Siavonga is the so-called 'Riviera of Zambia', the weekend breakaway destination of choice for Lusaka's more affluent residents and tourists. It has also become a popular conference and team-building destination, and the incredible selection of hotels catering to that market is testimony to this fact. A comfortable 2.5-hour drive from Lusaka, Siavonga also offers visitors various guest houses, self-catering accommodation and campsites. There are no options to get to Siavonga directly by air. Those visiting for leisure are generally watersport enthusiasts, with boating and fishing the main recreational activities. The scenic landscapes around the lake and surrounding areas make this a popular place for photographers and artists.
Visitors travelling to Siavonga from neighbouring Zimbabwe are able to cross into Zambia at the Siavonga Border Post. This is situated 7.2 km (4.5 mi) north of Siavonga town, with the crossing open from 06h00 until 20h00 daily. It is advisable to have your own vehicle when visiting as the hilly landscape, distances and shortage of taxis make walking a chore in the heat. Most people visit Siavonga to enjoy Lake Kariba and related activities. Although Siavonga is not an area for game viewing, the birdlife is diverse. Visits to the Chirundu fossil forest and Kariba dam wall offer glimpses of Zambia’s past and present. On the lake itself, you can try your hand at various watersports, like riding a jet ski, or tackling the legendary Tiger Fish, said to be one of the finest fighting fish around.
From the capital, Lusaka, the drive to Siavonga is scenic, twisting through the hills. However, large numbers of trucks use the road, so it requires patience to arrive safely. You should comfortably reach Siavonga in a sedan vehicle. The drive should take in the region of 2.5 hours via Kafue town and covers 212 km (132 mi) in a southerly direction from the nearest airport – Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, near to Lusaka. Siavonga has no regional airstrips, and air charters are not possible. If approaching from Zimbabwe, remember that there is a border crossing nearby, open from 06h00 until 20h00 daily.
Siavonga can be visited at any time of year, with each season having its advantages, and it will also depend on your reason for visiting. The annual weather is marked by three seasons;
- November – April is hot and wet.
- May – July is cool and dry.
- August – October is hot and dry.
Fishermen say that the best time to catch Tiger Fish is in October, marked by the annual Tiger-Fishing tournament. However, from a bird-watching perspective, the arrival of Summer migrants makes November to April the time to visit. In general, the weather is hot.