From his home in Kenya, to Nigeria, the Central African Republic and everywhere in between, Ed Ghaui of Goliath Expeditions seems to live a life straight out of a Willard Price adventure book. In between scouting remote rivers and setting up camps in some of the most logistically challenging destinations on the planet, he took time out to give us his High 5s in issue 22 of The Mission.
5 favourite fly fishing destinations across Africa?
- Chinko (in the Central African Republic) – my current favourite. I’m worried that we might not find another place like this.
- Southern Tanzania – rivers like the Mnyera; the Ruhudji; the Kilombero; the last 300m of the Luwegu (blow-your-mind territory if you can get to it); the great, grey, green, greasy Rufiji (it’s not clear, but there are some proper fish in there) and the Ruaha. Ruaha is derived from ‘luvaha’ the Kihehe for ‘big water.’ When the first Western explorers got to the river and asked their local guides the name, they said, “Luvaha,” which was noted down on maps as The Great Ruaha River. Ironic that that great big river now dries up every year due to changes in land use in the catchment area. One of the greatest tiger fish fisheries in Africa shriveled into the dust with it.
- Gashaka Gumti – the Nigerian highlands and their crystal clear rivers. Where else can you drop a fly on 10-15lb Niger barbs in crystal clear rivers? Or trek through a 15-million-year old rainforest and stumble on a “new’”species of fish? Plus, there are the pygmy crocs, Giwan rua which is Hausa for ‘river elephants’ (Nile perch), pangolins and more species of butterflies than you can imagine.
4. The Orange River in South Africa, when it’s clear. My colleague Francois Botha introduced me to some fishing on this river that was too good to explain!
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5. Kiwayu (part of the Lamu archipelago off Kenya’s northern coast) between the monsoons. When it’s hot and calm, sailfish are EVERYWHERE. You catch pompano on the beach, the odd GT and even a bonefish once or twice. Awesome chilled Swahili/Bajuni culture – this is a fun place.Get the rest of Ed’s High 5s in issue 22 below for free.