The Lower Zambezi river went through some major changes back in the 50’s when it was decided to dam the river for Hydroelectricity. After 3 years on completion of the dam, Lake Kariba was formed. It is the largest man-made lake in the world by volume and the 4th largest in the world by surface area. It is also arguably one of the most beautiful! Few Lakes are able to boast of having a stand-alone wildlife national park along its shores with impressive numbers of Africa’s animal and birdlife all set against the backdrop of the breath-taking Matusadona mountain range.
This area is generally unknown to many, or rather underutilized which is both a blessing and a shame given its extraordinary beauty, tranquillity and range of activities. The big five traditional roamed here in great numbers for many years and 4 of them still do with Elephant and Buffalo gracing the park and the shores regularly. Rhinos have sadly been poached out. The birding is fantastic and of course, freshwater fishing here for Tilapia and Tiger Fish is off the scale good!
There are really only 2 safari camps here, both excellent and extremely well managed. What sets Matusadona and Kariba out from the other exceptional parks in Zimbabwe are the Houseboats. An exciting and unique alternative to staying in one of the camps along the shore you are able instead to reside in one of several luxury Houseboats ranging from 6-20 person sleepers that are taken as private use Houseboats only and there are very few experiences in the world better than cruising up and down this stunning lake in a houseboat for several days.
We’ll close this write-up with a mention of Kariba’s sunsets. Africa is hardly short of beautiful backdrops on which a sunset of epic beauty can hang, but Lake Kariba consistently delivers the very best we have ever seen in Africa over our 33 years of knowing this amazing country. It is worth the journey to Zimbabwe alone!