We just finished a 4 day trip at the llombe lodge and it is beautiful. Great overall experience; good food, great BBQ, nice deck with fireplace, 'tents' that were incredible, and an overall nature ambience. Peter, manager at the lodge, has a staff that truly cares. The fishing was ok, but we new it was the off season. An unexpected addition was seeing the local villages around the room. Best of all, the incredible sunsets every night over the Zambezi river. Pure magic.
I stayed at the adjoining lodge, Ilombe, and there was much to like - room very comfortable, water hot, and the food plentiful and often edible. Unfortunately, the lodge offered no briefing as to the fishing options available and made no attempt to find out about my fishing preferences. My guide knew very little about fishing generally and all he knew about tigerfishing was that you should use an Afrijig and cast it randomly into the channel. That can be very effective but it can also be mind-numbingly dull when the fish aren't biting. In hindsight I should have stuck to my original plan of casting minnows at the banks, which I suspect would have yielded a lot more tigers (perhaps less chance of a big one) and the possibility of a bonus nembwe. Live and learn. I'll be tigerfishing again, but not here.
We have been going to Sekoma and iLombe for the past seven years. It is one of, if not the best, Tiger fishing spots on the Zambezi. Expert guides, exceptional staff and I don't think you will find a better view from your room than at Sekoma. Should definitely be on everybody's bucket list. Already packed for my next trip!!
Sekoma Island and Ilombe Island Lodges are a great spot for some incredible tiger fishing. We stayed at Ilombe, the smaller (5 rooms) to and supposedly slightly more rustic lodge on the island adjacent to Sekoma. Having boated across one afternoon to see Sekoma, Ilombe certainly fulfilled our requirements. What we were there for, of course, was the fishing. Although the tigers weren't falling over themselves to get into the boat, some amazing fish were caught by all the boats in camp. The boats are comfortable, well maintained, and the guides knowledgeable and very helpful. Two of our highlights were a full day trip into the upper reaches of the river (the picnic lunch we took with was great as well) as well as doing a run through the rapids. On the lodge side of things - there were some things that could do with some focus though. We arranged a road transfer from Kasane which was by far the best plan as it removed all the stress of crossing the border from Botswana as well as a speed boat to get across the river. The transfer vehicle though is a Chinese import and is certainly not in the best condition. On the other side it is only a short road and then boat transfer to the lodge. Arrival at the lodge was a bit disorganized, almost as though we weren't expected which got me a little nervous. The staff are very friendly, but the levels of service are pretty variable depending on which waiter is on duty. The manager was pretty much non existent, only really appearing halfway through dinner for a beer and some food. Being in the industry, these things are maybe an over expectation from my part, and, although would improve the level of the lodge, certainly were not a major detractor either. Highlights from the lodge were certainly getting laundry done while we were there, although some things did go missing and no real effort was made to replace them. By far the best part though was the food. Basic, but done well, and a lodge full of hungry fishermen were certainly fell fed. My travelling partner is gluten intolerant and the lodge went out of the way to make sure that she always had an alternative, which was great. We stayed in Room 3, which was quite nicely hidden away from the pathways and main lodge areas without being too far to haul fishing stuff. A little pathway through the bushes and a deck looking out over the river would turn this room into an incredible location.
Overall, one of the better fishing lodges along this stretch of the river, and we will certainly be returning!
Although this review is rather late I believe it is still relative.
Just to be on the mighty Zambezi river is one thing but to stay on a private Island leaves you so relaxed you do not want to go back to city life.
The camp itself offers excellent accommodation in luxury tents with on suite facilities situated right on the banks of the river.
The whole staff whether it be the camp manager, catering and bar or the fishing boat crews always greet you with a huge smile. Nothing is too much trouble for them and everyone really goes out of there way to ensure that you stay is one to remember. I have stayed in other lodges in this region which are also of high quality, but there is just that little bit of magic which makes this camp stick out.
The rustic open air dining area also adds to the atmosphere. The food and helpings are always enjoyed by a group of hungry fishermen who been out all day trying to catch the elusive Tiger Fish.
After dinner a night cap at the bar along with stories of what and did not happen that day abound. Then it's time for a good night sleep in a comfy bed and thinking of tomorrows new adventures.
Besides the fishing, the bird life viewing is great along with abundant game. In fact there is even a small herd of Elephant which stay on Sekoma Island.
As stated earlier this review is rather late but suffice to say our group of six are on our way their for another visit this weekend.