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Lake Kariba Tourism Information

Quick Facts: Lake Kariba

  • When measured by water volume Lake Kariba is the largest artificial lake and reservoir in the world
  • Lake Kariba is located on the Zambezi river, about halfway between the river's source and mouth
  • The Kariba Lake lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe
  • Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 after the completion of the Kariba Dam
  • Lake Kariba in Southern Africa is over 220 kilometers long and up to 40 kilometers in width
  • This artificial lake covers an area of 5,580 square kilometers and its water storage capacity is an immense 185 cubic kilometers
  • The mean depth of the lake is 29 meters with the maximum depth being 97 meters
  • Lake Kariba is one of the world's largest human-made reservoirs
  • The immense mass of water is about 200 billion tons
  • The Kariba Lake is home to several islands, including Maaze Island, Mashape Island, Chete Island, Sekula, Sampa Karuma, Fothergill, Spurwing, Snake Island, Antelope Island, Bed Island Chikanka

Distance to Airport: 13km

Distance to City: 5km

Introducing Lake Kariba

The Kariba Lake is, when measured by water volume, the largest artificial lake and reservoir in the world.  Lake Kariba is located on the Zambezi river, about halfway between the river's source and mouth.  This lake can be found 1300 kilometers upstream from the Indian Ocean and lies along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  Lake Kariba was filled between 1958 and 1963 after the completion of the Kariba Dam which flooded the Kariba Gorge on the Zambezi River.
 
The Zimbabwean town of Kariba was built for construction workers on the lake's dam, while some other settlements like Mlibizi in Zimbabwe and Siavonga and Sinazongwe in Zambia have been established to provide home for people who had been displaced by the rising waters.
 
Lake Kariba in Southern Africa is over 220 kilometers long and up to 40 kilometers in width. It covers an area of 5,580 square kilometers and its water storage capacity is an immense 185 cubic kilometers. The mean depth of the lake is 29 meters with the maximum depth being 97 meters.  Lake Kariba is one of the world's largest human-made reservoirs.  The enormous mass of water of this  artifical lake of about 200 billion tons is believed to have caused seismicity in the seismically active region, including over 20 earthquakes of greater than 5 magnitude on the Richter scale.
 
The area of the Kariba Lake which is located in Zimbabwe has been designated a Recreational Park within the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Estate.

Islands of the Kariba Lake
 
The Kariba Lake is home to several islands, including Maaze Island, Mashape Island, Chete Island, Sekula, Sampa Karuma, Fothergill, Spurwing, Snake Island, Antelope Island, Bed Island Chikanka.

Wildlife of Lake Kariba
 
Before the Lake Kariba was filled up with water, the existing vegetation was burned which created a thick layer of fertile soil on the land which is now the lake bed. As a result the ecology of Lake Kariba is vibrant. A number of fish species have been introduced to the Kariba Lake, notably the sardine-like kapenta, which now supports a thriving commercial fishery.  Crocodiles and hippopotamus can be found in the lake.
 
Gamefish, predominantly Tigerfish, which was among the indigenous species of the Zambezi river system, thrive on the kapenta.  Both Zambia and Zimbabwe are now attempting to develop the tourism industry along their respective coasts of Lake Kariba.  Fish eagles, cormorants and other water birds patrol the shorelines, as do occasional herds of elephants.
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