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“My favourite place in the world!”
Review of Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Kariba
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Mooloolaba, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“My favourite place in the world!”
Reviewed 22 July 2014

I have visited Kariba all my life and have never been disappointed. Beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, great fishing - what's not to love? Visit Kariba - you won't regret it!

Visited July 2014
4 Thank nikone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

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Telford, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 279 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Someone asked me last Sunday if it was safe to travel to and inside Zimbabwe and in 2 weeks time I will be showing a group of people my collection of photos from that country, I have lived in Zimbabwe for 43 years, the Zimbabwe African has always been a friendly people nation, I remember the days when I first lived there in the 60’s, if your car broke down they would try and help you to fix it of tow you, in my 43 years in that country I have only ever found the Zimbabwean African to be but friendly and this is why Zimbabwe has become a favourite tourism destination, when you arrive at Police and Zimra road blocks treat them with respect make sure the vehicle you are travelling in meets all their traffic regulations and keep within the speed limits, 120km per hour much less in built up areas, I have travelled extensively not only throughout Zimbabwe but in its neighbouring countries too, I am probably the most travelled person in Zimbabwe having driven to almost every rural and urban destinations averaging 6,000 km per month on gravel rough terrain roads, in the 80’s and 90’s.
We had our favourite places depending on where we lived, but for the years that we have been in Harare, Kariba has been a favourite and popular destination, but it can get very hot and so we usually went to Kariba in the winter and dry months, May to September. On 2 occasions i have surveyed Lake Kariba shores and Islands travelling by boat from Kariba to Binga and back all paid for.
Wild Heritage has been a great favourite of ours and we always booked directly as it was cheaper than booking through South African Tourist Agencies, the Lodges are superb self catering units with 3 and 4 bedrooms and fully equipped, most have swimming pools and some have air conditioners and all the lodges face Lake Kariba but one sits on the corner and has a 270 degree view and an excellent view of the Mutusadona Mountains and on a nice clear day, great for photo’s, there is no need to go looking for Elephants, they come right up to your door especially at night and early morning, often joined by Zebra, Hippo, Jackal, and Buffalo, they like the freshly watered green grass around the lodges, of course Fishing is what Kariba is all about, you can hire boats and houseboats and fishing tackle and bait all in Kariba, there is lots to do in Kariba and the dam is 300km long and 17km wide at the widest point at the Kariba end, the Zambian borderline runs down the middle of the lake, we always do our bookings through ( wildheritage@zol.co.zw ) and for Wild Heritage and other parts of Zimbabwe you can use ( loraine@baobabzim.com ) ( hilary@baobabzim.com )
Some of the safari operations in Zimbabwe have told me that it is so time consuming for their own transport to run around Harare city 40km from one end to the other, looking for food and drink and every other type of goods to successfully run a 5 star tourist operation, they order through a company in Harare who specialise in procuring all their shopping needs and when we travel to Zimbabwe we also do likewise ( zips@zol.co.zw ) which is Zimbabwe International Procurement Services. Tel (+263 4 487667 office hours
We will be here at Wild Heritage again this August but this time we are flying from London with Ethiopia Airlines as they are flying the new Dream-liner planes and are 50% cheaper than both Emirates & KLM and on the way back we get a night stay over in their capital city.
Travelling from Harare byroad is 366km to Kariba but 20km from Kariba you turn left on the Charara road that should be 54km peg from Makuti. The Makuti Hotel is on the 292 km peg from Harare and is a good place to stop for refreshments or even a meal and at this is also the turnoff to the left for Kariba and although tarred it has lots of sharp bends and steep downhill gradients, Makuti Hotel have a great view looking down the valley towards Kariba, you need to allow yourself 6 hours from the time you leave Harare to arrival at Wild Heritage. Once you leave the tar road 20km from Kariba or about 54km from Makuti, the surface is gravel and can be very potholed and corrugated maximum speed 60km per hour, you keep going on that road until you get to the end, always avoid driving at night, there are no fences on the sides of the roads and the game and even cattle tend to sleep on the warm tarmac at night, they don’t wear reflectors. On one of my trips to Kariba with my family we came across a petrified tree stump rock weighing 20kg, it’s not there anymore though.

Visited December 2013
15 Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pemba, Mozambique
Level 5 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
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 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 1 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

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