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Kariba House Boat

I would say a Kariba House Boat Holiday is about as good as it gets

Currently we recommend 4 houseboats which are all moored close to Binga on the western end of Lake Kariba. Binga is about a 3.5 hour drive from Victoria Falls and approximately 300km.

Kariba Map

Lake Kariba - Click on map to enlarge

These Houseboats are ideally positioned if you are incorporating a holiday at Victoria Falls.

There is a bigger choice of boats on eastern side of the Lake (Kariba Town), but the snag is getting to that side from the Victoria Falls end.

Air Zimbabwe does operate flights to Kariba Town (although they may suspend flights during low season), and the drive along the back road is extremely long and arduous.

The Kariba Ferry is back in operation and this is a good option, albeit quite expensive.

The western side of the lake (Binga end) is well known for its excellent fishing.  Game is not as abundant as it is in the eastern basin around Matusadona, but game can and will still be seen.

You can of course cruise up the lake to the Sengwa and Ume rivers where the game is plentiful. The Catalina which is a faster boat will get to the Sengwa in a couple of hours and will take about 9 hours to get to Ume in Matusadona.

The western side of the lake is certainly quieter with far less houseboats around.

The four houseboats we have detailed below should cover all your requirements from economy to luxury and all group sizes. These are the houseboats we are happy to recommend and we have personally inspected all of them.

The Abangane is in the lower price range and therefore has less facilities, it is well maintained and in good condition and is a good option groups not wanting the bells and whistles, but just wanting functionality.
The Catalina is a large luxury houseboat with full facilities and top quality condition and caters for large groups.
The Lady Jacqueline is also a luxury boat but is smaller than the Catalina and therefore more economical for smaller groups.
The OB Joyful is a pontoon houseboat in-between luxury and economy and can also accommodate big groups.

Click on the links below to look at these House boats in full detail and if you scroll further down you can read more about Kariba and having a houseboat holiday.

Catalina Houseboat in Binga Zimbabwe

  The Catalina - Luxury Houseboat
Kariba House Boat (Binga)

• 120ft catamaran
• Accommodates 10 people luxury and up to 16 maximum
• 5 en suite Air conditioned cabins
• Air conditioned TV Lounge
• Air conditioned Lounge and bar area
• Pool
• US$ 2450 per night up to 10 people; Fully inclusive of meals, drinks and fuel
• US$ 1500 per night up to 10 people; Self catering option excludes meals, drinks and fuel


The Lady Jacqueline Houseboat in Binga, Zimbabwe

The Lady Jacqueline - Luxury Houseboat
Kariba House Boat (Binga)

• 65ft mono hull cruiser
• Accommodates 10 people maximum - all in cabins
• 2 air-conditioned double cabins (sleeping 4)
• 2 twin cabins with bunks (sleeping 6)
• Air-conditioned comfortable saloon, bar, couches, TV etc
• Upper deck bar, table and chairs, sunbathing.
• Jacuzzi
• Fully Inclusive rate ZAR3799 per person per night - 1 to 4 pax (min 4 pax), thereafter ZAR 1530 per person (max 10)
• Self catering rate ZAR9398 per boat per day (max 10) - dry boat.


OB Joyful Houseboat on Lake Kariba - Binga, Zimbabwe

The OB Joyful - Economy houseboat
Kariba House Boat (Kariba)

• 23 meter pontoon houseboat
• Accommodates 14 people comfortably and up to 23 maximum
• 4 air-conditioned cabins (sleeping 8)
• Air-conditioned eating area lower deck
• Large upper deck bar, table and chairs
• Splash Pool
• US$395 (up to 31st March)/US$435 (low season)/US$475 (high season) per night up to 15 people; self catering excludes meals, drinks and fuel.


