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Lake Kariba



Kariba is unique and a place of outstanding beauty, a great inland sea, nested in mountains, guarded by enormous reserves of game and made beautiful and savage by sun and storm, earth and water and by life and death. 

It is here, from land or water that one encounters the rawness, the beauty and the savagery which is the real heart of darkness.

It is unforgettable, on dust-tasting, hazy blue, September days, to watch the game treading its daily course to the edge of the lake's vast waters; or, in the rainy season when the air is crystal, when images are razor sharp, to watch the massive black blocks of wet-skinned elephant posing on the billiard-table flood plains carpeted with new green baize.

You will never forget the electric thrill of a racing reel as the line flies to the powerful pull of a fighting tigerfish; perhaps most unforgettable of all, watching the red sun sliding into dusky blackness as the earth turns beneath it into night whilst the dead trees that fill the lake and the blue-black mountians that slope down to its wooded shores, slowly merge with the blackness and are gone.

Most of all, of Kariba, you will remember the smells of Africa. The dust of the day, the moisture of the lake and, most evocative of all, the smell of advancing rain.

Half a century ago, the growing needs of a hungry nation drove man to control the flow of this great river and, in 1958, at the narrow neck of a remarkable gorge, a rising wall of concrete stemmed the river's flow. And so created what at the time was one of the largest man-made lakes in history.

Already existing in the waters was the famous tigerfish, a fighting game fish that offers excellent fishing. Indeed, in the new lake, the tiger thrived. The waters were rich in food and tiger grew to record sizes.

Man and the lake live in greater harmony now and it has become the holiday Mecca for Zimbabweans. One of the delights of Kariba is the profusion of game which is so easily enjoyed.

The Zimbabwe side of the lake has about 1 000 kilometres of shoreline, baked African fjords with placid backwaters and numerous islands. Often elephants can be seen swimming between the shore and islands, a sight perhaps unique to Lake Kariba.

Along the southern shore, the Matusadona Game Reserve must be one of the most impressive in the world. It combines the beauty of a lake-setting and its rich and fertile flood plains, with a rising wall of mountains serving as a majestic backdrop. 

At any time of the year Lake Kariba offers entertainment, relaxation, sport and adventure. There is something at Kariba for everybody – and all of it unforgettable.


Lake Kariba Map:










Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba