We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Holiday Places”
Review of Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Kariba
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Pemba, Mozambique
Level Contributor
73 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Holiday Places”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

A very warm and lovely place to spend a holiday. A very good example of people living in harmony with nature, animals move freely around the town. The bream fish is also fantastic.

Visited April 2014
Thank Innocent M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

160 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Not a good experience of Unique Houseboat, Kariba, Zimbabwe”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We have been on many houseboats on Kariba over the past 17 years so this year thought we should try a nice "shiny" boat. The pictures of the boat and all its facilities looked fantastic and well worth paying a bit extra for. HOWEVER, we were a party of 12, 8 adults and 4 children staying for 4 nights. By the end of the 4th night 6 out of the 12 had been ill with severe vomiting and diarrhea. The crew were very kind and caring and looked after us well and we know it wasn't the food as we all contracted the sickness at different times. What was interesting was the fact that whenever you were in the front 2 cabins you could smell sewerage. On the fourth day the captain was concerned and when we asked him why the boat smelt he mentioned that none of the cleaning products that we had paid for had come on board the boat and that the front waste tank was in need of attention and had been for a while. All the people who got sick were sleeping in the front cabins at some stage during the trip! In addition to this, the hot tub had a leak and so the top deck floor was constantly wet and the roof had a leak which resulted in me getting drenched at 4.00am one morning after a night of heavy rain which leaked through the roof onto the top deck where we were sleeping.
When we came back to the mainland the owners were not very sympathetic and just said that they had never had a problem in 5 years. No compensation was offered and to add insult to injury we have just received another bill from them for water and ice. Not very impressed and would not recommend this boat to anyone until the problem has been fixed.

Visited April 2014
7 Thank simon o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“man made "oasis"”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

As A youngster I saw the Kariba Dam being built and the last time i was there was in 1968! If you going to drive from Harare give yourself a margin of 6 hours with a stop halfway for a snack, look out for the "wide" lorries and the frequent Security stop checks! You are rewarded when at Makuti you turn off towards Kariba, be aware you will come across wild animals! definitely Elephants who have the freedom to roam across the tared roads and Masasa and baobab tree- lined bush. I headed for Marine land Which is Kariba's major harbour There is a very pleasant restaurant where you can have a light meal I had Fresh grilled Kariba Bream and chips, The Kariba bream has a unique taste and is a must try! Burgers are also available the food is fresh and a pleasant waitress served us.My friend Sue who has lived in kariba for 30years +- and I sat under the trees facing the lake and launching pier, you can bring your own boat or hire, charter any of the House boats and cruisers with a full compliment of staff from Captain and crew to Chef and waiters, overnight accommodation that transfer you across the Enormous lake. there are also smaller fishing boats for half and full day hire. marine land has a booking office and a shop where you can hire fishing tackle, buy provisions as well as a well stocked bottle store (Try The Zimbabwe beers and lagers delightful!) I cannot continuously compliment the people of Zimbabwe enough for their pleasant attitude towards visitors from the booking office,store staff, waiters and the boat Crews, they all go out of their way and are genuinely pleased to have you there with out expectations! Wear a hat,sunscreen and take plenty of water with you The Lake is Beautiful and enormous but by 9am 30+ degrees centigrade!! We stopped near the shores of several islands and East and West shores and saw Kudu, Elephants, Buffalo,Wart hogs, huge Crocodiles and Hippos. Fishing hooks were baited for us Kapenta for tiger fish (we were a little late they are early risers! but we caught nice size Bream which we gave to the Boatman and helper who were truly grateful. we came in before sunset; sunburnt but filled with the memories of the lake's views, game and fishing.The cost would be better divided by four persons but honestly the experience is priceless thank you Lake kariba we will return next time with a larger group and take a House boat!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank rustyrmb56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Looking for accommodation? Look no further!”
Reviewed 21 April 2014

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge & Spa, Kariba.

In the journey reaching it, you know you must going to a special place. Accessible by speed-boat / charter flight from Kariba, Harare or Vic Falls, Bumi Hills is a completely unique destination and the start of an exciting safari adventure. Walk in and be met by Catherine, Fiona and a million smiles and then first glimpse of the pool and.. WOW! Bumi Hills has a breath-taking panoramic vista across Lake Kariba. An upgrade to the Premium Room is a definite! The large rooms have gorgeous detail; wooden floors, antique silver tea&coffee butler complete with home-made shortbread, air-conditioning, iced water in a flask and both bath or shower facilities. Look out for wildlife at the waterhole below, elephants swimming in the shoreline, monkeys, baboons and fish eagles swooping overhead all from the private balcony in your room overlooking the lake panorama. Activities on land are a choice of safari viewing in 4WD vehicles or a guided walk. The safari drive was great fun and very informative, we were lucky to have the most incredible close encounter with a herd of elephant and as a keen photographer, this was the highlight of my stay. A drive through the Mopane forests is quite a thrill – this is the time of year to see the harmless Golden Orb spider in all its glory – so named for the impressively large golden web it weaves between trees, our guide tested our strength by showing a sample of this golden thread and challenged us to try and break it. Now the challenge will be yours! A pride of lion sighted nearby was an exciting challenge to spot. The green and very lush vegetation allowed prime viewing of hippo feeding close to the lake – as the water rises the grass plains flood - be sure to find out about the Bumi Hills successful efforts in the Feeding Program set up for the nearby Starvation Island. Bumi Hills also has its own Anti-Poaching Unit who collect snares, police the area for illegal gill fishing nets and educate local villages on conservation necessity and awareness. Infact, majority of the Bumi staff are from the local area – very knowledgeable about the history of the lake, building of the dam wall and the fascinating legend of Nyami-Nyami. Bird-life is prolific in this area, the haunting call of the fish eagle is the background song of Bumi Hills and a sunset safari opportunity by boat is an absolute must-do. Kariba boasts one of the best sunsets in Africa and it did not disappoint. Sit in the snorting company of hippos, elephants, impala, waterbuck and birds and watch the day end with a fishing rod in one hand and a lovely chilled drink in the other. All activities incur a fee from National Parks that is payable upon check-out. Meals are included in your stay at Bumi Hills and what a delight they are, will you be tasting crocodile or eating the fish you caught earlier? Chipo runs the spa with a view and a massage or mud-wrap is the tip of the relaxing journey that Bumi Hills is. There is internet and cellular reception for the die-hards but my advice is Prepare to Relax. This is paradise.
Thank you to Catherine, Paul, Ian and the smiling staff at Bumi Hills for a completely memorable stay. I will definitely be back for MORE!
Tip – pair your visit to Bumi Hills with a trip to Victoria Falls. The charter flight is only 1.5hrs from Victoria Falls Airport and the birds-eye view of Victoria Falls and Lake Kariba is a bonus. Bumi Hills have a sister property in Victoria Falls who offer a discounted combined stay between the two properties, ask Bumi Hills Reservations for details.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank ROBYND83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wells, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Truly Special Place”
Reviewed 20 March 2014

Have spent many HAPPY fishing holidays on this Lake, both on houseboats and shore accommodation. The wild life is still fabulous to watch, no matter how many times you see these animals, each occasion is truly special. Fishing is a wonderful way to pass time, especially in the company of good friends and a few cold drinks and of course many tall stories are told. Be sure to take a camera, sun tan cream, a hat and plenty to drink, its really hot out there.

Visited March 2014
Thank suntanned2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Lake Kariba also viewed

Bulawayo, Bulawayo Province
Mana Pools National Park, Mashonaland Central Province
Chiredzi, Masvingo Province

Been to Lake Kariba? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing