One of the things we love about Kenya is the extreme climatological and ecological diversity found in such a relatively small area. The geological uphevals which fragmented, twisted and thrust the African continent created the Kenya highlands a relatively short distance from the Indian Ocean. Put this on the Equator and we have permanent icecaps and frosty moorlands shadowing trout filled waters which spill down to tropical waters Marlin and sailfish less than 500km away.
The Reel Africa team have put together an anglers dream expedition that follows the Tana River from its trout rich source at over 10,000 feet in altitude on the moorlands of Mount Kenya. The journey takes us down through thick forests and wildlife filled savannahs, through thorny scrubland, flood plains, mangroves fishing every habitat on this incredible journey following the current of Kenyas longest river right out into the deep blues off the Kenya Coast.
With the peaks of Mount Kenya gracing the western sunset we enter Meru National Park and Kora National Reserve where we enjoy the warmer climate, fishing for Barbul and Labeo species in the clearwater streams that feed he mighty Tana River. We then move down the main river to Kora National Reserve and change tactics to enjoy the sport of targeting Widehead and the Giant Somali Catfish — a species recently rediscovered by the Reel Africa team that had been described from only a single specimen. Daily commutes through wildlife filled countryside make this leg of the journey even more enjoyable.
The next stage of our expedition sees us on the meandering floodplains of the Tana River, a flat grassland important to the Orma people who graze their large herds cattle here. We fish these lower reaches down to through the brackish intertidal zones and out onto an unspoiled dune fringed beach. After a night under the stars and a beach barbecue a charter boat collects us and we follow the Tana’s effluent out to the infamous North Kenya Banks, a place where multiple billfish species gather to feed on the baitfish that thrive in these nutritious waters.
Best time to do this trip is between October and February to catch the monsoon winds at their most favourable.
All our sport fishing is done on a catch and release basis, and only a few tilapia are targeted for the evening’s dinner table. The dragons and monsters of past times were hunted to extinction. We like to think of our monsters growing older, wiser and bigger to be enjoyed by future anglers who come visit these wind beaten and hostile shores.