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Tourists flock to Kariba for the famous bream

by Staff reporter
17 Jun 2023 at 03:08hrs | Views
LAKE Kariba is arguably one of Africa's best, and prettiest spots to execute fishing expeditions.

Over 40 different fish species call the lake home from shoals of Kapenta to the fighting Tiger fish, making this fishing spot a spectacle.

Fishing is one of the favourite activities that have attracted tourists to the majestic Lake Kariba.

Several questions have been asked by tourists who frequent the tourist town. Do the Bream and the Tilapia fish come from the same family?

These are the questions frequently asked by tourists when they visit Kariba.

Rather the two species of fish are similar, in both appearance (and taste), and are all classified under one family of the Cichlids.  The Tilapia fish is a plant or sediment feeder while the Bream is mostly predatory, eating small fish, crabs, prawns and worms and other small animals.

The young Tilapia fish has a dark eye spot at the base of the soft dorsal fin, called the "Tilapia spot" while an adult bream usually has a series of clear spots or ocelli ("egg spots") on the anal fin.

However Breams come in various types and these include the rainbow Bream which is silvery green with dark grey centres to the body scales and about 8 vertical body bars, fins greyish green with deep grey spots and sooty margins.

The wild Bream is the most common in most restaurants in Kariba and for years tourists have blocked into Kariba expecting to have a piece of the sumptuous Bream.

"My family enjoys grilled and fried versions of Bream fish. I decided to prepare a stew this time and they loved it. It was so delicate, flaked as you cut through with a fork, knife or spoon, and simply enjoyable, Lovejoy Chinyama, a local tourist confessed after visiting Kariba last week.

"The preparation of the fish (removing the scales and fins) is my least favourite part!! I got cut by the fins on the middle finger as I was cutting them off," John Moesha, a tourist from South Africa who was recently booked at Waterfront Resort in Kariba added.

Asked about the best fish recipe, a Chef who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than twenty years, Fackson Magwili Siamilandu said the bream fish was increasingly found on restaurant menus and in home kitchens.

"A simple way to cook a Bream in the oven is to wrap it in a baking paper and foil with some aromatic ingredients such as lemon slices (or other citrus) and herbs.

"Bream is a particularly juicy white fish with a pleasantly neutral flavour and a slight sweetness. It can be cooked either with delicate flavours or with more robust ingredients, which demonstrate the bream's suitability as a blank canvas for punchier sauces," Siamilandu said.

"Try cooking bream very simply with a squeeze of lemon and salt, or add some South East Asian aromatics, such as lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal. Whole fish can be marinated (for example in a curry paste), but take care not to leave too long as any salt or citrus ingredients will begin to cure/cook the flesh - 20 minutes should be plenty," he added.

Fishing expert Rhodes Madyira summed up by saying the Bream fish remains the biggest souvenir you can get out of Lake Kariba.

"The bream is usually sold whole, or filleted. Always look for clear, non-cloudy eyes when buying fish, and avoid any that have a strong smell; fish should smell faintly of the dam, but not overly ‘fishy'. Avoid any with obvious signs of damage to the tails, fins or flesh," Madyira said.

Lake Kariba often gets overlooked by international tourists, possibly because of a lack of attention from international and local media outlets.,

The tourist resort is also known for gorgeous sunsets and exciting fishing, beautiful scenery as well as impressive game viewing, particularly in the Matusadona National Park.

The stretching water body allows for multi-day excursions from one end of the lake to the other in one of the many Kariba houseboats.

A variety of accommodation options including camping and lodges to luxury safari camps as well as the houseboats, cater for different budget groups.

Although subject to debate, the Zambia side of Lake Kariba does not possess the same level of magnificence compared to the Zimbabwe shoreline.

For one, the game is fairly non-existent on the northern bank while the stunning backdrop of the Matusadona Mountains makes Zimbabwe an exceptional piece of scenery.

Source - The Independent