Mavungana Flyfishing: Richtersveld Wilderness Drift

NAMIBIA

FRESHWATER

ACCOMMODATION

Air-conditioned en-suite cabanas at base camp and safari tents whilst on the river

SPECIES

LARGEMOUTH YELLOWFISH SMALLMOUTH YELLOWFISH

Mavungana Flyfishing: Richtersveld Wilderness Drift

In their quest for a fishing destination that rivals the world's best, Jonathan Boulton and Mavungana Flyfishing have created a one-of-a-kind drift through the remote wilderness of the Richtersveld Transfrontier Park in Namibia. Partnering with Felix Unite, one of Southern Africa's most reputable rafting companies, clients are assured of a level of comfort and professionalism that only comes with years of experience. Click here for a glimpse of what awaits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_7gJyby6Vk Booking tip: Scroll through the calendar in October and November to see availability  

View Available Packages

And then click the View Specials button to view ALL available packages

With its source 2340km to the east, the Orange River meanders through breathtaking landscapes, offering prime fishing opportunities for the abundant populations of indigenous Smallmouth and Largemouth Yellowfish.

THE LOWDOWN

On the day of arrival, anglers gather at Felix Unite, Provenance Camp, where you will receive a warm welcome. Following a brief orientation and safety briefing, anglers settle into their en-suite air-conditioned cabanas, ready to unwind and prepare for the adventure ahead. Those eager to wet a line can fish the home pool, while others may prefer to relax by the pool or enjoy a cold beer at the bar before dinner.

The next morning begins with an early rise for coffee and breakfast at camp, setting the stage for the day’s expedition. After gearing up, guests stroll down to the waiting rafts, eager to embark on their journey into the reserve and off the grid.

As each day unfolds, the rhythm of the river dictates the schedule. Morning sessions offer opportunities to fish the waters around camp before breakfast, followed by guided excursions downstream. Whether enjoying a packed lunch on the riverbank or gathering under the gazebo for a communal meal and swim, every moment is tailored to maximize the angling experience.

Afternoons are spent drifting downstream, casting lines until sunset. Upon returning to camp, guests are greeted by a roaring campfire, ice-cold sundowners and a gourmet dinner under the stars, a fitting end to each day’s adventure.

On the final fishing day, there’s time for one last session before extraction. A short drive back to Provenance Camp ensures a seamless transition to post-trip relaxation, with lunch and dinner awaiting their return.

As the journey draws to a close, guests enjoy an early breakfast before bidding farewell to this wilderness oasis and returning to reality, enriched by memories of an unforgettable fishing expedition.

Summarized Itinerary

DAY 1: – Domestic early morning flight, Johannesburg to Upington, South Africa. Mid-morning cross-border ground transfer to Noordoewer, Namibia. (Upington – border post is 4 hours, border post – camp is 40min) Check-in at Provenance Base Camp. Afternoon fishing session, drift trip prep, and safety briefing.

DAY 2: Early morning river departure, drift, fish, riverside camping.

DAY 3: Drifting and fishing, riverside camp.

DAY 4: Drifting and fishing, riverside camp.

DAY 5: Drifting and fishing, riverside camp.

DAY 6: Drifting and fishing, lunchtime arrival and overnight at Base Camp.

DAY 7: Check-out from Provenance Base camp after breakfast, Ground transfer to Upington.
Afternoon flight from Upington to Johannesburg

 

Your first and last nights are in en-suite air-conditioned cabanas at the Felix Unite Provenance Camp in Noordoewer, Nambia. This riverside lodge has a swimming pool, bar, and exceptional food.  Thereafter, you will be staying in fly camps downriver. A support crew paddles ahead to set up impressive campsites. There are hot showers, large spacious tents with cot beds, and all bedding and towels provided. Guests can expect exceptional wilderness catering including pre-dinner gin and tonics, T-bone steak, and red wine with their meals

Fly Camp facilities include:

– Canvas tents, stretchers, sleeping bags and LED interior light.
– Roll top dry bags for personal clothing and toiletries.
– Wash station with shower and toilet facilities.
– Gear area with rod holder and wading boot dry rack.
– Battery and camera charging facility.
– Camp chairs, thermos cups and flasks

A Satellite Phone is on hand for any emergencies.

