Sidinda Lodge

Sidinda Island Lodge is situated within the pristine and unsettled Sidinda River Valley in Hwange Communal Land on the banks of the Zambezi River. The Zambezi River in this rugged area is wild and fast-flowing as it rushes through a steep boulder-strewn gorge inhabited only by Klipspringer and Black Eagles.

About Sidinda Lodge

Sidinda Lodge ChaletSidinda Island Lodge is located 80 kms downstream from Gorges Lodge (about 110 kms from Victoria Falls) on the banks of the Zambezi River. Sidinda is an exclusive, permament lodge constructed of natural stone, wood and thatch. The chalets are constructed on stilts in the traditional baTonga style. They all overlook the Zambezi River and are shaded by magnificent Tamarind trees within the landscaped garden. Due to impassable rapids downstream from the camp, the only other tourists you will see in the area will be other guests at the lodge.

Sidinda LodgeSidinda arguably offers the best river fishing in Zimbabwe and is open only mid September through December for tigerfishing. Tigerfish are Africans best fresh water game fish. Fishing in the rapids from the boat is really exciting and gets the adrenaline pumping. Tigerfish strike spinners with such force that snapping a rod has been known to happen. They jump and fight with amazing strength providing one of the most memorable fights an angler can have. Up to 50 fish per boat per day can be landed averaging 3-4 kgs (8-10 pounds). The largest Tigerfish caught at Sidinda weighed in at a remarkable 9 kgs (20 pounds). At least twice as many get away.

All Tiger fishing at Sidinda is strictly on a catch and release basis (except for the odd trophy fish that one would wish to keep or any desired for the dinner table). There are other species popular with the anglers such as bream, Cornish jack, bottle nose, “hunyani salmon”, barble, vundu and pink ladies.

Facilities

Sidinda consists of four chalets. Each chalet can accommodate between two and four people very comfortably. They are open, airy and cool chalets with reed half-walls, stone bathrooms and thatched roofs. Each chalet has en-suite bathrooms with a toilet, basin and shower and hot and cold running water. There is also a manager’s house and a “dorm” of sorts suitable for larger bachelor groups or large families. These can accommodate approximately eight additional people. There is a communal bathrooms and toilet for these to share.

Activities

Fishing
The fishing along this section of the Zambezi is excellent during the warmer months, fishing pressure is minimal. Catching Tigerfish on light tackle in the rapids is excellent sport, and we promote catch and release. Good Bream fishing can be had, and huge Cornish Jack and Bottlenose can be caught in deep holes. Please come equipped with fishing tackle and equipment because it is not provided at Sidinda. See below for recommended fishing tackle.

River Cruises
These are always fun, the scenery is spectacular and photo opportunities for Crocodile and Hippo are plentiful.

Walks
The Sidinda valley is superbly scenic walking country. A number of easy, short (1-3 hour) walks can be undertaken up the river that culminate in a swim at the waterfall and natural rock pools called siKale. Game that can usually be seen on these walks would include, kudu, impala, klipspringer, baboon, bushbuck, etc..

Village Visits
The nearby villages of Sidinda and Lumbora can be visited for a look at traditional Zimbabwean village life, cultivating Sorgham, tending livestock, grinding grain, brewing beer and so on.

Bird Watching
The birding in this area is excellent: over 200 species have been recorded within 10km of camp. A number of rarities regularly seen include Pel’s fishing owl; Ayre’s hawk eagle, rock pratincole, collared palm thrush, Peter’s finfoot, narina torgans and bathawks are some of the rarer birds that can be found at Sidinda. Then there are the usuals, such as carmine bee eater colonies, masked weaver colonies, black eagles, peregrine falcons, lauries, finches and, of course, the melodic and precocious fish eagle.

Fishing

Sidinda LodgeRecommended Fishing Tackle (For the first time Sidinda tiger fisherman)

  • We do not provide fishing tackle at Sidinda, there are no tackle stores nearby, come prepared. The tigerfish you will be catching will vary from 1 – 8 kg. Large tigerfish will destroy poor
  • quality tackle. Big tigerfish have extremely hard mouths and are notoriously difficult to hook and land on ultra light tackle. It is not recommended for first timers.
  • Favoured rigs are either bait casting or spinning, medium or medium heavy 6-8 foot rods, good quality reels loaded with at least 150 meters of 12-15 lb. line.
  • The favourite lures are in-line spinners. The most popular makes are Blue Fax or Mepps Aglis / Willow / Black Fury in sizes 3-5. Treble hooks should be removed and replaced with a good quality 3/0 -–5/0 single hook. Big Tigerfish will crunch treble hooks. Bring a selection in different colours and sizes, most will work at one time or another, but silver and red in size 4 is probably the most popular producer.
  • Prepare your spinners with 20-30 lb. steel traces about 1 foot long, with good quality swivels at the opposite end. Light sinkers 1/8 – ¼ oz on the trace will help get the spinner down deep.
  • Plan on bringing 3 to 4 spinners per fisherman per day, you will lose spinners. You can also bring some steel traces made up with 3/0 to 5/0 plain hooks for fishing with fillets.
  • Bring extra line, you will need it. Bring a spare rod and reel, so if one is broken or lost overboard, you are not stuck. Bring spare steel trace, sleeves, swivels and split shot.
  • Also bring a small, lighter spinning rod for catching bream and ‘hunyani salmon’ off the beach in front of the camp. A medium or medium-light rig, 6-8 foot long loaded with 8 – 10 lb. line. Bring some light sinkers and hook sizes 6 – 12. This will work also for Cornish Jack and Bottlenose.

Campfire Program

Gorges Lodge and Sidinda Island Lodge are both successful examples of Zimbabwe’s CAMPFIRE program in Hwange Communal Land. CAMPFIRE promotes sound conservation and natural resource management to benefit local communities. A large portion of the revenue earned from your safaris is accrued to the local communities through rural development, wildlife programs or cash payouts. Since we started in Hwange Communal Land in 1992, over US$ 2,5 million has been paid out to the local communities and government through permanent development, bed-night levies, lease fees, employment and village visits. The people love the tourism, are very friendly and happy to have you and the communities benefit significantly from the lodge and your patronage. The natural resources are also benefiting in these CAMPFIRE areas. There has been game re-introduction into Hwange, raptor protection programs, educational centers constructed and game protection teams established, all funded with money generated through Gorges and Sidinda.