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“Sealion with Kariba Ferries” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba
Kariba, Zimbabwe
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Ranked #1 of 1 attractions in Kariba
Type: Bodies of Water
Activities: Viewing wildlife, Fishing
Attraction Details
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Sealion with Kariba Ferries”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

My friend and I travelled from Kariba to Mlibisi and back on the Sealion for our visit to Vic Falls.
A long, 22 hour trip but a very pleasant experience. Tea, coffee and biscuits on boarding and the meals were superb. Could not fault the staff who were always there to look after us and provide helpful information about various landmarks and points of interest along the way. One member of staff in particular, Clemente, gave us special treatment on both legs of the journey. Keep up the good work young man, it was a pleasure to have met you. With quite a few vehicles to load on the way back, I was amazed at how the owner Ian managed to get them all on board. Skillfully done.
All in all a very positive experience. I can thoroughly recommend this as a method of transport to Vic Falls.

Visited July 2013
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59 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“April 2013, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools, Zimbabwe with Fleetfoot Safaris”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

April 2013, Lake Kariba and Mana Pools, Zimbabwe with Fleetfoot Safaris

The transfer to from Harare Airport to Lake Kariba was O.K., but the 5 hours it takes is more than most people would like if coming in after a long flight.
Karabaia Hotel near Lake Kariba, as warned, was a bit run down. Water supply in one room needed attention but they tried hard late at night on Easter day. A very poor Brai on arrival, but breakfast was O.K..

The land cruiser used for the sightseeing drive had a faulty fuel system and this terrible vehicle had to bring us also to Mana Pools later that week!
The boat trip was a disappointment. The first evening stop was of little interest and our small boat trip to see the sunset could be done anywhere on the lake. The boat should leave to get to Matusadona [or similar site?] in time for a “game and sunset” small boat trip in the evening.
The program of a game drive from the lodge was potentially good however this was ruined by our boat being in the wrong place and failing to find our pick up point in time to achieve any worthwhile time in the park!
To come all that way with the primary objective to see game and see virtually nothing except Elephant, Impala, Hippo and Crocks whilst driving at speed is NOT what we expected! The following day trip up to Antelope Island was worse still. On checking with Zim friends on return we were told that there has been virtually nothing on the island since 1999!
Also sailing up the middle of Kariba far from land is not what Europeans come to Africa for! Mana Pools:
We drove the long way from Lake Kariba to Mana Pools in a very bad quality 40+ year old safari vehicle from Peter Kulera of Pesha safaris.
This game viewing vehicle was NOT a suitable transport for 8 people plus luggage, food & drinks on a 5 hour drive! And certainly not when it has a faulty fuel system!
For various reasons we arrived at Mana Pools too late for a game drive [unacceptable when we had planned only two evenings]. The game walk was OK, but too short.
We had a Brai as dinner, but there was not enough food
Then our problems really started.
I know it was extremely unlucky that we had the thunder storm but if the equipment had been up to standard we might have got a bit wet but it would not have resulted in the disaster that it turned into. We slept in very bad tents with no waterproof roof. We became soak wet. The roofs were used to protect the food against the animals. We, the beds, our luggage and the food became so wet that we could not stay another night.
Basically the equipment [tents] were not up to standard and were not put up so that the tent corners were at right angles so that when the water pressure came on the roof an upright broke and collapsed. If there had been a “fly sheet” over the top as is normal, the water would not have been lying on the tent structure.
We were disappointed to see Hennie Becker, director of Fleetfoot Safaris, to come out of his tent, throw a sheet over the top of his tent, look across at the chaos around the other tents and get straight back into his tent without checking if we were OK. Hennie Becker, director of Fleetfoot Safari's, left us very early that morning (with driver Joe) because he had to catch his flight to the next safari. That night he did not pay attention when 2 of the 3 tents collapsed.As an excuse he said that he could not help us because he could not find his contact lenses!!!!
We were left with two broken tents that could not be put up again, soaking wet with NO dry clothes at about 3.00 am.
We did make a game drive in the morning with the guide, but the land cruiser with the fuel fault was so lousy that we had to be towed out of the mud three times by another friendly driver. We could not hold because then the engine stopped.
The guide/driver was a very poor driver indeed. Every time we stopped to look at something the land cruiser stopped and had to be primed [about 15 to 20 times]. Result: we saw virtually nothing.
After a very delayed breakfast we decided that the chances of getting to Harare by 1.00pm the next day [a 8 hour drive] would mean leaving before dawn with a unreliable vehicle and unknown but suspect road conditions. This was too risky so we put into action leaving when packed up. There was also very poor drying, so all our clothes, bedding etc were still very wet and no hope of resurrecting the tents!
We had some problems persuading our guide form Pesha Safaris to take us and he insisted on contacting Peter Kulera director of Pesha Safaris [which turned out to be very difficult] before he would do so. Also he wanted to wait for the other driver Joe. It eventually became essential to leave before Joe got back and we met him two hours later on the road out of the park.Peter tried to make Joe bring us back to his B&B in Kariba for the night, which we refused. We insisted on booking us in a hotel in Makuti, where we arrived after dark and which was satisfactory.
Joe was left with the Land cruiser in Makuti waiting for the other vehicle and with no money for the petrol required to get back to Kariba!
The return to Harare was uneventful, but noticeable by absence of Peter Kulera of Pesha Safaris.

