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ISLAND VIEW LODGE:  Newsletter November 2008.
To all our friends, guests, anglers and birders,
We are nearing the end of another eventful year on the banks of the Zambezi River and what a year it has been. Besides a few “quiet” periods the fish have been very co operative and trophy size tiger and bream have been landed. Our birding visitors are increasing every year and it seems as though this wetland paradise is finally being recognised as a prime birding venue with 340 species to be seen throughout the year. We are now in the middle of the breeding season for many species and the lodge is a hive of activity with the Heuglins Robins, Babblers, Yellow Bellied Bul Buls, and various species of Sunbirds, to name but a few, all competing for breeding territory and frantically constructing nests.

Our rainy season should commence within the next two months and it is any ones guess how high the Zambezi is going to rise but one thing is certain the Tigerfish will be on the bite with the rising waters until late January. Last January trophy size Tigerfish were landed daily.

Stephanie and I have invested in a houseboat “SHAMWARI” which we will operate between Island View Lodge and the Chobe River 120 kms downstream. The boat is 22m long x 6m wide with an upper and lower deck and can comfortably accommodate 10 guests. The advantage of the “SHAMWARI” is that it is moored at the most productive angling spots on the river and if need be can be moved to more productive areas at anytime. From a fishing point of view it eliminates travelling time and guests can be fishing at first light and until sundown, the houseboat being close enough to pop in for breakfast, lunch, a bitterly cold one or an afternoon snooze. The upper deck affords guests with stunning views of the river and floodplains and of course magnificent sunsets.

Bedrooms each sleep two guests and have airconditioning. The kitchen has ample refrigeration and freezing facilities, stove with large oven, toaster, kettle, crockery and cutlery. The spacious lounge has DSTV for those guests who wish to watch sport or catch up on the news.

The “SHAMWARI” will have four tender boats for fishing and game viewing each five meter in length powered by Yamaha four stroke motors. Tender boats can be towed behind the houseboat when travelling. The “SHAMWARI” will be crewed by a host from the lodge (either Stephanie and I or Garth), a skipper, tender boat guides and a maid. Ample staff quarters with ablution facilities are provided on the rear lower deck.
Although we are busy with improvements to the vessel we have already done five six day trips with guests (1 x game viewing to the Chobe and 4 x fishing in the Mwandi and Golden Pond areas). Two of these trips produced Tiger of over the 8kg mark (Dave Lehr 8,4 and Craig De Bruin 8,3kg) besides Tigers in the 5 to 7kg range. Stephanie has already taken a number of confirmed bookings for next year and I am sure from the number of enquiries we are receiving this new venture of ours is going to be a great success. Once again our target market is Southern Africa with the emphasis on Quality and Affordability. For any one interested in a unique “SHAMWARI” ZAMBEZI ADVENTURE please contact STEPHANIE at E MAIL or TEL +264 (0)66 252801.

Should you be travelling up this way through Botswana in the near future please remember that the road between Nata and :Pandamatenga is full of pot holes and in a shocking condition so take it easy along this stretch. A contract has been awarded to rebuild this road but it is anyone’s guess how long it will take. Bringing meat up is still a problem so it is advisable to rather buy meat up here. At this stage we do not know how long the restrictions on movement of meat and dairy products in Botswana and the Caprivi will be.

From everyone at Island View Lodge we wish all our guests and friends an enjoyable festive season, a prosperous new year and tight lines.
Regards Mike