Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park

Located in the North of Zimbabwe, along the border with Zambia, the dammed Lake Kariba holds a larger volume than any other man-made lake on Earth. Rising from the southern bank of the lake, Matusadona National Park is an area of approximately 135,000 hectares and is said to have a density of lion second only to that of Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater.

The decision to dam the Zambezi River at Kariba Gorge was taken in 1954 with the aim of creating a lake the size of Wales, the power of which could be harnessed in an hydro-electric scheme.

Running along a large portion of the southern shore of the lake, the land of today's Matusadona National Park was proclaimed a non-hunting area on 7th November 1958, approximately a month before the Italian contractors building the dam wall completed their project. The area was proclaimed a game reserve in 1963, and in the years leading up to this, one man led a team on a phenomenal effort to relocate animals dispersed by the rising flood waters. Rupert Fothergill and a team of only about 10 men associated with the Southern Rhodesian Game Department, used make-shift rafts, nets, catching poles and extremely limited veterinary equipment to rescue over 6,000 animals. An extraordinary situation had occurred with the flooding causing animals to retreat to hilltops in great concentrations. There are descriptions of trees encircled by water with snakes, monkeys and leopards all together clinging to branches. The majority of the animals were released on the shore into the area that became Matusadona.

Today, Matusadona National Park is said to have a density of lion second only to that of Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater. Huge herds of up to 1,000 buffalo can often be seen roaming the shoreline, and the lake itself has one of the highest populations of hippo and crocodile in Africa. For a truly memorable and exhilirating experience, join a highly qualified professional guide tracking big game on foot.

Lake Kariba has been a playground for local Zimbabweans and international visitors since its creation with many travelling there to relax, view game and fish. A popular way to experience the lake is by live aboard houseboat, enabling guests to explore the far corners of the park. There are also a number of camps and lodges on the lake shore and on islands that are fantastic bases from which to explore the area, by foot, boat or in a vehicle.

Less More

We’ve found 6 holiday ideas for you

Filter
What would you like to do?
Where would you like to go?
When are you free?
WHAT: Anything
WHERE: Anywhere
WHEN: Anytime
SORT BY
There are no holidays

Zimbabwe in Style

Mana Pools, Lake Kariba, Hwange & Victoria Falls

Make the most of Zimbabwe's diversity, from big game safaris in Mana Pool and Hwange National Park, fishing on Lake Kariba and enjoying the spectacle of the Victoria Falls on this luxury safari. A perfect blend of dramatic landscapes, wildlife and genuine Zimbabwe hospitality.

Best for: Couples, Adventure, Wildlife

Zimbabwe in Ultimate Luxury

Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba & Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Zimbabwe has attracted vast amounts of attention within the luxury travel market in very recent years. This itinerary combines some of the most luxurious accommodation options on offer, which boast stunning facilities as well as impeccable service. Not only are the properties highly luxurious but they are also in regions not typically visited by...

Best for: Adventure, Family, Wildlife, Eco/ethical tourism

How to use our service

Browse our website for luxury travel ideas and holiday inspiration

Call us on +44 20 8682 5400 and speak to a destination specialist about what you want

Receive your bespoke holiday quote, then book online or over the phone

if (UV.officeOpen=="1") { $(".how-we-work span").html($('#header_message span').length ? $('#header_message span').html() : $('.office_open span').length ? $(".office_open span").html() : $(".how-we-work span").html()); } else { $(".how-we-work span").parent().html($(".how-we-work span").parent().html().replace(/Call us on/i, "Call us")); $(".how-we-work span").remove(); }

Call us on 020 3993 5269 to start planning your holiday to Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park. Or if you don't see an itinerary that fits with your budget for your trip, take a look at our sister company for tailor-made safaris to Zimbabwe starting from £3,350pp. Visit Imagine Africa >>

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive news and offers from Scott Dunn

It looks like you are in USA

Would you like to: