Lake Kariba, Zambia

Being the fourth largest man-made lake in the world and the second-largest in Africa, Lake Kariba came to exist when in the 1950s most of the middle Zambezi Valley was flooded by the Kariba Dam. And not just any flood, but one that made a lake whose shoreline exceeds 2000 kms. from end to end.

Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba

This makes it ideal for all sorts of flora and fauna to exist, which is made evident in the Matusadonha National Park. Not only will you find some amazing safari opportunities here, but the lodgings and camping ventures are something you must never miss when you visit Lake Kariba.

Fish life in the Lake is something to contend with. There are over 40 species, including tigerfish, vundu, bream (different types), chessa, nkupe, barbell and bottlenose. Seeing as how this is Africa, you’ll certainly want to bring sunscreen and bottled water on your trip to the Lake. With an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius, you can understand that it’s not always going to get comfortable, climatologically speaking.

Lake Kariba Boating

Boating on the lake is an exceptional way to enjoy its beauty. With a water-body this big, levels change according to the season or time of day. There’s a slipway provided for Nyanyana campers to take boats out, but the lower the water level the lesser your chance of using the slipway. The camp is large-scale, meaning you can partake of lodges and self-sufficient facilities as well. It gets its name from the Nyanyana River which has its mouth on the Lake Kariba shore. Aside from the amazing proximity to the Lake proper, you’ll even get to see Hippopotami swim about at night.

Within a range of 100 meters of the Lake you’ll find about twenty camping sites, which is great because there’s no better way to appreciate Lake Kariba than through a camping experience. Fifteen caravan sites within the same locations affords you the chance at civility, meaning you have baths, showers, toilets, the works, so no worries there.

Kariba town is just a few minutes away, so as far as shopping, hotels and other modern additions are concerned, you have it all close by. What better way to spend a holiday in the African wilds and still stay this close to modernity?

Be sure to make the most of your trip here. Guided walks and horse rides are superb ways to explore the Lake and its environs. Boat clubs are great places to socialize and you have day and night boat cruises to enjoy as well. As long as you bring your own gear, you can go fishing in the Lake. Safaris afford you the chance to view game up close, so that’s another must-see.

Most people are surprised to know there are 102 islands on the Lake, so be sure to check at least some of them out. And don’t forget the Nyaminyami tradition that takes place hereabouts. It’s a lesson in history and regional ethnicity.

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