Lake Kariba & Matusadona National Park
Head for Lake Kariba and Matusadona for wildlife and water, houseboats and stunning sunsets.
Lake Kariba is an impressive body of water, the second-largest man-made lake in Africa. It’s a favourite amongst keen fishermen looking to snag a hefty tigerfish. Originally dammed in 1958 to build a hydro-electricity facility to provide power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is a now a popular ‘coastal’ destination in its own right.
Lake Kariba has nature reserves on all sides and to the south, this is Matusadona National Park. With stunning landscapes and its remote isolated location, Matusadona receives fewer visitors than other parks, thus offering a more exclusive experience.
- Size matters: Lake Kariba is about 300km long and 32km at its widest point. It is particularly impressive when seen from the air.
- Folklore: It is widely believed that the waters of Lake Kariba are protected by the Nyaminyami River God, a dragon-like amphibious creature with the head of a fish and the torso of a snake. Nyaminyami is the subject of many souvenirs.
- Houseboats: Enjoy a stay on a houseboat and explore the river and its wildlife in luxury.
- Sundowners: Sundowners by the lake are usually quite spectacular as the sky changes colour and reflects on the calm surface waters.
- Wildlife: Matusadona National Park is home to the sought after Big Five, along with sable, roan antelope and waterbuck to name a few. The diverse habitats lend themselves perfectly to an impressive array of birdlife.
- African Parks: Matusadona is now under the stewardship of African Parks (2019). They aim to improve the wildlife populations, tourism and socio-economic growth in the area, restoring the park to its former glory.
- Track rhino on foot: Rhino has been reintroduced to the park and it is now an ‘Intensely Protected Zone’. It is possible to track rhino on foot together with a guide.
- Variety: It’s possible to enjoy your safari on foot, in a boat, canoe or 4x4.
- Chizarira National Park: Chizarira lies to the south of Lake Kariba and Matusadona. Rugged and remote it is less popular than other parks, but somewhere the more adventurous might want to consider.