Lake Kariba &
Matusadona National Park

Matusadona National Park at Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe’s north is far from tourist hubs, and offers beautiful scenery, a peaceful atmosphere and fantastic wildlife viewing.

Lake Kariba was created in the late 1950s, following the completion of the Kariba Dam. Measuring over 220km in length and up to 40km in width, it is the world’s largest man-made reservoir. Gamefish – including the legendary tigerfish – thrive in its waters, whilst huge flocks of waterbirds, handsome raptors, Nile crocodiles and pods of hippopotami ply its banks.

A small national park of just 1,400km², Matusadona sits on the shores of Lake Kariba. There is good game viewing along the shores of the lake home to elephant and crocodile as well as further into the park. The “Big 5” can all be found in the park as well as other general game including buffalo and numerous antelope species. There is also a great diversity of birdlife thanks to the ever-present lake attracting a multitude of species including the impressive African Fish Eagle.

Along the lakes shoreline are a number of absolutely sensational lodges. One of those lodges is Bumi Hills Safari Lodge, set atop a remote hilltop in a private wilderness concession, offering mesmerising views over the lake below. The lodge offers a very intimate experience with just 10 spacious suites, including a 2-bedroom villa complete with a private butler, safari guide and dedicated safari vehicle. A wealth of activities are available including guided walks, day and night game drives, boating and catch-and-release fishing.

Location

Why should I visit Matusadona National Park & Lake Kariba?

  • A very scenic area set far from busy tourist hubs
  • Offering peace, quiet and fantastic wildlife viewing
  • A wide range of activities from fishing to guided walks
  • Cruises on Lake Kariba 
  • Beautiful safari lodges with quality guides

When is the best time to visit Lake Kariba?

Like other destinations in Zimbabwe, Lake Kariba is best visited during the dry season – June to October. Game viewing is particularly good towards the end of the dry season (September and October) when animals tend to congregate around the lakes edge. Temperatures during these months are high (33-35⁰c) but game viewing is at its peak. Outside of peak season, April, May and November are also good times to go when there are fewer travellers. Some 240 species of bird can be found in Matusadona National Park, and from December to March (during the rainy season) birdwatching is at its best. 

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Accommodation at Lake Kariba and Matusadona

The following are some of the lodges that we recommend in the Lake Kariba and Matusadona National Park. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge

Bumi Hills Safari Lodge boasts one of Africa’s finest wilderness locations set on a series of hilltops overlooking Zimbabwe’s vast Lake Kariba.

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Zimbabwe Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Zimbabwe experience.

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Zimbabwe Overview

What is the best thing to do in Zimbabwe?
Zimbabwe offers plenty of fabulous safari experiences and the two major national parks – Hwange and Mana Pools – are top of the list when visiting the country. For the more adventurous, Zimbabwe is one of the best countries across Africa for walking and canoeing safaris, whilst the magnificent Victoria Falls is a must-visit.

What is the climate like in Zimbabwe?
Overall the country has a pleasant climate but temperatures vary with elevation. The highveld has a moderate climate (up to 29°C in summer) though hotter in the Zambezi Valley and around the Victoria Falls where temperatures can reach 40°C. The dry season is from May-October when almost no rain falls and the days are warm and sunny. Nights can be very cold with sub-zero temperatures from June-August. October is the hottest month with days in the mid to high 30°s. Rain falls regularly in the summer (November-March/April) turning the bush lush and green.

How do I get to Zimbabwe?
The easiest way into the country is from the South African hub of Johannesburg. Multiple major airlines fly into the city including British Airways, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Delta Airlines, Qantas, and of course South African Airways. From Johannesburg there are regular flights to Victoria Falls, the start and end point for many safaris. Alternatively, for an Edwardian-style, luxury rail experience, journey by Rovos Rail from Pretoria in South Africa to Victoria Falls.

What can I combine Zimbabwe with?
Zimbabwe is easily combinable with neighbouring countries including Botswana, Zambia and South Africa – all of which provide a different safari experience. Another popular combination with a Zimbabwean safari is a visit to Uganda or Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas.

Want to know more about Zimbabwe?
Visit our FAQ page or call us:

Australia: 1300 363 302
United States: +1 (213) 460 3364
United States: +1 (646) 217 0354
United Kingdom: +44 (20) 4518 8166

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