Lake Kariba is the world's largest man-made Lake by volume, offering the best fishing safaris in Africa. You will fight to reel in the ferocious game fish known as the Tigerfish. The surrounding floodplains and islands offer excellent game viewing and bird watching. The unspoilt horizons allow magical African sunsets, made more remarkable by the petrified forests poking out of the water's edge while you dream of tomorrow's adventures.
Situated halfway between the source of the Zambezi River and its mouth lies Lake Kariba. Stretching over 223km long and 40 km wide, it forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba Dam at its northeastern end and flooding the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River. The Lake has several islands with beautiful lodges or camps on them. Alternatively, you can choose one of the many Houseboats and take to the water for your stay while being looked after by an incredible crew who will not only cater for your needs but will extend their knowledge and fishing skills to you.
Wildlife abounds around the Lake. Elephants, hippos and crocodiles, along with various antelope and predators, are often seen. The birdlife is superb, with many migratory birds seen during the hot wet months. The call of the Fish Eagle is the undisputed soundtrack while visiting Lake Kariba.
Fishing is a highlight of any Kariba visit, and you can expect to catch the Tigerfish, Kariba bream, tilapia, barbel, Cornish Jack, the mighty vundu and others. Nighttime vistas include the twinkling lights across the Lake from the Kapenta Rigs. Kapentas are small fish caught in their thousands and then dried in the sun for the local market.
Lake Kariba has three typical weather patterns, and it is your choice when to visit:
- The cooler dry season between May and July: Despite locals calling this time “Winter”, daytime temperatures average mid-twenties (degrees centigrade) and nighttime temperatures seldom drop below 14 degrees centigrade. Stunning blue skies welcome every day with no chance of rain. Game viewing and bird watching are good, but perhaps the fishing may not be as successful as during the hot, dry season.
- The hot dry season between August and October: Kariba gets extremely hot in October, with temperatures often soaring above 40 degrees centigrade. It can be windy during August, which can make the Lake somewhat choppy. Game viewing is good at this time of the year as the animals congregate at the water’s edge, and the sparse bush improves visibility. This season is prime fishing season.
- The hot wet season between November and April: This time is characterised by heat and humidity, with epic thunderstorms in the late afternoons giving phenomenal lightning shows across the Lake and tremendous volumes of rain. However, these displays are usually short and sharp and offer a cool relief at the end of the day. The surrounding bush greens up, and there is a good chance of seeing young animals as this is birthing season.
- Crocodiles: whether you are staying in a lodge, on a houseboat or just on a fishing trip, please be aware that Lake Kariba is known for its enormous crocodiles.
- Malaria: Lake Kariba is in a malaria area, which is always worse during the hot wet season, so please ensure precautions are taken.
The easiest way to get to Kariba Town, the gateway to the Lake, is by charter flight either to the Kariba airport or directly to your island lodge. Most Lodges will arrange charter flights and will organise additional transfers from the airport by road or boat.
MAP OF Lake Kariba
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