Kariba Houseboat charters– something for everyone
Take the A1 Harare to Chirundu national road, 115 KM reach Chinhoyi, 207 KM reach Karoi, 292 KM reach Makuti, 292.4 KM turn left for Kariba, 363 KM reach Kariba Town.
Getting there by air: Air Zimbabwe is now running scheduled flights into Kariba linking the resort town with Victoria Falls and Harare via the “Zambezi Triangle” flight route. Flights run three days a week, on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, using a 52-seater MA60 aircraft.
One of the most popular activities on Lake Kariba; for many visitors a boating holiday on a freshwater lake in a wildlife-rich area with a warm climate is simply paradise! Kariba's wildlife and safari opportunities are second to none and living aboard a large and spacious houseboat that moves from bay to bay daily where the views are ever changing and the wildlife is a few metres from the bedroom window is a travel experience found nowhere else on the continent.
Umbozha House Boats (www.dunhuramambo.com) on Lake Kariba have a variety of houseboats to suit different budgets and different sized groups. They can be chartered on a full-board, or self-catering basis and accommodation on board varies from individual cabins some of them with en-suite bathrooms and an upstairs deck with plenty of space for daily lounging, or for sleeping in the open-air if the weather is hot at night; mosquito nets and bedding are always provided. They are staffed by a friendly and qualified crew who will take care of your every need, including the cooking and cleaning and have the experience to help visitors make the most of the variety of lake-based activities.
A typical day aboard the boats is waking up with the sunrise and getting in the tender boat for game drive along the shore and into one of the small tributaries that feed the lake from the Zambezi escarpment. For those keen on fishing, the tender drivers will find the best spots and if necessary, put the worm on your hook and even take the fish off! Kariba is known for its excellent bream fishing and the sport of tigerfishing; pound for pound respected as one of the best freshwater sport fish in the world.
After the morning game viewing, or fishing the tenders move back to the houseboat for breakfast, or brunch. During the mid-day siesta the houseboat moves to the next destination depending on how far guests wish to travel. In the afternoon there is more fishing, or another game drive, as it is possible to get within a few metres of the elephant and buffalo herds that feed, drink and bathe along the lake shores. Many evenings, lions can be heard roaring between territorial prides and it’s not unheard of to witness a lion kill within metres of the houseboats as the game tries to escape a hunting pride. The tenders arrive back to the houseboat just as it gets dark in time for sundowners and often dinner that evening will be the bream caught a few hours before.
Depending on the length of hire, visitors can sail across Lake Kariba to the shores of the Matusadona National Park and view the elephants along the shoreline and watch the water birds. There is often a splash pool on board to keep cool during the heat of the day, and a plentiful supply of ice-cold drinks is always on hand.
Active family members can enjoy fishing for tigerfish, or bream (tilapia) off the houseboat, or from a tender boat, or take a leisurely game-drive by boat to watch the animals on the lakeshore, or just moor and enjoy the sensational Kariba sunsets.
Wildlife enthusiasts can walk in the Matusadona National Park in the company of a professional guide, or an armed game ranger from one of the ZPWMA stations; but must not disembark from a houseboat onto the shore unaccompanied because of potentially dangerous wild animals, including crocodiles, hippos, elephants and lions. Swimming in the lake is also hazardous with crocodiles lurking around known landing points.