Lake Manyame (14-12-06)


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Picture this, its six o’clock on a cool Saturday morning, dawn is breaking the boat is launched, mist slowly rolling off the calm waters of the dam, as the mist clears the water once a sheet of glass is disrupted by the splash of a rising fish. The line is cast over the splash; a ‘hula popper’ slides over the water jolted slightly to entice the fish and bring out its predator instincts. A swirl is seen behind the lure, the fisherman waits in anticipation for the inevitable strike, timing is crucial; where skill and luck meet. The hook is set! A roller coaster ride begins releasing a rush of adrenalin through his body, the reel screams as the fish fights to try and get away, slowly the line rises to the surface to unveil the powerful entity on the end of his line; the fish breaks the calm water from underneath and displays its powerful presence, a gaping mouth is shown; it’s a largemouth bass.



This beautiful fish has a mottled green color, the feature that makes this fish unique is its enormous mouth, an average sized bass can actually accommodate a man’s fist, bringing true meaning to the name ‘largemouth bass.’ Lake Manyame formerly Darwendale dam has arguably some of the largest bass in the world just waiting to be caught by the avid fishermen.



Bass fishing attracts thousands of enthusiasts annually, fishing tournaments are held frequently with the most distinguished and world-renowned being the Bass Masters Tournament. The bass that shocked the bass fishing world was caught by Nhamo Mkondo, whilst out fishing with friends Nhamo Mkondo a regular bass angler based in Harare, hooked into a noteworthy fish under the difficult circumstances – clawing weed, submerged structure, and a landing net too small for a sixteen pound fish, managed to land the new Zimbabwe, and all Africa record of 7.295kg (16lb 3oz).



So why visit Lake Manyame? The answer of course… To try and break the world record of course!



Apart from this there are stunning views of the lake from the dam wall and picnic sites with a calm peaceful environment. Sadly due to the land reform programme Gwebi Lodge, a lodge with lovely chalets overlooking the water was acquired by one of the members of the programme and is currently not in use.



Located 76 kilometres west of the capital city of Harare, the park occupies a total area of 11,200 hectares. Of this area, Lake Manyame water body swallows 8,100 hectares, just under three quarters of the parks total area. Lake Manyame lies downstream of Lake Chivero on the Manyame River near Norton town. It has a maximum depth of 23.6 m and a surface area of 8 100 ha. Annual production from the commercial fishery varies from about 100 up to 400 tonnes.


Lake Manyame is home to less dangerous and smaller animals, mainly herbivores. The most prevalent species are sable, kudu, waterbuck, bush pig, reedbuck, common duiker, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, oribi and porcupine.


For more information please contact [email protected]




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  1. Donovan Watson

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