Sekoma Island Lodge

Mambova village Kazangula District, Mambova Zambia
Traveller (95)
Sweeping views on the Zambezi
Room & Suite (15)
Boma / Dining Area
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About

4.5
#1 of 1 lodge in Mambova
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Value
World Class Fishing and Birding on the Upper Zambezi River Zambia.
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Property amenities
Pool
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Restaurant
Free airport transportation
Airport transportation
Shuttle bus service
Laundry service
Breakfast available
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Family rooms
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HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
3.5 of 5 stars

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Mambova village Kazangula District, Mambova Zambia
56Reviews1Q+A21Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
adiabatic wrote a review Aug 2021
Cape Town, South Africa182 contributions78 helpful votes
+1
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Located approx 60 kms upstream from Victoria falls on the Zambian side of the river, this small permanently tented camp offers spectacular access to world class Tiger fishing. Yes that’s a fish not an animal! Superb bush experience with Hippos and Elephant sometimes right outside your tent! Dinner around the camp fire under the African night sky. Friendly attentive staff, an efficient same day laundry service included means you don’t need to bring a lot of kit! Easy pick up and transfer from Livingstone airport. Top class fishing guides and well maintained fishing boats. A great experience.
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Date of stay: August 2021Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
yolanda w wrote a review Oct 2023
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
The lodge is excellant, clean, meals were superb. Would suggest that they have one or 2 bigger boats for friends who want to fish together Boats only for 2 people presently. The boat guides are friendly but not very keen on letting one try their own thing. Glyn and Laura were very good hosts would just advise that they have a better system for the bar tabs. Couldnt quite figure my account being so high as i paid corkage for my own drinks. Would recommend Sekoma to friends.
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Rob Vorster wrote a review Sept 2023
Constantia, South Africa41 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I found Sekoma Island lodge on Insta and at first, it seemed too good to be true. After visiting their website, I booked my trip for mid September this year. My words can't describe the experience I had, the lodge is beautiful, its clean, its friendly and it has everything I needed for a tented lodge on the Zambezi river.

The food was really good, I understand that we are on an island in Zambia, miles away from the shops and I feel that all of my meals were really good. The staff were all really friendly and my fishing guide "Stan....the man" was really good. I spent 3 days on the water with Stan as we got on really well. He know a lot about the bush and about the river and has some great stories to tell which we great as I ask a lot of questions.
I have already got a quote to go back next year, this time it is for 5 nights and not 3 - I can't wait to get back to the lodge.
Well done to the management and staff - you guys have really done a great job.

See you soon.
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Date of stay: September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ste G wrote a review Apr 2023
Tzaneen, South Africa17 contributions2 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sekoma was a bit of a hit and miss. Some things were done great (the food, transfers and border arrangements) while others, well not so much...

The fishing was not bad except for one day with a cold wind, taking into consideration that this is supposedly a shoulder fishing season. The lodge itself was great and well run and the lodge staff were excellent. The problem came with one particular fishing guide. We had two guides each for two days, Vincent and Gift. Fishing with Vincent was a rewarding, entertaining, educational and successful excursion that I will repeat any time again. Mr Gift however was exactly the opposite. He was surly, uninterested and disrespectful to the point of being insulting. I don't know if he was experiencing some personal crisis, but frankly that is not my problem and should not be used as an excuse to ruin a fairly expensive and highly anticipated trip. We spoke to other groups who were with Keys (one of the other guides) and they were also delighted with him (as we were with Vincent). I normally do not name-and-shame but this was ridiculous and unacceptable.

Another issue we had with the fishing is that there has obviously been instruction from the owner (we know this since they told us this straight up) to the guides to make fuel economy a priority as well as keeping outboard engine hours at a minimum. This would be done even if at the cost of fishing opportunities. They have worked out how far upstream they can travel and then drift back to the camp in one day. Once you have turned around on your upstream trip you will not be allowed to go upstream again on that day. We had numerous areas where we would get multiple tiger strikes and when we asked to run that section again we were told that we are not allowed to go back upstream. We indicated that we would gladly pay for the extra petrol but was told (by Mr Gift) that he could not be sure that we would be able to pay for it, so he would not risk us not paying...

Also note that trolling is not allowed under any circumstances. Apparently this is to keep engine hours low which is ridiculous for a fishing destination. You pay a premium to be at this lodge. Trolling back in the late afternoon after a day of drifting and casting with a Mozi in the hand is one of the great experiences on the Zambezi.

