Siavonga Fishing 16 – 22 May 2021

  • Barry 

Fishing is a key source food for the local folk in Siavonga, Lake Kariba, with fishermen going out daily in their homemade dug out canoes to set and check nets. Julie caught these images whilst on a late afternoon boat ride. The seasoned fisherman was far out, in choppy waters and standing up in his dugout! Look at the the next image carefully! Jules caught the net ‘float’ (bottle) flying through the air –  this is potentially on a National Geographic winning pic



Still with fishing and Lake Kariba…. every evening (except for 5 days each side of a new moon) the Kapenta boats and crews swarm the lake, returning at first light the next day.

Kapena take two forms:

The larger is a sardine (Limnothrissa miodon) fully grown it is it is 17 cm long

the smaller species is a sprat. (Stolothrissatanganicae ) about 3 to 7cm in length

Often sold as dried or salted in packets or by the handful

Both form huge shoals in the central lake.

At night the rigs lower large, circular dip nets and, using generators, shine bright beams into the water above them. Zooplankton and copepods are attracted to the light like moths to a flame and the kapenta follow them. The nets are slowly raised and come out of the water with their glittering, silvery catch.

The kapenta are transferred into baskets and coarse salt added. Back in harbour the next morning, the fish are spread on drying racks and sun dried. This gives them a long shelf life and they’re easily transported to remote areas without refrigeration.

Overfishing is a problem that is struggling to be resolved… at night the lake Kariba looks like a city lit up with lights! – this is different in Lake Tanganiyka and Lake Victoria

But we were lucky to see a rig at close hand – they look like something out of a Mad Max movie!

Unfortunately there is competition out on the lake and sometimes the fishing rigs are attacked at night by opposing forces – various news stories circulate


There is a lot more info on the web – two interesting sites are and

The following are some images of the locals that we saw every day in the beautiful little inlet that was our front vista during our stay at Eagles Rest!





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