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By volume, Lake Kariba is the largest artificial lake and reservoir in the world; it is over 140 miles long and up to 20 miles in width.

It is located on the Zambezi River, about halfway between the river's source and mouth, about 800 miles upstream from the Indian Ocean, and lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 following the completion of the Kariba Dam, flooding the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River.

Getting close to an elephant by boat on Lake Kariba, ZimbabweBefore Lake Kariba was filled, the existing vegetation was burned, creating a thick layer of fertile soil on land that would become the lake bed.

As a result the ecology of Lake Kariba is vibrant, including fish such as the kapenta and tiger fish, crocodile, elephant, hippopotamus and abundant birdlife such as the fish eagle and cormorant.

A particularly atmospheric and beautiful lake, Lake Kariba will no doubt enchant you with spectacular sunsets and dramatic vistas.

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who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Briana

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Lake Kariba by contacting one of our Zimbabwe specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Lake Kariba

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Lake Kariba, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Lake Kariba

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Lake Kariba

    Accommodation choices for Lake Kariba

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Lake Kariba. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Bumi Hills Lodge  main area

      Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

      First Class

      Bumi Hills Safari Lodge is situated on top of a hill approximately 55km south west of Kariba town. The lodge has a stunning location with the Zambezi escarpment as its backdrop and views of Lake Kariba below.

    • Musango Safari Camp, Lake Kariba

      Musango Safari Camp

      Medium

      Situated just off the shoreline of the Matusadona National Park, on its own island on Lake Kariba Musango is a luxury camp.

    Ideas for experiencing Lake Kariba

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Lake Kariba, and which use the best local guides.

    • Evening boat safari from Musango Safari Camp, Lake Kariba

      Sundowner drinks on Lake Kariba

      Lake Kariba

      Take a boat trip on Lake Kariba as the sun sets. Perhaps try your hand at tiger fishing before relaxing with a cold glass of wine, couple of snacks and beautiful setting sun.