Sail Into Serenity on Beautiful Lake Kariba


The best safari location along the side of the Lake Kariba

Here at My Guide Zimbabwe, we can think of few better ways to while away a couple of days than lounging back in a houseboat on our very own Lake Kariba, which sits on the Zimbabwean and Zambian border.

True, you could paddle around on a li-lo instead, but the thriving population of Nile crocodiles would make it less of a leisurely bathe than a game of ‘African’ roulette. And don’t even get us started on the hippos.

No, better to keep the inflatables (and yourself) puncture-free and observe from a safe distance – it’s better that way. So apart from crocs and hippos, what else can you expect for the photo album? Well, as the 5,000 square kilometre lake is surrounded by government-protected National Parks, quite a lot...

Matusadona National Park is the best safari location along the side of the Lake Kariba, filled with elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos, to name but a few. The lake is also teaming with fish, including bream, tilapia and tiger-fish, so if you fancy just sitting back in a deck chair reeling in bar snack after bar snack, this is the ideal place to do it.

However, the real aim of the game here is pure, unadulterated tranquillity. The scenery is simply magnificent and the sunsets, which colour the lake purple and gold, are eye-wateringly beautiful.

You have plenty of choice when it comes to houseboats, with options ranging from basic to luxury and small to large.

We recommend the Navistar for those on a budget – it can hold up to 14 people and although it’s one of the more basic houseboats, it’s comfortable and comes with a highly experienced crew.

Alternatively, if you’re seeking luxury, look no further than the Zambezi Trader, a passenger ship that can sleep up to 50 guests. This is an ideal choice for wedding or birthday celebrations.

Whichever boat you choose, Kariba Catering will take care of your food. They have built up a fantastic reputation over the eleven years they’ve been in business and source all their ingredients from local, reputable suppliers. A variety of set menus are on offer, but if you’re particular, the company is happy to customize things.

For other essentials, like ice, beers and fish bait, Blue Water Charters is the best of the best.

The weather at Lake Kariba is always hot – stiflingly so in October. August and September can be windy, which makes the lake choppy, and from November to April the wet season dominates, bringing thunderstorms and extreme heat. Therefore, the best time to visit is from May to July, when the days are sunny, dry and calm, but not overwhelmingly hot.

While the area is a malarial, meaning you’ll have to cover up and take anti-malarials (see your doctor for advice), this shouldn’t put you off booking that flight!