Abangane Houseboat on Lake Kariba - Binga, Zimbabwe

The Abangane - Economy Houseboat
Kariba House boat (Binga)

• Accommodates 12 people comfortably and up to 15 maximum
• 2 Cabins (4 bunk beds total)
• Large upper deck - tables chairs and bar area
• Splash Pool
• US$ 450 per night up to 12 people; self catering excludes meals, drinks and diesel


The Ponty Houseboat on Lake Kariba - Binga, Zimbabwe

The Ponty Houseboat - Economy Houseboat
Kariba House boat (Kariba)

• Accommodates 11 people comfortably and up to 15 maximum
• 2 decks - 5 bedrooms in total
• Open upper deck ¾ covered with a shade port
• Splash Pool
• US$ 415 low season, 445 high season per night; self-catering options; excludes National Park fees


Meremaid Houseboat - Mid-range Houseboat
Kariba House boat (Binga)

• Accommodates 12 people comfortably and up to 18 maximum
• 2 decks - 6 bedrooms in total
• Open upper deck, covered dining area, lounge and bar
• Splash Pool, gym equipment
• US$ 500 per night; self-catering; excludes National Park fees

More about Kariba House Boats

This 5000 square km lake, which when built was the largest man made lake in the world is by far one of my most favourite places to go. Over the years we have done many houseboat holidays and they are always great time for family and friends.

The lake is 281 kms long and at it's widest point is 40 kms wide. The lake is studded with islands and fringed with magnificent mountain ranges like the Matusadona mountains and the whole landscape is supremely beautiful.

Kariba Sunset

Classic Kariba Sunset

Sunrises and sunset are indescribably beautiful and the absolute magic of this place can only be understood by those who have visited it and fallen in love with it.

The warm clear waters are home to over forty species of fish, the most notable of course being the tiger fish for which anglers come from around the world to catch.

The lush shoreline vegetation supports a profusion of bird and wild life which is ideal when cruising on your house boat or even on one of the smaller tender boats as you explore the shoreline or the many channels and inlets.

All in all if you are looking for a holiday of total relaxation, with the added attraction of game and bird viewing, some of the best fishing available, some of the most outstanding scenic and photographic opportunities....a Kariba House Boat holiday is ideal for you.

Best Times of year

This is a tricky one as everyone is different, so I would rather give some information and let you make your choice.

Kariba gets extremely hot during the months September through to March with temperatures often in excess of 40 degrees centigrade. October and November are particularly hot and dry before the rains arrive.

The rainy season starts at the end of November and finishes around the end of March. This can be a spectacular time, watching the huge thunder storms brewing over the vast lake, however if you are there when the inter tropical convergence zone arrives you will have a miserable time, as you can get 3 weeks continuous rain with ease.

During the cooler months of April to August the weather is beautiful. Warm days and cool nights. Beautiful blue skies, chances of rain are very slight.

The fishing is better in the hot summer months of September to March

Game viewing is pretty good all year round; but is best through the drier months August to November.

Birdwatching is also phenomenal all year round; Summer migrants arrive normally around September time.

Over Easter and Xmas and New Year houseboats are very popular and generally fully booked, so make sure you try to book at least six months in advance.

October is Tiger Fishing competition time at Kariba

Two nights is absolute minimum but a week would be my recommendation. Gives you time to unwind completely and really get into the ambience of this idyllic place.

What's included

These houseboats are all fully staffed with a Captain, chef and crew. Once on board the most you will have to do is lift your arm to drink your gin and tonic. You will completely unwind and relax.

The houseboats all have tender boats with them included in the price. So once you are moored at your night spot, you can then take the smaller boats out for fishing or game viewing excursions. Its great!!

Kariba House boat 's are all fully equipped with fridges, freezers, stoves, cutlery, crockery and linen, you just have to bring your clothes and personal effects. Of course if you decide to self cater, you will need to bring you own food and drinks.

Please look at each individual boat to see what else is included.

Don't forget Kariba is a Malaria area so please take the necessary precautions.

If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask, I am more than happy to answer any question you may have. Email: info@victoriafalls-guide.net

Click on this link to pay for your accommodation or activity bookings

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Good Afternoon Boo,
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We would like to offer our thanks for sorting a fantastic itinerary for our all too short visit to Vic Falls. The cruise on the Zambesi at sunset was a delight and the helicopter flight breathtaking! The pick ups were punctual and staff members were all very smiley, friendly, helpful and good company. The whole experience of the actual Falls and the town itself was outstanding.
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