobe Safari Lodge are some of the best places of this adventure. Although it is conducted all year round, the most ideal time of the year is the drier months-January, February, June, July, August, September, October and December with common equipment being spinning, casting lures, hooks and live baits. A sport fishing permits for Murchison falls National Park costs only $50 for one day while $150 for four days, and visitors interested in acquiring an annual fishing permit are required to pay $300. Remember that these fees exclude Park entrance fees.
Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park is another excellent Protected Area for sport fishing, hence making it possible to combine this adventure with other wildlife-related activities such as game drives, walking safaris, bird watching and boat cruises. Lake Mburo is the largest of the many Lakes in this Park and has over 6 species although Tilapia is the commonest. Sport fishing adventures for this Park are conducted within Mazinga although participants are required to carry their own equipment and acquire a fishing permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority. These permits cost only $15 for one day and $25 for four days, but these fees don’t include Park entrance fees.
Sipi falls area
At the beautiful slopes of Mount Elgon are the magnificent Sipi falls, a perfect spot for trout fishing. The biggest specimens weigh between 3 and 5 kilograms, and permits are obtained from Sipi River Lodge although participants are required to bring their own fishing gear-bobbers, fish baits, fish hooks, needle nose pliers, fishing rods and sinkers. The rainbow trout fish are colorful and active fish species that are difficult-to-catch.
For visitors interested in more secluded and unforgettable sport fishing opportunities in Uganda can undertake it within Ssese Islands, about 51 kilometers by water from Entebbe dock. The Ssese Archipelago is made up of 80 magnificent Islands with clean and calm freshwaters as well as smooth white sand beaches. The commonly-caught fish species here are Nile Perch, Tilapia and Lung Fish.
Lake Victoria is not only popular for being Africa’s largest freshwater lake but is also a wonderful sport fishing spot in Uganda, and is conducted within Jinja. Jinja is also known as the adventure Capital of East Africa, about 2 hours’ drive from the Capital City (Kampala) with Tilapia (weighing 1-5 kilograms) caught using fly-fishing method. So far two sessions-morning (9:00am to 12:00pm) and afternoon (1pm to 5:00pm). Given the large size of the Lake, there are no specific designated areas for sport fishing but instead depends on prevailing weather conditions. Most fishing boats are powered by outbound engines and important safety equipment for this adventure include fire extinguisher, GPS Tracker, first aid box, life jackets and mobile phones in addition to fishing gear, cooler with drinks.
Best time for sport fishing in Uganda
Sport fishing in Uganda is conducted all year round but the dry season-June to October as well as December to February is considered the best, given the reduced water levels. When it comes to time of the day, dawn or dusk are perfect because tidal movements are minimal and more favorable.