ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF

What are you looking for?

ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
ZAR
USD
EUR
GBP
CAD
AUD
CHF
Hello traveller!

It's in Cape Town now.

We're sorry. Our safari planners aren't available now. Our office hours are 08:00 - 19:00 (GMT+2).

Call us to speak to an experienced safari planner.


Alternatively, we recommend...

travel-form-icon

Complete our travel enquiry form to connect with a safari planner

ENQUIRE TODAY
Email us
(optional)

Lake Kariba

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris

View Photos

Lake Kariba

Team Member Headshot

By Diane Du Plessis

Safari Travel Planner

Safari Enquiry

Lake Kariba is the world’s largest man-made dam by volume, extending over 5000km2 (1930 square miles) along Zambia’s southern border. Completed in 1959, the dam provides hydroelectric power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, and fish stocks – mainly tilapia, kapenta, and the prized tigerfish – are also shared.

Access to the Zambian side of the lake is relatively limited, with Sinazongwe and Siavonga the only two towns of any significance. Siavonga is the larger, a sleepy lakeside holiday village popular with locals and only a few hours’ drive from Lusaka. Sinazongwe is much smaller and less developed, and most head to Siavonga as their base for exploring the lake.

Highlights of Lake Kariba

The Zambian side of the lake is far less wild than Zimbabwe, and there are no game reserves along the northern shore.

For wildlife safaris, you’ll have to visit one of two large islands, Chete or Chikanka, both in the southwest and accessible from Sinazongwe. Chete is the larger of the two, and guided game walks are possible.

fishing on lake kariba during sunset
Fishing on Lake Kariba During Sunset

There’s a small population of elephants, some leopards, and plenty of crocodiles, hippos, and birds. Chikanka is privately owned, with a single, dedicated fishing lodge. It’s one of many fishing options on a Lake Kariba holiday, with tigerfish as the most sought-after catch.

Various expeditions can be arranged from Siavonga – from live-aboard houseboats to private motorboat trips and canoes. Siavonga is also right next to the dam wall, and by flashing your passport, you can walk out onto it, or catch a boat from Siavonga for a dam-wall cruise.

Practical Advice for a Lake Kariba Holiday
  • It’s not safe to swim along Lake Kariba’s shallow shoreline due to the waterborne parasite bilharzia, and the high numbers of crocodiles and hippos. It’s generally okay to swim further out in deeper water, so a quick dip from your houseboat is usually fine.
  • There are good roads to both Siavonga and Sinazongwe, but Siavonga is easier to reach as it’s closer to Lusaka. Any holiday visit to Lake Kariba is primarily about houseboats and/or fishing, so if you’re not into either, you might want to look elsewhere. If you’re after boating and fishing, you can’t go wrong.
  • There are hotels, lodges, and campsites in Siavonga to suit a range of budgets, and whereas fishing is banned on Zambia’s rivers from December to March, Lake Kariba is exempt, with fishing year-round.

How it Works

2

Contact us or fill out an enquiry form and one of our travel experts will help you tailor make your perfect safari

3

Enjoy an authentic African experience.

Travel with Confidence

With over 20 years of experience, our team will help you tailor your itinerary to your perfect adventure.
24/7 Support
Flexible
Authentic
Personalized

What Our Guests Have to Say?

Read recent reviews from travellers who have planned and booked their trips with us
Wonderful trip that exceeded expectations.
Incredible trip. Diane was attentive, detailed, and extremely helpful!

Cape Town, Victoria Falls & Sabi Sand Safari Review

Dariusz, United States
02 Dec 2022
Great knowledge, experience and insight combined to make a great safari

Botswana & Zimbabwe Review

Alan , United Kingdom
08 Aug 2022
First rate experience through Botswana,Zimbabwe & South Africa.

Botswana, Zimbabwe & South Africa Review

Anne, United States
25 Jun 2022
Outstanding customer service from my trip facilitator Alice Lombard!

Lion Lodge Game Reserve Safari Review

Dr. Darrin Porcher, United States
20 Sep 2021
Wonderful vacation and service.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve Safari Review

David, United States
30 Jul 2021

Ready to plan your tailor-made safari?

Lana Goodwin, Safari Travel Planner

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Help me plan