Thinking of Kariba is seeing a huge man-made lake, created in the late 50’s, to generate electricity, but in the process creating vast opportunities for wild life to prosper.
Kariba town is usually visited for one night, for an onward transfer to one of the many lodges on the endless shoreline of Lake Kariba. A visit to the dam wall is worth a visit, especially when the gates are open, but this happens maybe once in two years. The small church at Kariba Heights, near the dam wall, serves as a monument which tells the story of the construction of the dam. Quite a heroic exercise indeed!
There are many fabulous lodges on the shoreline of Lake Kariba, each with its own characteristics.
All of them border Matusadonha National Park where game drives and game walks are offered.
The Park comprises some 1 400 square kilometres of diverse flora and fauna. Before the lake was built, Matusadonha was a vast, rugged wilderness with limited access.
With the lake came ecological changes. One in particular, the lakeshore contributed greatly to the increase of large mammal populations in the area, especially elephant and buffalo. With this ready food source, buffalo, waterbuck, zebra, and even impala have thrived and with them the predators. Matusadonha is an Intensive Protection Zone (IPZ) and home to several relocated rhinoceros.
A multiple day journey by house boat is certainly an affordable and attractive option to consider, especially for groups. A house boat does what it says: it provides a home on the water, simple but comfortable, a very relaxing journey, with excellent cooks on board.
Currently access to Kariba is a bit taxing: from Victoria Falls either by air charter, or by road through Zambia which takes a full day with two border crossings, or from Victoria Falls by road and ferry between Mbilizi and Kariba, a 2 – day trip in total, or by road via Binga and Karoi (but this option is only for very experienced and patient 4 x 4 enthusiasts, since the road can only be described in one word: terrible! By tar road from Victoria Falls via Bulawayo, Chegutu and Chinoyi, a 2 – day trip.
Access from Harare is by road (400 km, around 5 hours) or by air charter.
We can assure you: Kariba is worth the journey!!