Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba is a vast reservoir on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, created by the damming of the Zambezi River in the 1950s as part of a hydro-electric project. The dam is impressive and picturesque and pretty undeveloped. For keen fishermen, the tiger and bream here are world class. The wildlife around Kariba is not to be sniffed at but you have to know where to go to see it.  Elephant and buffalo can be seen feeding on the rich grass along the shore, and there is no shortage of crocodiles and hippos.  The birdlife is also interesting with a lot of waders and of course, the quintessential fish eagle. 

Most of the activity on Kariba happens on the Zimbabwean side still.  In happier times, renting a houseboat for a cruise along the lakeshore or across to one of the island lodges was a very popular holiday for regional tourists. This is still an option, although the choice is a little more limited these days, but improving and it represents a unique experience in Africa and a fun way to enjoy the wildlife along the shore, and the vast expanse of tranquil water dotted with islands.

There remain a number of camps and lodges in the area, both on the islands of the lake and on the mainland.  Matusadona National Park faces onto the lakeshore and it is here that many animals rescued as part of “Operation Noah" ended up. The park also supports a thriving population of black rhino.  Activities range from game drives to walking, fishing and game viewing from a boat, while the sun slips below the horizon.

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