Experience It: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe: Unique Safaris & Tiger Fishing Thrills

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe: Unique Safaris & Tiger Fishing Thrills

Around 211 miles (340 km) north-west of Harare is the cherished gem of holiday destination spots: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe.

Situated along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, this destination is a real world-class holiday paradise. Between attractive shorelines, magnificent sunsets, and a vast population of wildlife, it’s really one of the most wonderful places Zimbabwe has to offer.

There is so much to know about this hidden treasure. Here, we will explore everything you need to know before you book your trip to this legendary lake.

Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe: A Brief History

Before we dive into the exciting activities Lake Kariba has to offer, let us first explore the area’s fascinating background.

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made lake. It covers approximately 2 000 square miles (5 200 square km) and has a width of approximately 30 miles (48 km).

The lake was formed by creating a dam that closed part of the Zambezi River in the Kariba Gorge. This dam was filled between 1958 and 1963.

Creating the dam was quite the undertaking. So large a mission in fact, that Kariba town was established for workers in 1957 to accommodate them during the dam’s establishment. The dam’s five-year construction meant that local tribes and animals were relocated.

With all the effort put into the dam’s erection, it only makes sense that the name of the lake translates to “where the waters have been trapped”.

Hard work paid off here, as Kariba town has become one of Zimbabwe’s major tourist attractions. This is because of its proximity to both the lake and several national parks, including Mana Pools National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lake Kariba Houseboats

If you’re looking for a unique, once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience, nothing compares to a boat ride around Lake Kariba. This destination is famed for its chartered houseboats.

Nothing beats waking up each morning to the tranquillity of the water, the sounds of birds, and views of the nearby game. It is the perfect opportunity to become one with nature.

The boats act as floating hotels that are fully serviced and appointed. They move between Zimbabwe and Zambia,

These floating accommodations come in various shapes and sizes. You can hire the boats on a full-board or self-catering basis. Many of them are equipped with hard-working cabin crews to ensure you get the most out of your holiday.

If you prefer shorter-term adventures, there are several other water activities to enjoy, including:

  • canoeing,
  • speed boating, and
  • wakeboarding.

Lake Kariba Safaris

While Victoria Falls is an incredibly popular holiday spot, Lake Kariba holds its own in the fight for the title of the most treasured African gem. One of the best things about the destination is the interactive wildlife experience.

A visit to Lake Kariba offers huge potential for water-based game viewing. Spotting animals from the open water allows you to get up close to elephants and other spectacular species while they are splashing around and drinking.

Matusadona National Park sits on the southern shores of Lake Kariba, which means the Big Five is right around the corner. If you’re lucky, you might also get a glimpse of the rare roan and sable antelopes.

But, be warned! However tempting Lake Kariba might make swimming seem, the threat of crocodiles is ever-present in these waters. There are so many of them here that one of the largest crocodile farms in the world is located in a neighbouring town.

Lake Kariba Tiger Fishing

If you’re planning on heading to Lake Kariba, there is a very high chance you are a fisherman. Even if you are not, nothing beats the thrill of searching for the notorious Tigerfish.

These “big cats” of the water are said to put up one of the best fights of any freshwater fish. This razor-toothed fish is up there with the most powerful freshwater species.

If you’re looking for a challenge, simply head out to the Tilapia fish farms at the lake and get ready for battle. For those who want a smaller catch, amateur fishermen are welcome too. Lake Kariba supports over forty species of fish, so there are plenty of options from which to choose.

Head closer to the grass and the petrified forest for the lake’s numerous species of bream. Cast your line, put your feet up, and enjoy the scenic waters.

Visit Lake Kariba Yourself

The warm weather means that Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination the whole year around. Temperatures can reach as high as 38°C (100°F). Don’t fret though, the heat won’t bother you too much if you’re under the shady canopy of a houseboat.

Come and experience one of the many marvels this country has to offer. Book a trip, reserve a Lake Kariba houseboat or tiger fishing trip, and enjoy this great Zimbabwean lake.