Fly Fishing the Faro River for Monster Perch
African Waters Fishing - Cameroon, Africa
The Central African nation of Cameroon is nearly twice the size of the state of Oregon and is commonly referred to as Africa in miniature. Here, you'll find all the major climates and vegetation of the continent in one area: the coast, the desert, mountains, rainforest, and the savannah. African Waters is the outfitter. The Cameroon Nile perch fishing experience is about casting large flies to monster perch and encountering a few great fish in a very special place. A journey to Cameroon to target giant Nile perch offers the rare opportunity to see a piece of Africa reminiscent of how the continent used to be.
Night Fishing for Monster Nile Perch
After almost a decade of research by the outfitter, anglers now have access to 120 km (75-miles) of the Faro River, bordering the Faro National Park.
Nile Perch: The Nile perch are native to the Congo, the Nile, the Niger, and many river basins in between. Nile perch used to be widespread and abundant. Severe habitat destruction and relentless overfishing have severely impacted the Nile perch populations today. Nile perch reach sizes of up to six and a half feet. These monsters take your fly with a brutal hit-and-run. They are aggressive and strong. The largest perch they’ve seen taken from the river bottomed out a 100kg scale — more than 220 pounds! Usually, Nile perch 39-inches and up are considered a trophy. Perch are structure-orientated ambush predators and prefer to hunt mostly at night and during low light conditions.
The Faro River Fishery: All fishing is strictly catch-and-release fly fishing with single de-barbed hooks.
Night fishing: Serious perch fishing takes place from just before sunset (about 6:00 p.m.) until about 9:30 p.m., when the perch start to feed. In other words, you'll be night fishing for these monsters. A few small perch may be caught during the day. Fly fishing at night requires casting by feel rather than sight. Standing under the stars, immersed in the sounds of the African wilderness, is a raw, edgy experience that’s wild in every sense. It may seem scary at first, but the risks from wildlife while fishing are extremely low, and the guides and staff are close at hand and run over to help the moment you hook up.
Daytime Species: During the day, you'll fish for three species of tigerfish and sight fish for up to 12-pound yellowfish, aka as Niger Barb, and carp up to 8 pounds. The Faro River is a true multi-species destination, with anglers rigging 5wt, 9wt, and 12wt gear each day to cover all the species and situations on offer.
Fly Fishing Facts:
Season: The season runs January to April. In February and March, the river is low and clear. Temperatures are hot and dry, reaching up to 104°F by mid-March. Read African Water's blog for Week 6 of 2022.
Camp Size: Gassa Camp is limited to four anglers per week.
Boats: There are no boats. All fishing is on foot.
Guides: Very experienced English-speaking guides. Two guides per group of 4 anglers.
Transportation: Each day, anglers are driven for 15-minutes to an hour to fishing locations in 4WD Vehicles that do not have air-conditioning.
Fishing Equipment: is not provided. Fly fishing only with single de-barbed hooks. Fishing is on foot, with single-handed 12wt, 9ft rods. Intermediate and sink tip lines and 0.8mm leaders are the suggested tackle set-ups. You'll also need to bring headlamps for night fishing.
A Fishing License is included in the package.
Large flies for monster-sized Nile perch.
A Typical Fishing Day
7:30 a.m., your day begins with breakfast in the camp.
9:00 a.m., your group, and guide, accompanied by armed game scouts, head out in a 4x4 vehicle to the allocated fishing beat, a 15-minute to one-hour drive depending on the area you’ll be fishing. A simple base is set up in a shaded spot on the river bank. The mid-morning session is generally spent targeting tigerfish and yellowfish, with a little time dedicated to Nile perch fishing if the conditions and water dictate.
Noon to 4:00 p.m. is set aside to rest and avoid the heat, so you’re rested and ready for the prime evening fishing.
At 4:00 p.m., you'll head out for fishing again. The first part of the afternoon session is spent targeting tigerfish and getting familiar with the area.
About 6:00 p.m., when the sun gets low on the horizon, you’ll switch from tigerfish outfits to heavier 12-weight outfits and bigger, water-pushing flies in preparation for Nile perch. Fishing for Nile perch takes place almost exclusively from just before sunset into the darkness.
About 9:30 p.m., you’ll generally return to camp for a late dinner and some drinks before heading to bed.
Gassa Camp is a tent camp erected along the riverbank among deciduous trees. The Camp has two outdoor restrooms with two flush toilets, two basins, and two showers. Hot and cold running water, with good pressure.
The Camp has four A-style (Meru) tents, one angler per tent. Each tent has a view of the Faro River.
Communications: There are charging points in the main living area. There is no cell reception in the camp. There is a Satphone for emergencies. There is limited satellite Wi-Fi for basic text WhatsApp messages.
Dining Tent and Gathering Area
Enjoy coffee in the morning and drinks and stories at night around the firepit.
Meals: All meals are prepared by a talented camp chef. Continental breakfasts of fruit, bread, and coffee. Lunch and dinner usually consist of freshly prepared game meat with a seasonal salad and vegetables.
Wildlife Viewing: The Gassa Camp offers a unique glimpse into an almost untouched western African savannah. Wildlife such as Lord Derby eland, northwestern buffalo, western hartebeest, western roan, red river hog, kob, red flanked duiker, eastern black-and-white colobus monkey, West African lion, and leopard are found in the park. Many of these animals, plus others, and their signs are seen on a daily basis when driving between camp and the fishing beats.
Faro River in Cameroon
Sunset is peak time for Nile perch.
Getting to the Camp / Itinerary:
Sunday: You’ll arrive in Douala, then fly to Garoua, arriving mid-afternoon. You’ll be greeted by the transfer driver and camp representative. The 2-hour charter flight from Douala to Garoua is included in the package. You’ll be driven to a local hotel and stay overnight in Garoua in a single-occupancy room. (The hotel night is arranged but not included in the package.)
Day 2 - Monday: You’ll have breakfast at your own expense. The driver will pick you up from the hotel at 8:00 a.m. in a Nissan Patrol 4WD station wagon that does not have air-conditioning for your four to five-hour drive to the camp.
Tuesday - Saturday: 6-days of guided fishing.
Monday: Breakfast, followed by 4 - 5 hour drive back to Garoua. Regional flight from Garoua to Douala (covered in tour costs). Depart Garoua @ 18h15. Arrive Douala @ 20h50. Connect to the international flight home, or overnight in Douala for connection on Tuesday. Tour Ends.
2023 USD Rates:
8-nights and 6-days guided fishing
$9,350.00 per person
+ 950.00 Charter Flight
= $10,300.00 per person
Prices are subject to change.
A Yellow Fever Card is RequiredA valid yellow fever inoculation/card is required for this adventure. Malaria is a risk in Cameroon. Please consult your doctor for suitable medication; some pills need to be started before your trip.
Roundtrip regional flights between Douala and Garoua, meet and greet on arrival, ground transfers from Garoua airport to the hotel, one hotel night (single-occupancy) in Garoua upon arrival, camp accommodations, all meals at camp, tea, coffee, water, soft drinks, four beers per person per day, laundry service, guided fishing, fishing permits, and game scouts plus conservation and anti-poaching levies.
Packages Do Not Include:
International flights to and from Douala, visa approx. $105.00, meals and beverages in Douala and Garoua; spirits and wine in camp—guests are advised to bring their own alcohol from duty-free; extra beer above daily four, fishing tackle, gratuities for guides and staff, last night stay in Douala if required (the outfitter can help with arrangements), mandatory medical and travel insurance, Global Rescue, and anything not mentioned under inclusions.