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Lake Kariba


... is located in the north of Zimbabwe.

At 223km long and up to 40km wide, Kariba is the world's largest artificial lake by volume. It was formed during the late 1950's by the construction of the Kariba Dam at the mouth of a deep gorge through which the Zambezi River passes on its journey east towards the Indian Ocean.

Before it was filled the existing vegetation was burned in order to provide a nutrient-rich environment for fish, which has since thrived. The lake is now a major centre for both commercial and leisure fishing.

At the eastern end of the lake, the town of Kariba was originally created to house the workforce during the construction of the dam and remains a functional and rather uninspiring location. However there is a good all-weather airstrip here.

The 8km of coastline between the town and the dam now contain a number of marinas around which leisure fishing vessels and houseboats are moored for private use and public rental, whilst on the hillsides above there are some pleasant garden suburbs containing some modest accommodation options.

The main reasons to visit the area are to go out fishing or cruising on the lake and to visit the dam itself.

For us, the main reason to come to Kariba is to visit Matusadona National Park over on the southern shoreline, where there are some decent safari camps. In times gone by it would be necessary to fly into Kariba and then travel across the lake, but these days most visitors fly directly into the airstrips in the reserve.
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