The list of Lake Kariba activities is quite comprehensive and are fun for the whole family. Whether you are staying on the water in a houseboat, or relaxing in a safari lodge or in Kariba town, there are plenty of options.

Kariba Activities

Kariba Activities

Lake Kariba is a fascinating destination with stunning vistas, abundant wildlife, bountiful fishing, water sports, and interesting cultural spots to explore.

Lake Kariba Fishing

The lake is teeming with a host of fish and crayfish too.

The most common are tilapia, carp, giant catfish, pike and others.

The most famous fish species to come out of Lake Kariba is the fighting Tiger Fish. This fierce looking fish is a sport fisherman’s dream catch – and makes for pretty good eating too.

The annual Tiger Fish Tournament is a very popular event that sees enthusiastic fishermen from many countries attending.

Fishing can be done from a houseboat or you can take a small pontoon into shallower water and small coves from any houseboat in order to reach more lucrative fishing areas.

You will never be without a daily catch on this lake.

Game Viewing in Matusadona Game Park

The Matusadona Game Reserve is one of the most beautiful places on earth.

It is also one of the largest private reserves in the world. It covers over 6,000 square kilometres of land and is home to numerous species of animals and plants.

The game viewing in the reserve is one of the best in the world and is a popular activity for tourists and locals.

The park is home to healthy herds of Southern African elephants, African leopards, African buffalo and other species. The animals are protected and visitors are not allowed to get too close.

The park is also a great place to see the Big Five, and other wildlife including lions, cheetahs and hyenas.

Birding On Lake Kariba

Birding is by far the most popular activity in the park. This is true for both foreign and local visitors.

The variety of game birds on the lake and Lake Kariba islands is second to none. Visitors can expect to see a wide variety of bird species, including the rare black-billed gull, the white-headed duck and the sociable weaver.

Other sightings will include the black-backed and saddle-billed storks, as well as the grey heron, and the bearded vulture.

Sunset Cruise

The sunset cruise is one of the most popular activities at Matusadona Game Reserve.

The evening cruise is a great way to see the wildlife on the lake. Just before the sun sets the wildlife comes down to the water edge to quench their thirst before heading off for the night.

So the possibilities of seeing a wide variety of wildlife are endless at this time of the day.

The sunset cruise is also the best way to see the impressive African sunset. The unobstructed view over the water showcases the sunset beautifully.

Kariba Dam Wall

Kariba Dam Wall

Visitors are welcome to visit the Kariba dam wall. The dam wall is a great place to get a feel for the huge scale of the Kariba Dam.

You can walk across the length of the whole wall and cross the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Ultimately this is no-mans land!!

The wall is about two kilometres long and provides a great opportunity for visitors to capture some amazing photos of the lake.

The vast expanse of the lake is a great background for the sun as it sets and experience the incredible colours of the sunset reflected in the water.

It is also the perfect place to watch the full moon rise over the water on a clear night.

Kariba Heights View Point

The Kariba Heights viewpoint is a great place to get a view of the Kariba Dam and the whole of the Matusadona Game Reserve. The view point provides a 360 degree view of the lake and the surrounding area.

It is the best place to see the full extent of the sheer size of Kariba, the dam wall, as well as view the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The view is dominated by the Kariba Dam, but on a clear day you can see the Zambezi River as well.

Santa Barbara Chapel

The Santa Barbara Chapel is a Roman Catholic Church and was built with stone in the year 1783. The chapel is built inside the walls of the town and is famous for its stained glass windows.

Built in the 1880s when Kariba was a gold mining town, the chapel is a unique building in Kariba. It was constructed using a local wood called Kariba log.

The chapel is a small building built in a square shape on a hill with a dome. It has a front entrance, a wooden floor, and a bamboo roof made of wood.

Completed in 1920, the chapel was named after St Barbara, the patron saint of miners.

Kariba Crocodile Farm

The Kariba crocodile farm is one of the most interesting and best places to visit in Matusadona Game Reserve. The crocodiles are a great attraction for visitors of all ages.

The farm is set on the shores of the lake and is home to over a hundred crocodiles. The crocodiles are housed in large pens and are fed fish and chicken every day.

These crocs are a genetically pure population that have been isolated from the wild for many years, so they are much larger than normal. Perfect specimens of their genus.

Get up close and personal with some of the biggest and most dangerous animals in Africa.

Curio Shopping

Don’t forget the souvenirs.

At Kariba Heights, there is a market stocked with locally made items by local craftsmen. You will find lots of images of the Nyami Nyami, a creature from local folklore.

In the Kariba town centre you will also find a myriad of souvenirs.

Kariba Town

The main attraction in the town is St Barbara Chapel. It is a small chapel that is built in the middle of the town.

There is also an abundance of restaurants and bars, a number of banks, and several supermarkets.

And, of course, some great shopping for all your souvenir needs in the main street of the town. The local ladies make baskets, crochet garments, design colourful jewellery and sell bright African-styled textiles and fabrics. You are sure to find lots to admire.

Water Sports

There are many water sports activities on the dam such as water skiing, parasailing wind surfing and canoeing. Other options are sailing and kayaking.

Water skiing and sailing are by far the most popular water sport activities on the lake.

A Word Of Caution – Kariba Activities Not to Do

A couple of things we do NOT advise you to do:

Swim In The Lake

No swimming on the shoreline or in the deeper waters. There are too many crocodiles for it to be safe, and hippo’s are not to be trusted either.

It is best to use the pool either at the safari lodge you are staying at, or the plunge pool on the houseboat to cool off in.

Walk Alone At Night

At any camp or safari lodge do not go wandering off by yourself after dark. There are always wild animals around and you do not want to come face to face with a visiting elephant, buffalo or warthog in the dark.

If you do need to get somewhere after normal hours, always stick to the lit paths to and from your lodge or tent either with a member of staff, friend or family member.


When visiting the lake, you will never NOT have anything to do to keep you entertained. The Kariba activities cater for all tastes and age groups, whether it is cultural or adrenaline-filled.

Unless, of course, doing nothing is entirely what you want to do.

Even then, the sights are truly spectacular, and the sunsets will take your breath away. You can relax in the sun, unwind with a good book while enjoying a refreshing drink and watch the days pass you by.

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