Lake Kariba is Africa’s largest inland body of water and the world’s largest man made reservoir, reaching over 220 kilometres in length. This mystic lake was built to provide hydroelectric power for its bordering countries, Zimbabwe and Zambia. The lake’s source, the Zambezi River, is the fourth largest river in Africa. There are several islands in the lake, the best-known of which include Fothergill, Spurwing, Chete, Chikanka and Antelope islands. On the Zimbabwean side of the lake, there are several protected wildlife areas in particular, Matusadona National Park, which takes its name after the mountain range that shadows it, which the locals refer to as Matuzviadonha Hills. This park is home to the Big Five - including rhino, buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard
Along with the kapenta, several other fish species have been introduced to Lake Kariba: but the most famous of its piscine residents is the mighty tiger fish. An indigenous species, the razor-toothed tiger fish, is notorious for its strength and ferocity.
There is an abundance of Nile crocodiles and hippopotamuses in the lake. Kariba’s fertile shores and continuous supply of freshwater attracts a wealth of game animals and is a birds paradise. Herons, egrets, kingfishers and storks are all commonly seen, while the adjoining parks offer good bush bird and raptor sightings. The call of the African fish eagle is a common sound around the Lake - an echo that’s touches your soul and a true resonance of Africa.
With a thriving wildlife population, majority of the activities offered are wildlife related. Tiger fishing being the big attraction – dedicated fishing trips can be arranged either in one of the lodges or houseboats on offer.
In terms of weather, the best time to travel is between May and July, when the weather is dry, calm and slightly cooler. Tiger fishing is good throughout the year on Lake Kariba, although the best season is usually considered to be early summer (September to December). The rainy season is best for birding, and the dry season (May to September) is best for land-based game viewing. Essentially, there isn’t a bad time to visit Kariba - there are just times that are better for some activities than others.
Above all though, it is perhaps the lake’s unique scenery for which it is most famous. From its controversial beginnings, Lake Kariba has become a place of wonder.