At Sekoma you get the distinct feeling that you are being asked to pay an exclusive rate for a cut-price approach. If you need to charge more, do so, but don't interfere with my fishing options to try and save a bit of money. It lets you look very cheap...
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Date of stay: April 2023
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: Avoid Gift as a guide. Leave the Rapalas since you will not be allowed to troll. Bring enough...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thomas D wrote a review Feb 2023
Durban, South Africa9 contributions2 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
My second visit to Sekoma with a group of ten keen fishermen friends, with great expectations based on my first visit ……. Unfortunately the guides our group were paired with were inexperienced, and some of them including ours did not have a great attitude, and very poor communication skills , when you spend nine hours a day on a small boat with someone that doesn’t want to be there, it will spoil your long awaited, expensive holiday. Maybe the problem could be laid at the lodge managers doorstep , as I found him to be missing in action, and made very little attempt to spend time with us to make us feel at home and get feedback on our daily experience in his lodge. With so many choices on the Zambezi I will not rush back. I would like to compliment the house staff, the servers and the chef.
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Date of stay: February 2023Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
antjieSouthAfrica wrote a review Nov 2023
South Africa5 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Fantastic beautiful place - love the atmosphere, be on the river fishing viewing hippos in the water yearning. Food and service excellent. Sunsets amazing. Guide had lots of knowledge of the river for fishing. River view from your accommodation. No complaints - we will definitely back.
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Date of stay: November 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nai W wrote a review Jun 2022
18 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This was my 4th trip to Sekoma, and this time my wife came with me. Like myself, see fell in love with the place.
Just keeps getting better each year.
A big thanks to Glynn, Luara, Garreth, Vincent and staff.
See you next year.

Ian and Marie
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Date of stay: June 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dave W wrote a review May 2014
Melbourne, Australia253 contributions69 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
There are two main routes to get to Sekoma Island. The easiest is to fly into Livingstone and take the 90 minute transfer to the island, or you can fly to Kasane on SA Express and come through Kazungula from Botswana into Zambia, then take the transfer for about 40 minutes to the island. Once you reach the Mambova village, it is a short 5 minute boat trip though the channels to get to the island.
I have been here a number of times. The lodge’s main claim to fame is Tiger and Bream fishing, and if you are looking for some tight lines these are the waters to come to. There is nothing more thrilling than being on the river and hearing the scream of your reel. The lodge is within a few minutes boat ride of the main Zambezi River and Kasai Channel that runs through to the Chobe River.
But don’t let the fact that this is a fishing lodge distract you from going if you are a keen fisherman but do not wish to eat drink and sleep fishing (kinda like myself). The lodge adequately caters for ladies looking for some relaxation too. Beautiful scenery, a lovely pool and super deck looking over the river.

The main fishing season is May to September. This is predominantly when the die-hard fisherman are there, so if you are looking for a little more peace and quiet take this into consideration. I go late in December most years so I can avoid the December chaos in my own coastal home town, although the fishing is a bit slow due to the silt in the water, you can still catch your fair share of Tiger’s, but you have the pleasure of a quiet lodge (note at this time of the year you are fishing with Bulldogs aka Zambezi bait fish).The time spent out on the water is magical, there is something about the African sky in this part of the world that just blows me away every time.

The accommodation is made up of two sleeper canvas tents, with your own wooden deck looking onto the rapids running past the lodge. They are simply furnished and have electricity.

The bathrooms are enclosed at the back of the tent (note that they are roofed but open at the top, so make sure you keep your bathroom door shut at night otherwise little Africa creatures will find their way into your room).

Unit 1 is right next to the dining area (units 1-3 have the outside boma behind them) and unit 9 is the furthest down the path. There are also two or three 6 sleeper tents towards the end of the path. Mosquito repellent and insect spray is provided in all the tents, as well as a small tea and coffee station. Water is complementary.

This is the wilderness so you need to treat it as such. Hippos are resident around the island and wander about at their own discretion; as do the elephants. So always be aware of your surroundings and have a good torch with you at night.

The staff are amazing, Peter and Calvin look after your every need. The fishing boats are equipped for two fisherman and are new and well maintained. The fishing guides are superb (I had Gift last time and he was great once he warmed up to us) and they will tie your hooks, open your beers and try find you the best spots to increase your chances of landing the big one! You’ll love skimming across the water hunting down those Tiger’s with a few cold Mosi’s in the cooler box.

Take time out and do a guided walk around the island to get up close and personal with the Hippo’s; lounge by the pool after your morning fishing session, and catch up on a good book on the balcony of your tent.

