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Top Five Things to do in Kariba

Updated on July 13, 2015


Ever wondered how it will be like to visit a town in the middle of a game park? Kariba is a town in Zimbabwe formally known as Southern Rhodesia. It is a border town between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Zambezi River passes through the town and it forms Kariba Dam, a dam formed as a result of the construction of a dam wall. Kariba dam provides a lot of activities and adventure. Its location is in the middle of a game park and wild animals roam freely proving a good chance of sporting elephants, zebras, hippos and bucks. The dam is a frequently visited tourist destination. The following is the top five of the things to do in Kariba.

The land of fresh water fish

The lake is full of monster fish.
The lake is full of monster fish. | Source


The sail will get you closer to the water and will make you get up close and personal with the waves. It’s not very comfortable but if you are up for adventure it is a good way to start your first leg. Sailing is relatively cheap. The sail will carry up to eight people easily and it’s good for a group of friends seeking adventure.

Sail boat

The sail bought I used in Kariba.
The sail bought I used in Kariba. | Source

Boat Cruise

Boats come in different shape and sizes, the ones for a day trip are more open with a lot of sitting places. House boats are for overnight trips, were you dock on an island and spend the night there. On the trip you will be provided with a cook if required. When you book your cruise remember to book for a speed boat as well. Of all the available ways to take a trip on the water in Kariba the speed boat is by far the most exciting. You will be moving at a faster rate and you will get a little bit of water sprays. Speed boats are also useful for checking out the animals that will be by the banks. Elephants, hippos and crocodiles are usually spotted on the banks. Personal boats are also allowed.

House boat

The house boat I used for an overnight cruise.
The house boat I used for an overnight cruise. | Source

Whilst you are at it, ask for locals who sell fresh fish and buy one to braai (grill over an open fire). Check for other fresh water crustaceans sometimes they have lobsters, etc.

Fresh water crustacean

A fresh water crustacean offered to us.
A fresh water crustacean offered to us. | Source


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Dam wall

Visit the dam wall and see beautiful views of both the Kariba Dam and the might Zambezi River. Crocodiles can also be seen on the river side below the flood gates. You can time your visit to coincide with the opening of the flood gates. As a bonus you can visit the cathedral were a memorial for people who died during the dam wall construction is.

Kariba Dam Wall

The dam wall showing the flood gates.
The dam wall showing the flood gates. | Source

Crocodile Farm

Take time to visit the crocodile farm were crocodiles are farmed. There you can get information about crocodile farming and their behaviour in the wild as well as in captivity. Visit the pool were hatchlings are kept.

Lake Harvest

If you are interested in seeing how fresh water fish is processed from the cleaning to the drying of fish then this is the place to be. Also take a look at how the processing of Karpenta (a small sized fished which is a local favourite). It is great place for kids.

Sleeping in a sail boat.

I enjoyed sleeping in a sail boat. The space is small and you will be literary sleeping in the water, the waves will be higher that your sleeping position and the sail will be dancing all night. My wife absolutely hated it. Do you think you will ever try sleeping in a sail boat?

© 2015 Pearson


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    • Pearson Mururi profile image

      Pearson 2 years ago from Cape Town

      Thank you let me correct that.

    • ogrote profile image

      ogrote 2 years ago

      Zimbabwe was formally known as Southern Rhodesia, not Northern Rhodesia. Northern Rhodesia was the old name for Zambia. You might want to expand a bit to the rest of the non Southern African world, as to what braai means as well! :)