This trip is ideally suited to 2 anglers sharing. If you are travelling alone – please send an enquiry

Getting There

The trip starts and finishes at Provenance Base Camp in Noordoewer, Namibia. Anglers can either fly into Upington and ground transfer as a group from there. Alternatively, guests can hire a vehicle from Upington Airport and self-drive.

Mavungana Flyfishing in conjunction with FlyFish Online, will ensure that all transfer logistics are taken care of and that your transfer to Provenance is a seamless and comfortable experience.

 

The Fishing

The Drift Trip Experience will cover just over 30 km of the Orange River where you will be targeting Small and Largemouth Yellowfish. Drifts are limited to 6 anglers fishing from 3 custom-built inflatable drift boats with a highly experienced flyfishing guide in charge of each raft.

Guests can expect to fish:

– Structure-loaded pools with big boulder gardens; ledges; tail-outs, tree lines; back eddies and gravel bars targeting the elusive and highly prized Largies as well as trophy-sized Smallies that readily attack the baitfish patterns thrown on 6 and 7-weight rods while anchored as well as drifting, with your guide holding your line perfect on the oars to make the necessary casts.

– Skinny water fished mostly by wading various waters such as freestone, pocket water, sand bars, glides and chutes for smallies in abundance with regular opportunities for sight-fishing. Guests can also expect to catch juvenile largies which co-inhabit these waters. Other than the standard upstream nymphing methods, a very effective way of fishing these waters is by swinging baitfish patterns through the current and seams often resulting in explosive takes and long runs!

The inflatable drift boats have been designed with this specific fishery in mind. Carefully constructed with a Centre Oar Rig configuration, your guide is positioned midship affording each angler plenty of room both at the bow as well as the stern to fish 180 degrees on a very stable craft.

Each raft is customized with the following features:

– Safe and secure rod holder system to accommodate 8x 9ft fly rods fully rigged.
– 70lb thrust Trolling motor.
– Cleated and seamless anchor system.
– Stripping Baskets for each angler.
– Wild Cooler to ensure your drinks are cold and boat snacks fresh.
– 2-way radios for communication between rafts at all times.
– Specialized Flyfishing Guide to get you into the fish and safely navigate
the river

A bit more on Yellowfish:

Considered one of the premier freshwater game fish in Southern Africa, Smallmouth Yellowfish (Labeobarbus aeneus)  also known as “Smallies,” are prized game fish known for their strength and fighting abilities. Preferring clear, well-oxygenated waters, the Orange River in the Richtersveld National Park is perfect. They have a streamlined body with distinct yellowish-gold colouration, black markings on their fins and a dark horizontal stripe running along their lateral line.
They are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of aquatic insects, crustaceans, and small fish. They are targeted with nymphs, dry flies, and streamers

Largemouth Yellowfish (Labeobarbus kimberleyensis), also known as “Largies,” are characterized by their larger size and distinctively larger mouths compared to Smallies. Colouration is similar but may have a more bronze or olive hue in some individuals. They inhabit deeper pools and slower-moving sections of rivers, where they prey on a variety of aquatic organisms such as insects, crustaceans, and small fish. Largemouth Yellowfish are known for their powerful runs and can provide anglers with exhilarating battles, especially when hooked in strong currents or deep water.

Like Smallmouth Yellowfish, Largemouth Yellowfish are commonly targeted by fly anglers using a variety of nymphs, streamers, and dry flies, with fishing techniques tailored to their behavior and habitat preferences.

 

Please note that Mavungana Flyfishing will send you a comprehensive pre-trip checklist 

RODS AND REELS

  • 1 x 9ft 5wt setup with weight forward floating line and large arbor reel for smallmouth yellowfish.
  • 2 x 9ft 7wt setups paired with matching weight forward fast intermediate sink tip fly line, along with 10ft Sink3 and Sink 6 Salmon Poly Leaders, as well as an integrated shooting head Di5 fly line on quality large arbor reels.
  • 1 x spare rod per boat (preferably a 6wt which will cover all bases)

FLIES

SMALLMOUTH: Selection of caddis, midge & mayfly patterns on strong hooks. Size #10 through #18 in varying weights.

LARGEMOUTH: A selection of baitfish patterns in olive, tan, black & white from #2 to #4 on quality hooks. – A selection of crab patterns #2 to #6 in olive, tan and brown.