Drinks prices are reasonable given their logistical distance from Livingstone, the food is hearty and plentiful! A Mosi beer was about R17 when I was there last December.

I love it here, it has the special essence of the true Africa we all should seek out.
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Date of stay: December 2013
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
4.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Room 9 is the furthest from the communal area
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
anton p wrote a review Aug 2013
Durban, South Africa1 contribution4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I will start by saying you are never and I mean never going to find a better value fishing holiday destination than Sekoma Island. I have travelled and all over the world and the value and experience from elephants in the camp to fantastic food and company to great fishing daily from the best boats in the Zambezi. The management are great , the fishing guides are knowledgeable, and the setting is something out of a make believe book. Watch out for the hippo's, the guides respect them more than uncle Bob down the river.
You are not going to spend your rand's, dollars or pounds in a better way than at Sekoma. When they say it is an all inclusive trip I still packed and brought too much with me. Next year when many friends join me on my next trip(or without them) I will pack far less. You only need 2 days fishing clothing and something to sleep in. The inclusive laundry service is really great and believable once you have been there. Don't wait until the last afternoon to do the walk around the island with your guide - with a bit of small tiger fishing as you walk, it is the most fun you will have. You also need to do the fishing down the rapids early in your trip as this might be what you want to do every day as it is awesome and something you might want to do more than once.

Ask for Shadrack or Garry as guides(Not that the others are bad I'm sure they are all good,I just did not have exposure to them)

Kelvin is great for a chat on how the area has grown and a bit of history on what has happened and how he thinks the future would be best. Mike at the bar is ever helpful.

Without a doubt this will be on every fisherman's regular repeat visit wish list.

Call me on 0825508153 if you need anymore motivation.

Anton
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Date of stay: July 2013
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled solo
Room Tip: June July or August
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
michael n wrote a review Jul 2018
Reno, Nevada307 contributions139 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
There were a lot of good things about this trip but a lot of bad things. The good was the location, 99% of the staff and our fishing guide. The cabin was completely fine, beds OK and mostly bug free (we did have a run in with a monster spider that turned my 6'4" buddy into a little girl). The food was pretty good but certainly not great. The bar was nice and we even had wifi intermittently which was a big deal for my buddy and I.

On the downside, while the camp management couldn't help the high water, they did put too many anglers in camp. Unique Africa experience aside this was a fishing trip and 26 anglers was way too many. The fishing was tough mostly because there were about 2 places on the river that actually held fish and there were too many boats. I've traveled the world fishing and hold more than 100 world records, I know a bit about fishing, this was too many anglers. The last day we anchored in one of the major holes and when there was more than one other boat there, we didn't get a bite. When we were the only boat, we caught fish. Pretty simple.

Most of the anglers came from an angling club who staying up late at night partying. Normally I wouldn't have minded and probably joined them but with the terrible fishing melting down my friend, I could see what other reviewers talked about with a rowdy crowd late at night.

I won't be back.
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Date of stay: June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Garreth C
Johannesburg, South Africa
Good Day Mark apologies only seen you message now.. Best time on our stretch of the Zambezi River is June to Early September for lure and fly fishing and End November to April for drift baiting ... Please email us :-) apologies again for the delay .. Regards Garreth Coombes
Ste G wrote a tip Apr 2023
Tzaneen, South Africa17 contributions2 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Avoid Gift as a guide. Leave the Rapalas since you will not be allowed to troll. Bring enough hooks for traces, you loose a LOT."
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John De M wrote a tip Jul 2018
Kloof, South Africa8 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Try and get Gary the guide."
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FlyFishExplorer wrote a tip Oct 2016
Simon's Town, South Africa23 contributions17 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Specifically request NOT to be in Room 5 - it looks out directly on to the pool, main area, and entrance pathway."
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Tim B wrote a tip Jun 2016
Mtubatuba, South Africa14 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"3 trips, 3 different tents all as good as the next and all located right on the waters edge."
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Craigmed wrote a tip May 2016
Centurion, South Africa9 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Room 7 has the best view"
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LOCATION
ZambiaSouthern ProvinceMambova
NUMBER OF ROOMS
34
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SEKOMA ISLAND LODGE - Reviews (Mambova, Zambia) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Sekoma Island Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Sekoma Island Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
What food & drink options are available at Sekoma Island Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge during their stay.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Sekoma Island Lodge?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Sekoma Island Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Sekoma Island Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Sekoma Island Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Sekoma Island Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.