Most disturbing was the use of a totally inappropriate vehicle for transfer from Kariba to Mana Pools, the very lousy tents in Mana Pools and the total lack of attention from Hennie Becker, director of Fleetfoot Safaris.
We never received any apology from either Peter Kulera or Hennie Becker.
I will never recommend Hennie Becker from Fleet Foot Safaris as well as Peter Kulera from Pesha Wildlife Safaris.

Visited April 2013
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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Hornbill Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

Personal attention and friendliness. No dislikes. I am a doctor and extremely fussy. Cannot find fault with this resort.

Visited May 2013
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Kwekwe, Zimbabwe
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“You can't beat a houseboat on the lake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Kariba is a beautiful destination for all with great activities including some great fishing and game viewing. The dam wall is a must see and if you have the opportunity you should definitely try to stay on a houseboat on the lake. Stunning views and easy fishing and game viewing access. It is definitely one of my favourite holidays and a regular go-to for Zimbabweans.

Visited April 2013
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York, United Kingdom
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Zambian paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We stayed at Eagle's Rest, Siavonga, for a family reunion - and it couldn't have been better! The chalets are clean, well-equipped with: tea/coffeee making,fridges, en-suite loo & shower, good quality mosquito nets and comfortable beds. They nestle by the side of the lake, with stunning views across to Zimbabwe on the further side. Sitting on the hard-wood chairs, sipping chilled wine, watching the sunset over the water - all the world's troubles recede and are replaced with a sense of utter peace and beauty. Of course, this being Africa, you cannot swim in the lake - plentiful notices abound about the presence of hippos and crocodiles. (We saw no evidence of these, but were told a hippo had been sighted nearby - and who'd want to take the risk! We did spot a monitor lizard swimming - and of course the sea eagles 'resting'? on a little island nearby) However, a (slightly murky, but chlorinated) pool is provided, which made for a welcome cooling from the heat (Temps of about 39 degrees when we were there.) The site has plans for a further pool on the beach in the near future. There is a bar on the beach, with of course the great views acrsoss the lake.
Also to be recommended: go into the centre of Siavonga and haggle for the dried and fresh fish from the lake - to cook over the brai provided by each chalet; take a sunset 'cruise' over the lake, to see the dam wall and watch the sun go down. Drink is not provided, but you can bring your own. We were a party of eight, in sole possession of the top 'deck' of the small boat - it was wonderful!

Visited April 2013
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