12 facts you didn’t know about Lake Kariba

Changa Safari Camp is perfectly located on nearly 4 kilometres of prime lakeshore frontage on the world’s largest man-made lake: Lake Kariba. This large expanse of water is often referred to as “Africa’s Inland Sea” as when you are gazing out over Lake Kariba, it can sometimes feel like you are looking out to sea.

Lake Kariba is well-known for its spectacular and mesmerizing sunsets, wildlife-rich shorelines and incredible fishing opportunities. It covers an area of nearly 6,000 square kilometres and is fed by the mighty Zambezi River, which begins its 2700-kilometre journey in north-west Zambia and reaches the Indian Ocean through Mozambique.

Since being completed in 1959, the lake has brought an abundance of tourism, industry, activity and delight to Zimbabweans, Zambians and the people from around the world who have been lucky enough to visit these life-giving waters.

The story of how Lake Kariba came to be, is an interesting one which we would love to share with you. Read on to find out more about how this mystical place has become one of Zimbabwe’s top tourist destinations and a popular family holiday for locals alike.

Did you know?

• The chief designer of the Kariba Dam Wall, Andre Coyne, was a well-known French engineer and inventor. He went on to design 70 dams in 14 countries globally.

• It took up to three years for the dam wall to be completed. Construction began on the 6th November 1956, and was finished in 1959.

• Well over 1 million cubic metres of concrete was poured into the walls to sustain the pressure of nearly ten million litres of water passing through the spillway each second.

• The filling of Lake Kariba between 1958 and 1963 caused more than 20 earthquakes of greater than 5 magnitude on the Richter Scale.

• Operation Noah, a 5‐year wildlife rescue operation, successfully relocated over 6,000 animals, mostly to the Matusadona National Park, whilst Lake Kariba was filling up after the completion of the dam wall.

• Lake Kariba Dam is located approximately halfway down the Zambezi River.

• The structure is 128 meters high with a crest of 579 meters in length.

• The dam has a volume 1,032,000 cubic meters of water!

• The name Kariba comes from the local word Kariva or karinga, meaning “trap”, which refers to a rock that was thrust out of the swirling water at the entrance of the gorge, where the dam wall was to be built.

• Lake Kariba has many mooring opportunities both on the main land and on islands, offering beautiful and romantic spots with idyllic waterfalls in places like the Sanyati Gorge.

• Lake Kariba is home to some fantastic fish species including the famous Tiger fish, Tilapia Bream, Catfish and the mighty Vundu. For most of the year, Lake Kariba is truly one of the greatest places in Africa for fishing.

• Best of all, Lake Kariba has the perfect climate to visit all year round!

We look forward to welcoming you to Changa Safari Camp and sharing with you our little piece of paradise in this untouched part of the world.






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