Presented by Vodacom

Tackling tigers on the mighty Zambezi

As part of the 2018 Vodacom Super Rugby season, Vodacom Red clients are being rewarded with exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will never be forgotten.

The Vodacom Red Tiger Fishing Experience, which took place in July was an event for the ages! 10 Vodacom Red clients were jetted off to Livingstone in Zambia to tackle the fearsome tiger fish on the mighty Zambezi River.

Jacaranda FM’s Mack Rapapali and the hilarious Jonathan of RadioRaps ensured there was entertainment galore for our intrepid fishermen . But what would a Vodacom Super Rugby Reward be without Super Rugby stars?

And so Vodacom Bulls players Burger Odendaal and Jaco Visagie, as well as Springboks Julian Redelinghuys and Jaco Kriel from the Emirates Lions also joined the tour group to add a little rugby flavour.

Vodacom Red is premium and so our Red clients were treated to only the best. The fishing experience started days before the departure when each guest took delivery of their own travel pack consisting of a personalised fishing rod, tackle box and necessary fishing clothing.

Every guest was also either flown into OR Tambo Airport or shuttled there in personalised luxury vehicles. After enjoying the comforts of the Business Class Lounge, it was off to Zambia.

The 5 star David Livingstone Lodge is located on the Zambezi River a stone’s throw away from the Victoria Falls and features rooms which all have magnificent views over the river.

In true Vodacom Red style, the tour group was welcomed by the friendly lodge staff, with traditional music and dance, featuring the unmistakable rhythm of Africa.

The Zambezi River epitomises the African bushveld and in order to fully experience it’s wonder, the Vodacom Red tour group boarded the Lady Livingstone River Cruiser to take in the awe-inspiring African sunset while leisurely enjoying sundowner cocktails.

The river cruise also gave the group an opportunity to be divided into two fishing groups. Team Blue consisted of five Red clients, Mack Rapapali and the Vodacom Bulls players, while the Team Red comprised of five Vodacom Red clients, Jonathan from Radio Raps and, of course, the Emirate Lions players.

That evening, the group was treated to a 5-star dinner in the hotel before retiring to their luxury rooms in preparation of an early start to a day full of fishing.

At dawn, Team Blue and Team Red got down to the serious business of catching tigers. Team Red headed out to Katamborro Islands and headed out with their guides on makoros, which are traditional Zambian fishing canoes, while Team Blue boarded the more modern boats at Camp Nkwazi to scour the Zambezi for monster tigers and, just as importantly, avoid the path of ever-present hippos and crocs. Africa is, after all, not for sissies.

Creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience is all about special touch points and unexpected extras. One such touch point was a lunch stopover at the Elephant Café.

The Elephant Café is a sanctuary for rescued elephants and guests have the opportunity to interact with these gentle giants and get closer to them than is possible in nature. Unforgettable to say the least!

Day 1’s fishing ended with Team Red well in the lead when it came to the number of fish caught, with Team Blue pumped up to play catch up the next day.

The fishing experiences were reversed on Day 2 with Team Blue braving the mighty Zambezi on the makoros while Team Red enjoyed the relative safety of the fishing boats.

Sadly for Team Blue, it was much the same result on Day 2 when it came to the fishing with Team Red claiming the bragging rights of most fish caught as well as the all-important biggest fish caught.

This great honour and ultimate boast went to Vodacom Red client, Sven Iversen of Team Red, who landed himself a monster 6kg tiger fish.

Day 3 was the final day on the Vodacom Red Tiger Fishing Experience and the tour group prepared to start the journey back home to South Africa.

But, once again, the group was in for a surprise as they were taken to an airfield where helicopters were waiting to give Red clients a flip over the “Smoke that Thunders”, otherwise known as Victoria Falls.

Seeing the Falls from the air is a sight to behold and for most people, definitely a tick off the bucket list. A fitting end to an epic experience.

The Vodacom Red Tiger Fishing Experience was a definite standout event on the Vodacom Super Rugby Red Rewards campaign calendar and Vodacom is proud to have been able to reward its Red clients with this money-can’t buy experience.

Vodacom Red clients can still register their entry to attend the final two Red Rewards for 2018.

The Vodacom Red Family Day will be taking place at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 29 September, while the Vodacom Red 4×4 Experience will take place in early November.

To register your entry for a chance to attend these events, Vodacom Red clients can go to: www.vodacom.co.za/redrewards.

This article was published in partnership with Vodacom.

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Tackling tigers on the mighty Zambezi