The Makangoa Community Camp is a one of a kind operation focusing on walk and wade fishing for yellowfish and trout in the mountain country of Lesotho, Africa. The camp is located high in the mountains overlooking the Bokong river and is a unique project aimed at providing sustainable tourism while conserving their natural resources. The community involvement not only ensures the pristine nature of the valley but also dramatically enhances the angler's traveling experience.
Founded in 1824, Lesotho (fondly referred to as the Kingdom in the Sky), is one world's smallest countries and is entirely surrounded by South Africa. Lesotho is also the country with the world's highest average altitude and boasts thousands of kilometers of virgin, gin-clear streams. Accordingly, some compare it to Africa's version of Patagonia. The beauty of its harsh mountain wilderness is astounding, and reason enough to spend time fly fishing in the little-known mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Dramatic basalt cliffs, big skies, bearded vultures and the occasional boy herding cattle create the backdrop for a truly unique and enriching fly fishing experience. If you live for wild places and are prepared to go the extra mile to reach them, then the Makhangoa Community camp might be for you.
The main fishery is the Bokong River. Groups of six guests staying at the Makhangoa Community camp have exclusive hiking access to over 20km of the Bokong River that is divided into five beats. Each morning guests and their guide will either walk to one of the lower beats directly from camp or take the primitive 4wd road upriver to access the upper beats. In all cases, anglers should be prepared to walk several miles a day at an average elevation of 7,500 ft. Fishing is predominantly sight fishing with dry flies, though nymphing is required if water temperatures drop. The prime targets are healthy populations of yellowfish that enter the Bokong River to feed and spawn. Rainbows and browns are also in the system but are usually not the primary target. Guides are focused on fishing dry flies as much as possible, as the high altitude yellow fish show a strong affinity for terrestrials. Early morning and late evening hatches of caddis and mayflies are also common, as are some very heavy flying ant hatches. Standard nymphing techniques are also very productive. Guests can expect to be kept busy each day fishing to sighted fish or drifting flies through likely looking lies. This is a one of a kind fly fishing experience, taking place in a truly unique mountain setting. The secondary fishery is a lake above Katse Dam. The lake is situated between 1km and 4km below camp (depending on water levels) and offers sight fishing opportunities to yellowfish cruising the edge of the dam. The steep nature of the banks makes this fishery challenging to access, however, during blowouts and extreme cold snaps it offers a great back up to the river systems.
Accommodations and Meals:
The Makhangoa Community Camp is designed and built to mirror a traditional Basotho homestead and blend in with the mountain environment. The camp comprises of four traditional Rondavels (round chalets), each sleeping two guests in single beds. The Rondavels are built out of river stone and thatch, and each has a veranda overlooking the river. The heart of the camp is the outside deck, living/kitchen area, which comprises of a lounge with large welcoming couches, a fireplace, and large black-wood dining table counter. This building is also built from local stone and is an excellent example of traditional masonry. The camp kitchen comprises gas stoves, fridge and freezer facilities. Lighting throughout the camp is 220v via battery and inverter system and solar. There are plug points in the living area to charge cameras and phones. Bathrooms are in a separate stone building at the back of the camp, overlooking the estuary system, where the Bokong flows into Katse Dam. It consists of two flush toilets, two hot showers, and two hand basins. Your South African guides will prepare all of your meals, which we consider to be hearty, simple meat and potatoes type fare.
The Community Camp Approach
The Makhangoa Community Camp is the first of its kind fly fishing ecotourism project in the area. The Makhangoa Camp and fishery on the Bokong River is managed and run by Tourette Fishing and the Makhangoa Tourism Council. The partnership aims to provide sustainable and beneficial tourism to the area while conserving the natural resources which attract anglers and eco-tourists to this beautiful valley. Proceeds of bookings (through a daily community levy) are allocated to community benefaction projects, with the aim to uplift and enable the local community to live happier and healthier lives. Apart from the daily community levies generated from each visitor's stay, the camp trains and employs local staff in all aspects of camp life and management. From camp managers, river rangers and cultural guides, to cleaning and maintenance staff. In addition to the amazing fly fishing that draws anglers from across the globe to the Makhangoa Community Camp, the local tourism council has set up a range of local community projects which offer guests a unique insight in local Lesotho life and culture. These include pony treks, village tours, mountain hikes, shabeen (local tavern) visits, and local
arts and crafts.
Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg - Overnight
Day 2: Private transfer (approx 7 hours) from Johannesburg, South Africa to
Katse, Lesotho. In Katse, you will meet a member of the guide team who will
transfer you the final 25km to the camp.
Day 3-8: Six days of guided fishing
Day 9: Transfer from the camp to Johannesburg - overnight
Day 10: Depart for home.
2019 Rate: €2500 + €600 private transfer to / from Johannesburg for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the camp, round trip transfer between
Johannesburg and the camp, guided fishing, community levies, fishing license
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Johannesburg, accommodations, and meals in
Johannesburg, soft drinks and alcohol, staff and guide gratuities
Species: Smallmouth yellowfish, rainbow trout, brown trout
Season: Mid-November through mid-March
Capacity: 6 anglers
Time: South Africa Standard Time (GMT +2)