Cape Town to Tanzania 2014

Solo trip for 12 months - Toyota Hiace 4x4 van

Lake Kariba and around

August 24, 2014  —  Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba

Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe

Lake Kariba is the biggest artificial lake (in volume) in the world. It was created after the Kariba dam was built between 1955 and 1959 on the Zambezi River. The inundated region covers an area of 5580 km2 and was a hilly region.

When the water rose, nearly 300 islands were created. Many animals, trapped on these islands, were rescued during the Noah Project.

Statistics on the dam:

height - 128 metres
length - 617 metres
width - 13 metres

Statistics on the lake:

area - 5580 km2
length - 223 km
width - up to 40 metres
average depth - 29 metres
maximum depth - 97 metres
average width - 18 km
maximum width - 32 km
total shoreline - 2000 km
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
All around the lake, elephants venture in the villages. It is frequent to see them wander near houses looking for fresh food.
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe

The town of Kariba was created after the construction of the dam. The people were forced to leave their village because of the rising waters. The main activity on the lake is a boat trip for simple relaxation or for fishing.

Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
At this viewpoint, the most interesting aspect was the crafts.
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Town of Kariba and Lake Kariba.
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba.
Lake Kariba - Zimbabwe
I stopped at this campsite only for the pool.
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Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Campsite.

This park is the remotest park of Zimbabwe. Indeed, to get there, the road is one of the worst one I have driven in Africa. Most good 4x4 needs 4-5 hours to drive the 80 km track that allow access to the heart of the park on the shore of Lake Kariba. In my case, it took me almost 6 hours. Once more, people were very surprised to see me with only a van instead of a 'real' 4x4.

Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe

It is not surprising that after driving this road, I lost a few parts from the van. On each side at the back of the car, there are a shock absorber and a spring. I lost one of the shock absorbers and later on the spring came out of its socket. I was very surprised by my luck since I managed to realign the spring with a minimum of tools (2 small jacks and some wooden logs). It was a real bush repair since I was deep in the park.

Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Lake Kariba.
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
This elephant wandered around the campsite. When I got too close to it, it charged me trumpeting, flapping its ears and kicking clouds of dusts. It stopped 3-4 metres in front of me... I was on foot.    : -)
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
The rise of the water has drowned several trees creating numerous dead trees zones.
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
Matusadona National Park - Zimbabwe
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Chizarira National Park

This park is not located on the shore of the lake, but it is nevertheless quite close. The only highlights of this park are the two viewpoints that provide great views on the river and the gorge it has sculpted.

Chizarira National Park - Zimbabwe
Bush camping near the park entrance.
Chizarira National Park - Zimbabwe
Chizarira National Park - Zimbabwe
Chizarira National Park - Zimbabwe
Chizarira National Park - Zimbabwe