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“man made "oasis"”
Review of Lake Kariba

Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Kariba
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Reviewed April 22, 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!

1  Thank rustyrmb56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dam wall"
in 27 reviews
in 10 reviews
"victoria falls"
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"game viewing"
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"mana pools"
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"sunset cruise"
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"wild animals"
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"tiger fishing"
in 6 reviews
"fish eagles"
in 5 reviews
"every night"
in 3 reviews
"group of friends"
in 3 reviews
"plunge pool"
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"play board games"
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Reviewed April 21, 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.

1  Thank ROBYND83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 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.

Thank suntanned2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014 via mobile

Lake Kariba is just a few hours drive from Lusaka.

We made a day trip out to the dam and lake and had a great time.

If you like to get on a boat and bask in the sun with good friends and a few drinks this is the place to be.

The lake has a few islands which you are welcome to dock on but be careful of Nile crocs!

The only part that I miss being on the lake is tubing, swimming or wake boarding. However if you have the guts to share the lake with crocs and hippos it might give you a thrill!

To rent a speed boat with a captain for 1 hour it will run you K600 or roughly $100.

Thank Carolinablue26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2014

One of the largest man made dams in the world, Constructed between 1955 and 1959 when the British ruled both Northern and Southern Rhodesia ( Zambia & Zimbabwe ) the dam wall is 580 meters long and 128 meters high and you can drive light motor vehicles across the wall through Zambia and Zimbabwe Customs and Immigration, the lake is fed by the mighty Zambezi River from its source in north west Zambia flowing along the Namibia and Botswana and Angola borders into Zimbabwe at Victoria falls winding its way through steep sheer rocky hills into Lake Kariba and continues its journey into Mozambique and finally into the Indian Ocean north of Beira.
Kariba lies 366km from Harare on the road to the Chirundu Border with Zambia, driving from Harare you turn off this highway at the 292 km peg at Makuti which offers a hotel for both accommodation meals and drinks, I have stayed there many times or just stopped for lunch on route to Kariba, the road from Makuti is 74km on good tar but with many bends in the road this part of the journey takes a good hour and if you are lucky you may see Elephants and Giraffe crossing the road, I was passing the airport at Kariba and saw animals lying on the road and had no choice to stop, a pride of lions and that was a great sight.
Kariba has luxurious hotels even a Casino but when we are travelling with family usually 6 of us, we stay at the Wild Heritage Upmarket Self Catering Lodges at Charara Banana plantations area, they have magnificent double story thatched lodges that sleep 6 persons and are fully equipped and one of the lodges juts out onto a corner and has a 270 degree view of Lake Kariba and looks out toward the beautiful Matusadona mountains, Charara is 27km from Kariba the last 7 km is gravel surface.
The lake is approximately 300km long (180miles ) and 17km wide (10miles) at its widest point at the dam wall end of the lake, there are islands along the lake with luxury accommodation full board and magnificent game viewing, fishing and bird life, they arrange boat transfers from Kariba town to Fothergill and Spurwing Islands.
The lake is home to the big 5 Wild Animals with many other species of game and crocodiles, the lake is full of Tiger and Bream fish and there are big International Tiger fishing tournaments in September & October, Kapenta like a small sardine was introduced into the lake and it is now a very profitable fishing industry for local and export markets.
Kariba is home to Luxurious House Boats and many other boats of all sizes and can be hired for any period of time with trained & experienced boat captains, all boats are fitted with 2 way communications by law. – There is a vessel that carry’s both passengers and vehicles and runs between Kariba Harbour and Mlibizi at the other end of the lake where tourists then drive to either Hwange & Victoria Falls, it leaves at 08:00 a.m. and takes 24 hours each way, when leaving from Kariba the lake is wide and by nightfall at 6pm you are in the narrow straits of the dam, I prefer to come from Milibizi to Kariba so that I can view the game on the shoreline and banks of the lake.
Everything you need to buy for food and drinks and tackle for a wonderful holiday is available in Kariba it has shops not only on route to Kariba but in Kariba itself and while you are there, why not pop into the quarry and get yourself a piece of their famous glitter stone you may want to ship it home for building and they can arrange that too.
Kariba is a 5 star holiday resort, I have been many times.

3  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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