If your idea of a holiday is to stay in the middle of a large expanse of water and go fishing, then Lake Kariba is the best place for you. This is the largest man-made lake in the world which has an area of over 5000 sq. km. It lies with Zimbabwe and Zambia as its borders. As the Zimbabwe side is a preserved forest, the best approach is from the Zambian side. The lake was filled in between 1958 and 1963 after the completion of the Kariba Dam.
The Zambian side of the lake is very close to two villages – Siavonga and Sinazongwe, both thriving from fishing in the lake. The lake contains a variety of fishes that were brought along with the waters for filling the lake. Fishes like tilapia, kapenta, and tiger-fish abound the lake. There is wildlife on the islands in the lake. The larger island Chete provides for enjoyable game sighting. There are elephants, leopards, crocodiles, hippos and birds. The other island Chikanga is privately owned and has a fishing lodge.
Attractions In Lake Kariba
The main attraction of the lake is the size of the water body itself. Stay on houseboats is the major tourist attraction on the lake. You can stay in houseboats and enjoy water sports from there. Swimming in the middle of the lake is safe, while it is not advisable near the shore. Spending a night during a full moon can be an extraordinary experience for you. You can go around the lake on a canoe. A walk on the dam is possible and is a good experience.
What To Do At Lake Kariba?
Fishing is the main activity for which people visit the lake. There are many opportunities for fishing with most of the lodges providing you with all the gear that you will need. Most of them can take you on a trip to get you the best fishes. Watersports are also very much possible on the lake. If you have a boat you can make a trip around the lake. The lodges also provide boats for hire. Riding and staying on the houseboats is an important activity for which people come here.
The bigger island Chete on the lake provides guided walking safaris. This is a good place to see elephants and leopards. The shore of the lake is infested with many crocodiles. You can also see hippos in the lakes. A variety of birds come here during different seasons. Walking on the dam wall will help you see the vastness of the lake.
Reaching Lake Kariba
Lake Kariba can be reached by road from the Zambian capital of Lusaka with a two-and-a-half-hour drive. This passes through the nearby village of Siavonga. The roads and good. From the Zimbabwean capital Harare you can drive over the dam wall and reach Siavonga and then to Lake Kariba. There is an unmanned airstrip at Siavonga.
When Should You Visit Lake Kariba?
The hot dry months of September to November are the best time to visit as you can see the game very well at that time. It is also the time when the tiger-fishing tournament is also held. You can also see a variety of birds at this time. But the heat at this time can be more than 40 degrees C.