Situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi within Barotseland, the Lozi people’s mystical wetland region that the famous explorer David Livingstone explored so many years ago, Kabula Lodge has been specifically designed to provide an affordable and comfortable holiday destination for the family who loves the outdoors.
This sparsely populated and relatively unspoilt and untouched region within Southern Africa is regarded by many as the ideal holiday destination and if you are a keen fisherman or birder, then you have found your paradise.
The accommodation at Kabula Lodge consists of seven self-catering chalets, one 4-bed ‘fisherman’s’ chalet, one 3-bed chalet and five 2-bed chalets, and 10 magnificent campsites. The chalets, all with their own deck overlooking the river, come with en-suite bathroom with shower. All chalets are provided with linen and towels and are fully serviced. The kitchens which are equipped with gas refrigerators, gas cookers, tables, cutlery, crockery and basic cooking utensils are available for use by the residents of the chalets.
The fully grassed campsites, situated beneath huge indigenous trees, are without question the best on the river. These are serviced by clean and well designed ablutions that consist of rondavels, each containing a separate toilet and shower. In addition to each campsite having its own washing up facility there is a communal washing up area with hot and cold water. Water is heated twice daily by wood fired boilers. Some of the campsites have their own thatched lapa which contain tables and benches and are ideal for use as a kitchen/eating area. These spacious and well set out campsites, which have a view of the river, are truly magnificent and we are confident in our claim that one will have to go a long way to find better.
The Zambezi River is subdivided into three reaches, the Upper, the Middle and the Lower.Kabula is situated on the Upper Zambezi which is regarded as the best part of the river for Tiger fishing. The Tiger breed in the thousands of pools of the Liuwa floodplains and are flushed out each year by the floods. The best time for fishing at Kabula is from June to May when the water is warm and the level of the river is low before the start of the rainy season. Large tiger fish are plentiful, as are various species of bream, particularly the predatory yellow-belly and thin face breams which make for great fishing and wonderful eating. Large barbel, which will also give you a fight to remember, are also plentiful.
Fishing boats, which are provided with experienced boatmen who know the river, and the best fishing spots, are available for hire. Fishing rods and tackle are provided with the boats if required. Please note that unfortunately private boats are not permitted. Please also note that fly-fishing for bream and tiger fish is becoming increasingly popular. To catch a large tiger fish on a fly rod is an unforgettable experience.
Whilst renowned for its tiger fishing and birding, Kabula offers so much more, including walks in the surrounding un-spoilt indigenous forests, walks on the famous KabulaIsland, canoeing and rafting on the river and easy access to the totally un-spoilt SiomaNgweziNational Park.
- Ngonya (Sioma) Waterfalls – The famous and beautiful Ngonya (Sioma) Waterfalls of central Barotseland, Zambia which are situated within 60km of Kabula, are rarely visited simply because of their remoteness. Fortunately their remoteness has resulted in them being totally free of the tourist trappings of their better known counterpart further downstream. David Livingstone was the first European to see these falls when he traveled northwards from Botswana and he marveled at their beauty. It was only later, after being informed by locals of a larger waterfall further south, that he ventured south along the east bank of the Zambezi. It was here that he, again as the first European to do so, saw the mighty Mosi-oa-Tunya or Victoria Falls. These beautiful horseshoe shaped falls are mostly impressive because of the sheer volume of water that cascades over the staggered twenty metre drop. Directly below the falls are a series of rapids that make for an exciting days white-water rafting and canoeing. Canoeing from the falls down to Kabula, is also an exciting and rewarding experience;
- Sioma Ngwezi National Park – Within a few hours drive of Kabula Lodge, lies the Sioma Ngwezi National Park. This 5000sq km park, with few roads, no permanent facilities and no fences, provides the serious outdoor and 4×4 enthusiasts with a piece of un-spoilt and totally undeveloped Africa. The presence of growing numbers of elephant, buffalo, eland, roan, lion and cheetah give visible evidence of its potential following the incorporation of the park within the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. Camping on the edge of one of the pans in the centre of wild Barotseland is a truly spiritual experience. For the ardent bush lover, the pristine wilderness is the biggest attraction and the rewards are great. The Park and surrounding 35 000 sq km Game Management Area, with a diversity of game, form an important link in the migratory route of elephants from the bordering national parks of Botswana and Namibia, allowing them access to the Zambezi;
- Liuw Liuwa Plains National Park – Kabula is also a convenient stopping off place for the intrepid traveller on route to the Liuwa Plains National Park in the North where the second largest migration of wildebeest in Africa takes place. In November, with the onset of the rains, the massive herds of blue wildebeest arrive from Angola, traversing the plains in their thousands, very often mingling with zebra along the way or gathering around water holes and pans. Other unusual antelope found include oribi, red lechwe, steinbuck, duiker, tsessebe and roan. The Jackal, serval, wildcat, wild dog as well as lion and hyena are the predators of the area. Many birds migrate here during the rains and massive flocks of birds can be seen as they migrate south. Some of the more notables are the White Bellied Bustards, Secretary birds, Red Billed and Hottentot Teals, Crowned and Wattled Cranes, Long Tailed Whydah, Sooty Chat, Yellow Throated Longclaw, large flocks of Black Winged Pratincoles around the pans, Fish Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Marshall Eagle, Woodland Kingfisher, Pink Throated Longclaw. The plains are dotted with woodlands which also make for excellent birding.
- Kabula Island – Situated off the mainland and just upstream of the lodge, is Kabula Island. This beautiful island, some 300ha in extent, is covered in the most magnificent indigenous vegetation and provides ideal walks and some of the most rewarding birding in the area. Guided walks can be provided on request.
- Kuomboka Ceremony – Attend the Kuomboka Ceremony. The Kuomboka is a Luyana name literally meaning ‘to get out of water’. It is applied today to a traditional ceremony, which attracts more interest as a celebration of local culture each year than any other in Zambia. It is held when the annual inundation of the Bulozi flood plain of the UpperZambeziRiver reaches such a height (up to 40 feet above normal) that the Lozi Litunga, or King, leads his people to higher ground. This is usually at the end of March or beginning of April. The date is liable to change each year and is kept secret by the Barotse Royal establishment until close to the dayther in Zambia. It is held when the annual inundation of the Bulozi flood plain of the UpperZambeziRiver reaches such a height (up to 40 feet above normal) that the Lozi Litunga, or King, leads his people to higher ground. This is usually at the end of March or beginning of April. The date is liable to change each year and is kept secret by the Barotse Royal establishment until close to the day.