Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe is blessed with breath-taking scenery, amazing bird and wildlife and some of the best fishing waters in Southern Africa. The weather, although extremely hot in some seasons is idyllic, so it’s no wonder a variety of accommodation options have sprung up.
Lake Kariba is a vast wilderness area, with the lake extending for more than 280kms. So, it’s not exactly over developed at this stage, which is part of the magic…its isolation.
What are the different Lake Kariba accommodation options?
For those unfamiliar with Kariba, it can be a bit confusing as to where to stay. We have outlined the options below and hope that this will make it clearer for you.
• Houseboats on the lake itself, based out of both Kariba town and Binga.
• Hotels, lodges, self-catering and camping in and around Kariba Town on the extreme eastern end of the Lake, by the Kariba dam wall.
• A handful of beautiful Safari lodges dotted around the eastern basin, on the islands and the mainland extending just past the Ume river.
• Minimal hotel options in Binga and Mlibizi at the western end of the lake.
• Matusadona National Parks chalets and camping.
Filter by accommodation type
Lake Kariba Accommodation options
Details: Kariba town hotels are used more by local Zimbabweans who have their own boats and come on holiday. International tourists generally stay at the more
luxurious safari lodges detailed below, where there are more activities and they can enjoy a safari.
Caribbea Bay Resort is probably the most popular hotel, followed by Cutty
Sark Hotel. Hornbill Lodge is a boutique lodge with stunning views, whilst Nzou
Lodge, Cerruti and Wild Heritage offers affordable self-catering accommodation.
Warthogs Bush Camp has backpacker accommodation with a great relaxed atmosphere
and location, while Lomagundi Lakeside also has self-catering and camping
Lake Kariba is a very noteworthy safari destination, although mistakenly
often overlooked by international tourists. The safari lodges that have
developed on the islands and mainland along the
Matusadona shoreline offer some
truly amazing safari opportunities.
Location: Private concession just outside
the Matusadona National Park boundary, Lake Kariba. Size: 8 en-suite tents Star Rating: *** (3) Advantages: In a private concession just outside the
Matusadona National Park and some of the activities are in the
national park; Private owner-run camp and personalised
experiences and a top guide; Family friendly safari lodge;
Extensive range of activities including Games drives and walks, speedboat and pontoon boat cruises for both scenic and game-viewing / bird-watching, Fishing, Village visits, Specialised birding trips, Dinosaur fossil site visits, Crocodile Farm visits, Black rhino tracking, Early stone-age tool sites, Photography;
Great savings with a pay stay special offered all year round.
Per person sharing per night.
Fully Inclusive. Low Season.
Location: Private concession in Matusadona National Park, Lake Kariba. Size: 6 luxury tents, 2 family tents Star Rating: *** (3) Advantages: In a private concession within the
Matusadona National Park; Great views of the hills and lake;
Spacious luxury tents; Fully inclusive including Morning and afternoon game drives, Walking safaris, Boat cruises both scenic and game, Fishing; Bird watching, Scenic trips to Sanyati Gorge;
Great packages with sister camp The Hide in Hwange National
Park; Personalised service and good guiding.
Bumi Hills Location:
Private concession in Bumi Hills, west of Matusadona National
Park, Lake Kariba. Size: 9 luxury rooms, 1 luxury villa Star Rating: *** (4) Advantages: Great location with breathtaking views and
beautiful beaches; Comfortable spacious luxury rooms; Luxury
facilities and good service; Fully inclusive activities
including game drives on private concession, scenic boat
excursions/cruises, fishing, cultural visits, birding; Close to
Matusadona National Park.
Per person sharing per night.
Fully Inclusive. Low Season.
Kariba shore, Zimbabwe.
Details: This is going to be a very short paragraph as options are very limited
indeed. This western end of the lake is remote, and tourism has never really
taken off. It is very convenient if including Victoria Falls and Hwange in your
holiday plans as it’s a nice drivable little circuit. There are a few houseboats
at this end which are popular and the accommodation available is really for a
night on either side of a houseboat trip.
Masumu Lodge is top of the ranking here and is actually a very nice spot.
Chilila Lodges also have a few nice chalets. These both serve the Chilila
harbour where several of the houseboats are moored and
Zambezi Cruise Safaris depart from.
Kulizwe Lodge serves the Kulizwe harbour, where the other houseboats are moored.
Mlibizi is a bit further west and it is from here that the Kariba ferry
starts and ends. Accommodation is limited to the basic Mlibizi resort, right by
the ferry harbour.
Info coming soon, but feel free to send us an
Kariba shore, Zimbabwe.
Details: The once beautiful National Parks, Tashinga Campsite and chalets are today in
a fairly dire state but are still open. Situated at the mouth of the Ume River
in Matusadona National Park, access is very difficult and is either by boat or
via a very arduous 4 x 4 road. Experienced 4x4 self-drivers attempt this, as the
location is beautiful once you get there.
Location: Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Details: A very popular accommodation option on Lake Kariba is a houseboat holiday, and there are plenty of those to choose from. The majority of Houseboats are moored in Kariba with a much smaller selection based out of Binga. Houseboats moored in either Binga or Kariba vary in type and size, as well as quality, from luxury vessels to tubs. Most houseboats will offer different rates based on fully-catered or self-catered options. Houseboats on the whole are hired by groups in their entirety but there are some new additions like African Dream, and Zambezi Cruise Safaris, that are catering for singles, couples and small families on set departure dates. Two nights on a houseboat 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.
Per person sharing or per group.
Self catering or
Combining Kariba/Matusadona with Mana Pools and
Victoria Falls gives a
fantastic experience of the different section of the
Zambezi River, from the
upper Zambezi (and perhaps Chobe), to the middle Zambezi and the lake, and the
final section which is the Lower Zambezi in Mana Pools. Have a look at some
Zimbabwe safari ideas taking you around different
destinations in Zimbabwe.
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