EXTRA’S

  • A selection of tapered leaders and tippet in 8lb to 12lb.
  • Oros Strike Indicators.
  • Tippet rings
  • 10ft 16lb tapered leaders.
  • 16-19lb quality fluorocarbon tippet material.
  • Nippers, forceps, retractors.
  • Compact utility pack or flyfishing vest (while on the boat there is limited space so only bring exactly what you need).
  • Wading staff – while not necessary it will help if you are not sure-footed by nature.
  • Camera: preferable a compact point and shoot that is waterproof.
  • Head torch plus spare batteries.

CLOTHING

Temperatures can get cool in the evening so having a sensible layering system to adjust though depending on the weather is advised.

  • 4 x SPF rated, quick-dry & breathable fishing shirts and 2 pairs of trousers for during the day.
  • 2 sets of comfortable clothing for around camp. To include long trousers and long sleeve cotton shirt, t-shirt, polar fleece or puffer, windbreaker & beanie.
  • Quality wading boots with guard socks are extremely important.
  • Sneakers and sandals/flip flops for the evenings at camp.
  • Quality polarized sunglasses with spare cheaper pair plus strap, lens wipes.
  • Hat, buff, sun tan lotion and lip balm.
  • If you have your own sleeping bag & pillow that you would like to bring you may do so otherwise the operator will supply you with a micro fibre towel, pillow, sleeping bag and fresh linen for the pillow and sleeping bag.

 

Rate:

2024 : $2900 per angler sharing

What’s included:

  • 5 days of guided fishing.
  • 6 nights shared lodging.
  • Meals & drinks (except while at base camp at the bar).
  • Support crew & drift trip equipment.
  • Custom boats.
  • Guiding.

What’s not included:

  • Travel to the venue. (NOTE: the operator will be on hand to assist and advise local and international anglers to ensure smooth transfers to and from Base camp. This includes up-to-date information about crossing the border from South Africa into Namibia)
  • Fly packs & gear.
  • Drinks while at base camp
  • Gratuities.
  • Any items of a personal nature.

Terms

Terms and Conditions of the Operator:

A 50% deposit is required at the time of booking to confirm and hold places. Places will provisionally be held for 1 day from the invoicing date until a deposit is received. Thereafter, we may cancel bookings that are not confirmed by deposit. Deposits and other payments are not refundable unless place is subsequently filled. If your place is filled your deposit will be refunded with the value of the new booking. There is a 10% cancellation fee for rebooking your place. Full payment is due 90 days prior to your arrival. Receipt of the deposit is acknowledgement that the registrant has read and accepts the cancellation/ refund policy, and risks associated with this trip. Mavungana Flyfishing Travel will not be held responsible for any currency fluctuations that may arise. All prices are subject to availability of bookings and change by service providers. At the time of quote all additional charges, flight charges, flights, transfers & government/conservation taxes & fishing licenses are correct but subject to change without prior notice. While out of our control we will do everything possible to ensure a trouble-free trip. Mavungana Flyfishing Travel cannot be held responsible for cancellation or poor performance of these service providers, bad weather any other Force Majeure or political unrest.

Global Rescue Travel insurance (or similar with Medivac) is a mandatory requirement. Please follow this link for travel insurance https://ss.globalrescue.com/#/signup/step1?rp=mavungana

 

Extra info

It is strongly advised that all anglers have suitable travel insurance, particularly as you will be fishing in a remote destination

Most countries are exempt from needing a travel visa but we will double-check this after booking

Gratuities

The operator recommends an industry standard 10% of trip cost . This will be collected at the end of the trip by your head guide and divided accordingly between guides and support staff. Please bring cash (ZAR) for this.

Meals and Drinks

All meals are included in your package, we do however recommend each person bring their own snacks for between meals while on the water.
Drinks while at Provenance camp are not included. There is a healthy stocked bar and prices are very reasonable. Drinks while on the drift are all included in the price. Considering we have to carry everything with us there’s a sensible quota of water, 2 soft drinks, 4 beers, a gin and tonic plus some wine per person per day. If there is anything over and above this that you would like you may bring it with, space permitting. We’d recommend a bottle or two of your preferred whiskey or wine if you so please, as we have space for spirits.

Find us on Google Maps